Design Research Studio, the design and innovations studio at the heart of Tom Dixon, has partnered with Ikea to imagine the future of urban farming.

Chelsea Flower Show 2019

As part of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2019, they have designed and realized an experimental model for growing plants in the urban environment: ‘Gardening Will Save The World.’ The garden is split into two levels and features over 4,000 plants. The super-natural garden is a botanic oasis with a naturalistic aesthetic and encourages visitors to immerse themselves in trees, plants and flowers.

©Tom Dixon/ Design Research Studio and photographer Peer Lindgreen

Horticultural Laboratory

The Hyper-real garden is a horticultural laboratory where various innovations in growing technology are explored. LED lighting is implemented to increase the rate of growth.

Grown vertically around a central stem, vegetables, herbs and salad leaves are grown with aeroponic technology where nutrient-rich water is sprayed on the roots. Cork staircases and flooring invite visitors up to the supernatural garden – a dense polyculture landscape of plants with medicinal, environmental and nutritional benefits. They chose to incorporate cork into the garden, due to its flexibility, sustainability and environmental benefits.

©Tom Dixon/ Design Research Studio and photographer Peer Lindgreen

The mushroom cave installation within the hyper-real garden consists of 3D printed soil composite sculptures which are completely biodegradable. This landscape of objects supports the growth of medicinal Reishi mushrooms, which have traditionally been used in Chinese medicine. The robotic arm, analyses, nurtures and measures data from the mushrooms and can also harvest them once ready.Positive Plates

Tom Dixon and IKEA were curious to see how we can make a positive impact on what we put on our plates, and hence our planet by exploring urban growing. Through the garden, they use democratic design principles to develop sustainable food growth and consumption within our homes and urban communities. Because healthy food should be available to many people. The garden explores the dichotomy of the hyper-natural and hypertech to encourage an independent approach to gardening. The ground level of the garden is a horticultural laboratory. The second level of the garden is an oasis of greenery, with a naturalistic aesthetic. The elevated garden encourages visitors to immerse themselves in a canopy-like ecosystem. Upon first impression, the garden looks like a natural hillside landscape. On closer inspection, the viewer can see a subterranean, and futuristic high-tech garden is at play.

IKEA and Tom Dixon are curious about the future of growing and eating. Food is a crucial part of everyday life and they want to inspire people to a healthier and more sustainable lifestyle by growing food that has a positive impact on both people and the planet. For IKEA and Tom Dixon, being at Chelsea Flower Show is not about the beauty of a garden, it´s about bringing attention to the future of the environment and the importance of growing food locally.