Thesis – Urban Farming

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    Thesis Project

Urban Farming: Design to support the increase of agricultural production in China’s urban environments

Across a vast portion of China, urbanization and industrialization have been converting farmland to non-agricultural use for the past several decades. Meanwhile, the booming industrial sector and improvements in living conditions are causing increased needs for agricultural production. China contains about one-fifth of the world’s population but only 8% of the world’s farmland. Hence, the country has become a global leader in food imports. Over the past decade, agricultural import trade issues have grown increasingly fast, leading to potential problems that could influence the global food market. How can design be used to increase agricultural production and help China feed itself? Through the use of action research as the design research model for exploration, this thesis develops the design potential through brainstorming, mind-mapping and design possibilities. Needs are identified, information is collected, and ideas are explored. The research study then observes and tests the concepts through reflection to improve the design. The process helps find the most appropriate design results to resolve China’s food issues effectively.

This thesis proposes developing the agricultural industry in China through multiple- city farmland reconstruction, using the cities’ natural advantages and traditional agrarian history to enhance production. Lehuo is a design concept that develops local agriculture by growing organic produce on an urban farm setting. The design for healthy urban living includes nutrition knowledge, planting instructions, home gardens, and the mass production, processing and sale of urban-grown organic food. The goal here is to increase agricultural production and alleviate China’s food import needs, which will then contribute to stabilizing global food prices.


This is a promotional video that presents the situation in China and introduces the organic urban farming practice of Lehuo. Lehuo promotes good urban farming practices to produce local organic vegetables which provide healthy food as part of a healthy lifestyle promoting system. Lehuo advocates producing organic products that have no pesticides or chemical fertilizers. The design video uses a healthy living approach to promote good nutrition knowledge, educate about planting strategies, and grow a vegetable garden at home. Using this video, Lehuo can persuade, help, and encourage people to choose a healthy lifestyle. Meanwhile, the benefits of people’s healthy living and urban farming also contribute to increasing agricultural production in China.