b. Britta Riley: A Garden in My Apartment


Britta Riley, TEDxManhattan; New York, USA
2011, 7 min 53 sec

Window farms consist of vertical hydroponic platforms for growing food in city windows. Britta Riley wanted to grow her own food in her tiny apartment. So she and her friends developed a system for growing plants in discarded plastic bottles — researching, testing and tweaking the system using social media, trying many variations at once and quickly arriving at the optimal system. Call it distributed DIY. And the results? Delicious.

Instead of perfecting and patenting the invention, Britta Riley created a social media site where she published the design for free, and even pointed out the flaws, designed in conjunction with an online citizen science web platform, with over 18,000 community members worldwide sharing ideas and contributing to perfecting the Window Farm techniques.