Urban Transplanter

Urban Plough Arts - Urban Transplanter


Project Name
Project Size
Urban Transplanter
conveyor belt, solar watering system, seedlings
75’ long
Temporary installation, Armory Center for the Arts Pasadena, California


The urban transplanter is a mechanized interactive sculpture that germinates and distributes seedlings to the community. Installed at the Armory Center for the Arts, this project is a prototype for a modular system that can be incorporated into any vacant lot. The system runs on solar power and is designed to be entirely sustainable. The small loading conveyor at the rear of the lot is supplied with seedling transplants. Three times a day, a new section of transplant pods is discharged onto the 75-foot long conveyor belt and over the course of two weeks travels the distance to the city sidewalk. During this journey, the seedling will germinate and sprout its first leaves. it is then delivered through the cyclone fence to be picked up by passersby. At this point, the community becomes stewards in this process. The success of the system is contingent on people planting and growing the newly germinated seedlings. The elaborate mechanized system is a representation of the complex food distribution system. As a fourth generation farmer, I have come to realize the importance of understanding the process of growing food. It seems that modern economic systems continually separate consumers from the natural cycles of the Earth. I hope to inspire people to reconnect with the land by growing their own food as a means of pursuing a more sustainable future.