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News > Advancing Architecture and Design > ABSTRACT | LIVING OFF THE LAND


Scott Erdy, FAIA | Design Research

Food security remains an integral role in the research and work we produce. We continue to believe that our investment in resilient and considered architecture pushes our world forward to new possibilities. Under Pressure is about instigation and design in urban housing and features Living Off the Land, a text by Scott Erdy that expands on the benefits of urban agriculture-related to food security.  


Scott Erdy, FAIA 

We have the opportunity to solve some of our greatest problems--lack of affordable housing, food insecurity, and an underlying unstable employment economy--by creating a new type of architecture. One that is self-sufficient, provides employment opportunities and that allows us to reduce our physical and ecological footprint by living off the land. Bringing productive farming into population centers would mean fresher food and less pollution-emitting transportation and would free an exhausted landscape from the necessity of food production. Reforestation and rewilding begin as we rethink our relationship to suburban sprawl and mass farmland – by leaving the land to its natural processes, the landscape is allowed to heal, enable carbon sequestration, and provide breathable air to the planet. These crucial concepts of communal farming and urban density were initially championed by CIAM and the early Modernists.  Le Corbusier sought a symbiotic relationship between buildings and the land that addressed problems of housing, overcrowding in cities, access to light and air, and ultimately celebrated a clean, humane environment. “Living off the land” is an architecture invested in self-sustaining urban food production combined with housing, minimizing our ecological footprint to create a better and more livable future. 

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