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New image: Farmers market pop-ups

Most vendors can’t afford a custom tent, so they are all white, with flimsy signage. An AIA design competition aims to re-imagine the farmer’s market canopy pop-up booth.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates there are over 8,100 farmers markets nationwide, a jump of almost 5,000 from the previous decade. At farmers markets most produce vendors use simple, generic white canopies that need to be light weight and portable, which also means that vendors have to get creative when they anchor them to the ground (no stakes allowed). Most vendors can’t afford a custom tent, so they are all white, with flimsy signage.

The AIA’s Small Project Practitioners Knowledge Community developed the Pop-Up Project Design Competition with the goal to re-imagine the farmer’s market canopy pop-up booth to make it easier for produce vendors to set up and transport their canopies and produce, while also helping them sell their product.

Winner: G Model
Bart Shaw, AIA of Bart Shaw Architect

The solution is a simple stable structure that provides elegant protection for a farmers market vendor. The structure provides a platform for custom printed fabric to be wrapped. When transported it serves as a hand truck, so goods and the canopy can be moved simultaneously. This project will be built on the expo floor of the 2014 AIA National Convention and will be donated to the local non-for-profit partner, Growing Home Chicago, for use by their clients and program participants.

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Honorable Mention: Box It Up
Robin Osler of EOA/Elmslie Osler Architect, Chris Shelley, Joana Torres

A series of plywood boxes serve not only as canopy weights, but also as table, stool, and multipurpose display fixtures. The simple box shape offers maximum flexibility as the elements can be stacked and arranged in various configurations depending on the needs of each farmer. Finally, a colorful canopy of re-purposed billboard vinyl provides shelter from the elements.

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Honorable Mention: Folding Farm II
Jeffery S. Poss, FAIA of small studio, Illinois School of Architecture, Charles Huss, David Emmons, Jordan Buckner

Folding Farm II (FFII) is a bicycle-powered produce transport vehicle and a deployable farm stand. The FFII’s canvas canopy is collapsed to cover and protect the produce during transport. At the market, the bicycle is disconnected and the bracing bar is swung down to stabilize the cart. Then the canopy is deployed and the produce bins are tilted for display. Ratcheted bracing bars lock the canopy and produce bins into position.

It is constructed steel and aluminium sections and incorporates standard plastic farm-grade vegetable bins, which means that the produce can be cleaned and immediately packaged on the farm, eliminating handling at the market.

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Best Use of Innovative Technology: Naked
Ar. Pragesh Pramod Khanna, Vastu Srajan

Arches ensure the stability of the structure enabling it to withstand around 750lb of wind pressure and velocity calculation of 90miles/hour. The arches utilize fidu science making the design versatile as it converts from a 6" roll of metal strip, with the use of a bicycle air pump, to form the frame of the structure.

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This competition will occur every year, in collaboration with the AIA National Convention host city, and focus on solving a local design dilemma while also involving a local non-for-profit which would benefit from the constructed winning design.

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