Proposal — Community Garden Exhibit

My strategy to finance the pavilion through three sources: the location of the exhibition, material manufacturers, and internal MIT.

As such, the brief of the project can be formulated to attract the above sponsorship.  The pavilion can be explained as a demonstration of new technologies that allow for year-round vegetation within built structures—perhaps as a response to urban conditions.  Although addressing vegetation in urban conditions may be a bit cliché within architecture, it’s a popular and effective discussion among the general public and would help us to discover site sponsors (listed below).  Further, the exploration into new technologies and materials would help us to find material sponsors that want a chance to showcase their products in new applications, especially as conceived by an MIT “research lab.”  By looking to publicly showcase our work, opens us up to getting funding from MIT.

The program of this would be pretty basic…the space opens up and people can enter it and look at it.  Then the space closes down to demonstrate kinetics, fluid tectonics, lightness.  It would not house any real functions.

Location of the exhibition:

This mingles site and sponsor.  We can propose to build the pavilion on a property that related to the goals above and ask that property owner / organization to aide in funding the project.  I propose that we approach local organizations / parks that deal with urban vegetation such as community gardens and public parks.  Specifically:


 Arboretums / Botanical Gardens

These tend to be less publicly visible, and further outside the city, but they are also under surveillance so we’d have fewer issues with vandalism and such.  We would probably also have to go through fewer authorities to get something built, unlike in a public space.

1) Tower Hill Botanical Garden

Located in Boylston:

2) Massachusetts Horticultural Society

Operates and Italianate garden in Elm Bank, designed by the Olmsted brothers.  Includes experimental gardens and “farm to table” gardens.

3) Other gardens run by Universities

i.      Hadwen Arboretum – Clark University

ii.      Arnold Arboretum – Harvard University


Community gardens

Community gardens provide a good blend of public access with surveillance and ease of building approvals.

1) Boston Natural Areas Network:

i.      Advocates urban gardens

ii.      Has over 200 active community and school gardens in Boston and the surrounding communities.

iii.      Features events and various education programs.

iv.      Map of every garden:

3) Fenway Victory Gardens

ii.      Very large and prominent community garden

iii.      We could possibly even “rent out” a plot to show new possible garden structures

Boston public parks

Public parks are incredibly visible and have budgets/programs for art installations/events, but are not under very good surveillance, it would be likely that the installation would be vandalized.  Also, it would probably be difficult to get an experimental structure through the permitting process of a public space.

People in charge of “design and construction” within public parks:

1) Public Garden


ii.      This seems like it might be too “maintained” or manicured, so they probably wouldn’t want a structure built within it, but it would be incredibly visible.

2) Commonwealth Avenue Mall

3) The Riverway

Sponsorship from material manufacturers:

As we develop more specific plans, we can approach those companies who produce the products we want to work with.

Internal MIT Funding:

As the piece will be exhibited publicly, we can approach a variety of outlets under the pretense that we’re marking MIT to a broader community.

1)      CAMIT

2)      Ask Nader for money

3)      Exhibitions (I think this is Irene)

4)      Ask Cynthia if there are any related grants she knows about.


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