project leader
300 West 20th Street
Manhattan (Chelsea)
latest update rss
Thank you note from the project leader!

the project

 This project aims to increase ecological citizenship within the student population living at The New School's 20th Street Dormitory through the installation of Windowfarms in the students' rooms. Ecological citizenship sees the relationships between the elements of natural and human environment as inextricably linked and stresses the duty that citizens have to each other to act for the common good. I see the participation of citizens in local agriculture as a way to foster this type of citizenship.

But that's hard to do in the middle of a New York winter! Enter windowfarms--hydroponic systems designed for growing plants in one's window. The systems are made primarily of recylced materials and are relatviely easy to assemble.
My project will engage the students in hyper-local agriculture in order to foster ecological citizenship within their community by bringing them together to construct the farms and install them in their rooms.

the steps

I will meet with the students on an upcoming weekend in order to assemble the windowfarm systems. The student lounge will become a workshop for learning about and constructing the systems. By the end of this workshop we will have 8 excited students with 8 new windowfarms in their rooms. They will then take a brief survey to assess their current level of ecological citizenship. The students will each be given disposable cameras in order to document their process. 

Over the next 5 weeks they will learn the process of windowfarming firsthand. I will be available to answer any questions and to perform maintenance on the systems, if needed. However, it is my goal that the students feel that they have agency regarding their farm, so they will mostly be left on their own. 

After this period the participants will complete the same survey and I will conduct a focus group to debrief about this project. 

why we're doing it

I'm doing this project so that The New School can see the potential power that their students have to produce meaningful change within their own living space if they are given the agency to do so. The capital needed for a project like this is minimal compared to the potential positive and lasting affect that this could have on the community at 20th Street. 


8 wooden dowels, $12, Home Depot

8 Petco aquarium air pumps, $14 each, $112, Petco

Hydroton Clay Pellets, 2 Cases, $20 each, $40, Greenworks (Hydroponic store in Hell's Kitchen)

24 3-inch diameter net cups, $1.75 each, $42, Greenworks

5 packs of metal inflation needles, $4 each, $20, Modell's

3/8" ID flexible vinyl tubing, 60 feet at $0.30 a foot, $18, Home Depot

8 Electrical timers capable of 4 on/offs per hour, $16 each, $128,

Seedlings, $75,

The rest of the supplies are recycled and thus free

ioby Platform Fee  waived
ioby Fiscal Sponsorship Fee (5%) $22
3rd Party Credit Card Processing Fee (3%) $13



Thank you note from the project leader!


This is where photos will go once we build flickr integration


  • Alison S.
  • Kevin O.
  • Michael O.
  • Sandrine F.
  • James G.
  • Michael G.
  • Mary Beth M.
  • Alexander F.
  • Neil O.
  • Timothy O.
  • Mark C.