While living in Tokyo, Philipp Hutfless, an industrial designer from Germany, saw how much food the Japanese import from abroad. The industrialized nation just doesn’t have a lot of room for agriculture, neither in rural areas nor in cities.
His response was to develop Vereos, an idea for coastal cities with limited space for growing food. It’s a floating greenhouse that recycles freshwater and gets power from built-in solar panels.
The greenhouse is 42 feet square with shelves for growing vegetables inside. It has a reverse-osmosis plant onboard, which pushes saltwater at high pressure through a membrane to produce freshwater. Then there’s a tank and pump, powered by electricity. The frame is aluminum and the covering is made of a hard-wearing plastic. Most importantly, the greenhouse uses hydroponics, which is less water-intensive than conventional growing (50% of the water is recycled) and less heavy, because there’s no soil involved.