Interiors Awards 2018: Student

Distinguished by a muted palette, Urban Farming Market’s design features a central gathering area. Rendering by Yue DaisyWu

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Interiors Awards 2018: Student
Urban Farming Market
Designer: Yue DaisyWu
School: New York School of Interior Design

“Focused on quality of life, this is a student project with well-being as the core of design. She finely illustrates the concept of urban serenity with beautiful drawings. The drawings are excellent, the palette is consistent, and the depth in design is rich.” —Jury

In cities, the demand has increased for fresh, locally sourced food offered in settings that are relaxed, hospitable, and nurturing. A sustainable site for urban agriculture in Long Island City, New York, designed by Yue DaisyWu offers a verdant reprieve from frenzied streetscapes while meeting the diverse needs of multigenerational groups of city dwellers.

“Thinking of New Yorkers’ fast-tempo lifestyles, work-related stress, and intense living conditions, I designed a self-sufficient urban farming market,” says DaisyWu, a native of Nanjing, China. “Teachers can bring their students to learn about agriculture, and community members can grab dinner and release stress at the farm.”

Developed as her thesis project at the New York School of Interior Design, where she graduated with a master of fine arts degree in interior design in 2017, DaisyWu’s carefully crafted conceptual scheme—entitled Urban Farming Market—comprises expressive renderings characterized by a cohesive and eloquently hushed palette. The muted, mixed-use space spans 43,500 square feet to provide a calming oasis that boasts a bespoke aesthetic. Its idyllic appeal manifests the designer’s interests in retail, workplace, hospitality, and product design. And the scheme builds on a conceptual collaboration with the client Foragers, a New York–based restaurant, grocery market, and wine shop that sources all of its produce locally. “I chose Foragers as my client since I agree with their concept and appreciate their values,” DaisyWu says. “They advocate for people to enjoy a slow-paced life, which is quite different from the common lifestyle of New Yorkers, and they focus on cooperating with local farms.”

In addition to reflecting her knowledge of the lifecycles and growing conditions of suitable crops, DaisyWu’s concept replicates empirical research carefully collected during visits to community gardens throughout New York City.

The urban pastoral premise serves as the primary point of exploration for the design, taking form in eloquent illustrations of five abstract senses—serenity, purity, craft, freedom, and belonging—that are articulated in architectural language throughout the interior. Natural daylight floods the Urban Farming Market, and a juxtaposition of light and shadow abounds, with whisper-thin draperies defining areas while facilitating fluent customer circulation. Passing through a succession of spaces, patrons encounter zones for buying, growing, and harvesting, and the central exhibition area offers a leafy respite within which to gather.

As a refuge from the routines of city life, the Urban Farming Market proposes an imaginative interior that embodies serenity and advocates for sustainable, sophisticated living standards. “Urban farming is not just related to growing and harvesting, but it also represents a new lifestyle and ideology for communities,” she says.

Now a designer at Gensler in Chicago, DaisyWu began her career last year as an assistant interior designer at Wilson Associates in New York.