back to news Nov. 5, 2013

Ken Rinaldo’s “Cascading Garden” Travels to Russia

Ken Rinaldo, professor and head of the art and technology area in the Department of Art, brings a sustainability research project to Russia in November. His “Cascading Garden” installation premiered at Ohio State’s Knowlton School of Architecture in October and is being featured at a conference, Situating Food, at the university before traveling to Moscow, Pervouralsk, and Yekaterinburg in Russia.

In Cascading Garden, Rinaldo uses vermiponics (worm waste) to fertilize vegetables. The red wiggler worms in his sustainable gardens are installed in soil in custom vertical grow bags that Rinaldo developed, which may be used for indoor and outdoor urban agriculture in wet or dry environments. Each bag can be planted with a variety of plants, such as kale, lettuce, cabbage and other local vegetables.

Rinaldo was invited by the National Center for Contemporary Art and its curator Alisa Prudnikova, along with Ural University’s Elizaveta Yuzhakova to create the indoor cascading garden in Pervouralsk for the Chelpipe Corporation, with funding coming from Russia’s Ministry of Culture. The Cascading Garden opens there November 5 and becomes a permanent installation, with robotic controls included for self-watering.

While in Russia, Rinaldo also will teach a workshop on 3D modeling using Cinema 4D software donated by MAXON Computer GmbH. His focus will be on creating biophilic sustainability projects and proposals for feeding urban populations.

Russian TV feature about the project (in Russian)