GrOwING GREEN  mobile greenhouse

GrOwING GREEN is a mobile greenhouse designed and constructed by a group of fourth year architecture students at Ball State University, and represents the fifth in a series of design build projects undertaken by students at the College of Architecture and Planning in support of Urban Farming operations in Indianapolis.  The project is funded by a Butler University Innovation Fund Grant and is the second project undertaken by BSU designing and constructing facilities at the Butler University Center for Urban Ecology (CUE).  A team of fourteen Ball State students working with Faculty Director Timothy Gray and project partners Travis Ryan and Tim Dorsey of Butler University, have designed a controlled environment to cultivate plant starts for the CUE farm.  Fabricated in Muncie on a customized flat bed trailer, the greenhouse will be transported to the CUE farm when complete.

The Greenhouse is designed as a mobile prototype for a variety of reasons.  First, the design facilitates outreach, education and community engagement by making it possible to literally bring the farm to economically challenged and underserviced communities, expanding the potential of the Center.  In addition the mobile nature of the facility allows the greenhouse to navigate within the seams of the building codes distinguishing between the temporary and the permanent, facilitating construction in the flood prone area of the farm.  The mobility also facilitates the staging of the project which will be constructed in Muncie and transported to the Center for Urban Ecology, a little over an hour drive apart.  Finally, the project serves as a broader prototype for urban farming operations, which tend to be relegated to abandoned and underutilized urban lands, and as such are subject to dislocation through shifting patterns of development. GrOwING GREEN presents a prototype which lends itself to the shifting and temporal nature of the urban farm.

This project is to be completed in Spring 2016.


-Timothy Gray,  February 2016


GrOwING Green adds to a growing list of CAP design build projects in support of farming efforts in Indianapolis which include the following:

Fig. 1:  The student designed and fabricated central deck and canopy at the GRIDfarm with Lucas Brown, 2014 uses repurposed fabric from the recently demolished RCA Dome
Fig. 2:  Big City Farms braces for winter 2013              
Fig. 3:  Children explore the classroom facility at the Center for Urban Ecology, 2013
Fig  4:  urbaRn, the Project School, 2012





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  1. ‘Insurgent Architecture’ Students Built a Mobile Greenhouse to Overcome Urban Farming Challenges – Resilience

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