Interactive Art

Anerkennung - Honorary Mentions

Avena+ Test Bed — Agricultural Printing and Altered Landscapes

Benedikt Groß (DE)


Avena+ Test Bed explores the relationship between landscape, agriculture and digital fabrication. With the advent of precision farming, agriculture has become fully mapped and will transform farming to a highly digital activity. In combination with other changes underway in the countryside, mainly the paradigm shift from food to biogas production and various EU subsidy schemes to promote diversity, within the next few years this will lead to disruptive changes for the (European) countryside. The project uses the idea of “agricultural printing” to explore the possibilities of digital fabrication carried over into farming. The experiment applies algorithms to partition and to create an environmentally beneficial structure in a standard biomass/energy production field. These additional areas establish or improve the connectivity between habitats for fauna and flora. This increased diversity also eases typical problems of monocultures, e.g. fewer vermin → reduced usage of pesticides. Furthermore a farmer could “rent out” the areas for several months a year as a compensatory area in the same way as the CO2 emissions trading scheme works (in the EU all new building land has to be compensated; there is already a market for these areas). Hence in the near future a farmer might not just produce oats, peas, beans and barley, but also print “environment compensations areas” into his fields. The overall aim of the project is to look into the potential of these changes (already underway), especially in terms of design opportunities. The emphasis lies in speculating about new models that would enhance current agricultural practices, and to then imagine their possible implications. Plants: 85% oats (Avena sativa), 15% eleven different flowers and herbs Dimensions: 11.5 hectares (320 m x 920 m) in Unterwaldhausen, South Germany


Benedikt Groß

Benedikt Groß (DE) is a speculative and computational designer who works in an antidisciplinary way. His work deals with the fascination of relationships between people, their data, technology and environments. He is particularly interested in speculating about these relationships in the near future. He uses design as a vehicle to visualize potential implications and scenarios. Most of the time Benedikt’s working mode can be described as “thinking through making;” his preferred making material is software. In 2013 he graduated from the Design Interactions course at the Royal College of Art. He is co-author of Generative Design, in 2010 one of the best-selling German design books with translations to English (Princeton Architectural Press) and French (Design génératif, Editions Pyramid). He now lives in Stuttgart, Germany, and runs a studio working with commercial clients and self-initiated research projects on the intersection between data, computational design and speculative design. Currently he is also a visiting tutor for digital culture and data visualization at the Hochschule für Gestaltung, Schwäbisch Gmünd.

The project was made possible with the support of:

Maximilian Erbgraf zu Königsegg-Aulendorf

Hubert Geser – Administrator Hofgut Stefansreute

Lorenz Riegger – Project Engineer/AGCO

Roland Groß – Advice and Special Thanks

Stefan Riegger – Tractor Driver

LU Peter Boos – Farming Contractor

Norbert Menz – Agricultural Advice

Prof. Dr. Klaus Schmieder – Agricultural Advice

Prof. Dr. Martin Dieterich – Agricultural Advice

Florian Vögtle – Aerial Footage

Hermann Benkler – Pilot

The agricultural machinery was provided by: AGCO, Massey Ferguson, HORSCH Maschinen GmbH, Agrom Agrar- und Kommunaltechnik GmbH