Natural Systems: Aquaponics


Aquaponics is a system that integrates aquaculture (growing fish or aquatic animals) and hydroponics (growing plants without soil). It utilizes the waste from the live fish or aquatic animals to provide nutrients to edible plants; the water is purified in this system and returned to the fish. When properly designed, aquaponics uses a fraction of the water that traditional soil based farming uses.

In this 3-credit Special Topic Studio, students explore the physical and biological mechanics necessary to create this system. How might we design user-friendly, indoor growing environments? How might we feed our growing global population in an unpredictable climate?

Following a series of exercises and experiments, students work collaboratively to create a site-specific, large-scale aquaponics system in conjunction with RISD's Nature Lab.