Uplift Community High School: Living Wall

Students: 75
Staff: 10
Mentors: Brian Meade, Jason Klinker, & Kelly McCaffrey
Location: Chicago, IL
Grade Level: High School

Students worked with architects from FGMA to design a living wall installation in Uplift's newly opened Innovation Lab. The wall is a collection of individually designed planter modules that interconnect for one watering system.

The goals of the project were to add green space and plant life to the interior space. Another goal was to combine digital design skills, fabrication (laser cut, 3D print) and engineering.

Students began with a design session with FGM Architects to work through initial concept sketches for the space. Once the space was selected, students created physical prototypes for their planter modules out of cardboard and other materials. The prototypes needed to have a volume of 10 cubic liters. The prototypes were then transferred to TinkerCAD software for all sides to be sent to the laser cuter. Once the elements were fabricated, students assembled their planters and finished the watering system.

The installation is a focal point of the space and can be added to by following groups. Students were able to demonstrate the connections between physical and digital creation and the impacts of plant life in the built environment.