Wacky Farming Theme Park Aims to Fix Our Food Problems with Barn Dances and Giant Robot Animals


All Images Courtesy of Design With Company

For your next vacation, forget about Disneyland and the amusement park, and give Farmland World a shot. The "agro-tourist" resort, where you ditch the bathing suit for overalls, is the new hot destination for families looking for some good old fashioned tractor rides, corn mazes and reflection on the relationships between humans, animals and machines, and how we produce our food. The fact that it's only a concept vacation spot doesn't mean the whole family can't enjoy the thought-provoking renderings.


Farmland World is the work of Design With Company's Stewart Hicks and Allison Newmeyer. The project was inspired by our removal from our food production, which treats livestock more like machines than living creatures. The idea is to create a series of Farmland Worlds throughout the American Midwest, where visitors can go on rides, attend barn dances, grow their own food and really think about what goes into the vegetables and meat they eat every day.

The project description is full of eyebrow-raising terms like "Farmerlust," "techno-natural hybrids" and "rural-techno spectacle," but its tongue-in-cheek attitude doesn't belie the real issues addressed by Famland World, which took third place in this year's Animal Architecture Awards. Modern farming practices have major environmental and health consequences and factory farming is a nationwide shop of horrors. Hicks and Newmeyer write:

Eco-anxiety and eco-guilt are psychological disorders defined as the persistent nagging concern for environmental issues. These conditions result from the inability to grasp our contribution to the natural world and the helplessness associated with our disconnection from it.


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Visitors would come to Farmland World via high-speed trains for one, three or five day visits. They would spend nights in mini-"farmhouses" that are stacked 15 high in a "bulb hotel" and would have natural sunlight as well as a view to the interior of the hotel and its central exhibition space.

Daytime activities would range from vegetable and meat production (the working farm bit) to adventures in the corn maze and going on rides, which are basically tours through the giant mechanical animals inside of which crops are processed (the theme park). No matter how long the stay, guests would do enough work to feed themselves for 20 times the number of meals that ate there.

Ok, so no Farmland Worlds are going to be built anytime soon, and I admit that the theme park element could use a real roller coaster or two. But just because you can't stay in a farmhouse room or tour a giant robot cow doesn't mean the ideas behind the project aren't worth consideration. Books like The Omnivore's Dilemma, The 100 Mile Diet and many others push us to think about where our food comes from, how we relate to its production, and how we treat our fellow animals in the process. Farmland World does the same thing, albeit in a very different way.


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