The City of Cockaigne 2040

The City of Cockaigne 2040 is a design fiction for a future city that produces enough food for all its inhabitants by diverse means of urban farming methods. The design fiction consists of designed objects that help telling a ficticious story, in which the event called peak phosphorus – the maximum global production rate of the finite resource phosphorus – has already taken place.

Final thesis for the graduation program Heterotopia Design at the Folkwang University of the Arts. First presented and displayed in September 2018.


Wastewater: New currency for food?
The shown elements of this design fiction are the interface between the citizens and the new nutrient recycling infrastructure. They are exemplarily designed input and output objects of an urban system that analyzes, quantifies and values waste and wastewater: an interactive garbage chute, a public toilet, a connection device for the new liquid fertilizer lines and a system for autonomous food deliveries.


Props for science communication
The design fiction The City of Cockaigne 2040 employs the means of product design and uses objects to show how research (for example contucted within the project ROOF WATER FARM) affects the design of and the interaction with our environment and our way of dealing with resources. Design fictions make the potential of research projects, as opposed to traditional means of science communication, more understandable to scientific laypeople by addressing and expanding their imagination, much like a good science fiction story. The opinions and needs generated on this basis can provide a better foundation for making socially relevant decisions.


Connection device for the new liquid fertilizer lines
Digital fanfold showing details of a nutrient input and the content of a food delivery
Interactive garbage chute in use
Interactive garbage chutes
Digital fanfold showing details of a nutrient input
Interactive public toilet in use
Interactive public toilet
Digital fanfold that shows the current balance of an individual nutrient account
System for autonomous food deliveries
The Nutrient Circulation