The City of Cockaigne 2040


Final Thesis
October 2018,
Graduation Program
Heterotopia Design,
Folkwang University,
Essen Germany
Supported by
Project SAIN –
Urban Agriculture
Fraunhofer-Institute UMSICHT,
Oberhausen Germany
September 2018,
Folkwang Finale,
Sanaa Building,
Essen Germany

Honorable Mention
April 2019,
World Changing Ideas,
Fast Company & Inc.

October 2019,
Berlin Design Week,
German Design Graduates,
museum Berlin,
Berlin Germany
September 2019,
Searching for Heterotopia:
Andere Räume Gestalten
In: IV. Heterotopische Zukunft,
adocs Verlag,
Hamburg Germany
November 2019
Nachwuchspreis Mehrwert NRW,
Category ‘Vision’,
Effizienz-Agentur NRW, NRW.BANK
Cologne Germany

September 2020,
ökoRAUSCH Festival,
Museum für Angewandte Kunst Köln,
Cologne Germany

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.

The design fiction The City of Cockaigne 2040 employs the means of product design and shows designed objects or props of a fictitious story.

This way it shows 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.

Are human excrements & organic waste becoming the new currency for food purchases? 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:

1. An interactive garbage chute
2. An interactive public toilet
3. A connection device for the new liquid fertilizer lines
4. A system for autonomous food deliveries &
5. A nutrient account that shows every input and output of a user.

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