IDM Grow (GY)

  • Designing creative solutions for various gardening challenges

A backdrop of green leaves with "IDM grow" overlaid on it.

IDM.Grow is an integrated research program at the intersection of biology and urban design. This includes designing creative solutions for various urban gardening challenges, biomaterials design and fabrication, and urban metagenomics. By working directly with community partners and NYU faculty across various departments at Tandon, students actively engage with researchers and stakeholders. The program operates between two main sites: (1) the Urban Food Lab, located in the NYU Tandon MakerSpace, serves as a testing space for students to test prototypes, and (2) the IDM.Grow Lab, located at the entrance of the IDM department, which is both an edible garden and a biomaterials library and fabrication space, and (3) the Laboratory for Living Interfaces at IDM, which is a metagenomics research lab that investigates microbial metrics of urban spaces. 

Over the period of several semesters, students will be asked to follow an iterative design process that explores brainstorming, ethnographic research, prototyping, and user testing to make a contribution to ongoing research projects. Students will be exposed to core principles of IDM by promoting an educational program that is committed to sustainability and social justice while providing students the opportunity to actively engage in an impact-led design process.

Current IDM.Grow Projects

  • Modular Vertical Gardens for Youth Education
  • Making Gardens Accessible for All
  • Biomaterials Library
  • Urban metagenomics


Methods & Technologies

  • Action-based Research
  • Human-centred Design
  • Prototyping
  • Computer-aided Design
  • Design Ethics
  • Physical Computing 
  • Systems Design
  • Agricultural Technology
  • Permaculture
  • Social entrepreneurship

Areas of Interest

  • Design and art
  • Sustainable environments
  • Engineering
  • Business

Partners for Student Collaboration

  • Community Partners
  • IDM Faculty
  • FoodLab

Faculty Advisors