Hedge H.U.G.

Design With Company (US)

Hedge H.U.G. (Horticultural Urban Growth) is an exploration of rural urbanism, a speculative proposal that asks, “What if we reverse the trend of urban farming and reintroduce the city into the farm?”. The fictional town prompts people to think differently about how integrated their lifestyle is or could be to a farm.

Hedge H.U.G. operates in the space freed up when consumers live near where their food is grown. This space includes the area dedicated to growing food that is lost during storage and shipping. The artists concentrate this ‘free’ space toward the periphery of the farm, outlining its boundaries and occupying the area traditionally reserved for hedges.

The artists' proposal does not eradicate the hedge, however. Hedges are important components of the farm which provide archaeological, historical, landscape and wildlife value. Instead, this intervention operates as an enlarged hedge and they re-imagine the functions hedges traditionally serve while adding new value and opportunities. Their hedge is composed of blocks, reminiscent of enlarged stones, which contain the urban programmes. In between these blocks are spaces that serve the double function of providing public urban space, as well as concentrated ecological habitats. The installation demonstrates a potential configuration for a Hedge H.U.G., while also providing loose blocks for visitors to construct their own and imagine new forms of reoccupying the farm.ds of healthy, fresh foods that they will need to support their growing populations.


Design With Company, founded in 2010 by Stewart Hicks and Allison Newmeyer, is a Chicago-based firm that specialises in small-scale constructions, installations, and speculative urban scenarios. They pride themselves in creating spaces that are seriously playful and bring joy to those who experience them. Recently, Design With Company was chosen to participate in the 2015 Chicago Architecture Biennial. Their work has been widely published internationally in magazines, online, and in books. In 2015 they authored the book Mis-Guided Tactics for Propriety Calibration, published and funded by the Graham Foundation. Both principals are fellows of the MacDowell Colony, Lucien Lagrange Prize Fellows, and Graham Foundation.

Grow House collects a number of projects which propose to bring agriculture out of the fields at the periphery of town and into the centre of our houses, cities and factories.