One Design Theatre: The Car-Powered Aquaponics Farm

22/10/2013 10:48 BST | Updated 21/12/2013 10:12 GMT

Everything you wanted to know about fuel cell technology but were afraid to ask!

A unique piece of design theatre has been created, to educate people about the real-life benefits of hydrogen fuel cell technology - The Fuel Cell Farm.

The aquaponics ecosystem is powered by Hyundai Motor's zero-emission ix35 Fuel Cell farm and was unveiled in front of The Design Museum in London. It was built by leading sustainable design company Something & Son.


Kit Malthouse, Deputy Mayor of London was present to officially unveil the installation. He said:

"It's an absolute pleasure to welcome Hyundai's Fuel Cell Farm to London. This installation is an imaginative way to bring alive the huge potential of hydrogen technology and I encourage people to come along to the Design Museum to learn more about what could be the most exciting new industry of the 21st century.

"We are getting London ready for this massive step forward in propulsion technology by supporting businesses to put fuel on the ground, and consumers to buy zero emission vehicles. London has been at the forefront of mobility advances through the centuries and that's where we want to stay."

Aquaponics is a sustainable farming solution; a combination of hydroponics (growing plants in water) and aquaculture (raising fish in tanks). The Fuel Cell Farm operates by taking the water emitted by the hydrogen-powered Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell and filtering this water into the fish tank. The aquaponics technology then harnesses minerals from the fish waste to grow the plants on the farm.

Essentially the Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell, which is the world's first production fuel cell vehicle, is the heartbeat to the lifecycle of the installation. It powers and facilitates the functionality of the aquaponics farm, using clean emissions (only water) to fuel sustainable agriculture.


To design and create the installation, Hyundai Motor UK collaborated with highly- acclaimed sustainability creatives, Something & Son. This design practice is rooted in a long history of British inquisitiveness and experimentation, applied to the creation of a more sustainable world.

Paul Smyth, Something & Son's Head Designer said:

"The chance to design and build something really innovative that demonstrates Hyundai's fuel cell technology to the public in a way that is fun and engaging was an enjoyable challenge. Urban farming and fuel cell vehicles are both more sustainable alternatives to existing technologies and we hope the experiment will help bring hydrogen fuel cell technology to the forefront of people's minds through this exciting design challenge. This project serves as a reminder of the role that technology can play in a greener 21st Century."

The Fuel Cell Farm installation also featured a lecture hosted by Wired magazine which offered more depth and detail about both fuel cell technology and aquaponics farming. But why grow this eco-food if you're not going to enjoy it? For many people attending, the highlight of the day was a meal specially prepared by leading eco-chef Tom Hunt. The menu was inspired by the Fuel Cell Farm, and featured food grown through the green energy of the Hyundai vehicle - and was served up on a private Design Museum terrace.


For more information on the Fuel Cell Farm visit the website.