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Ciela Plata, 'Sky to Plate' Regrind components for urban rooftop vegetable farm infrastructure

Irrigation recapture, safety surfaces & planter box liners empowering scale in onsite, urban rooftop, organic farm-to-table agriculture

Photo of Chuck D

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Ciela Plata: 'Sky to Plate'

Urban rooftop farming components made of compression-molded Regrind. The urban farm movement is gaining ground, increasing infrastructure opportunities for Regrind in circular material economies. 

Global trend

We're overfed and under-nourished. The 'Western Diet' is known to dramatically increase rates of: 

  • Type 2 Diabetes
  • Heart disease
  • Cancer
  • Obesity

(Sources: Baum & Whiteman, 2018; O'Neil, 2017) 


In the next three decades: 

  • 70% of the world's population will live in cities 
  • Our food production will increase greenhouse gases by 80%

Many of us have started making healthier food choices, opting for a higher percentage of organic plant-based foods. Already, we've seen a 12x increase in sales of organic foods over the past 20 years (to $43 billion in 2015 alone). 

But the industrial agriculture behind the 'Western Diet' continues to prioritize refined sugars, factory farmed animal products, processed grains and fast food. Thus, organic food production lags significantly behind consumer demand. 


Urban rooftop farming can use thousands of acres of our built environment to bring more local, organic food production to more of us in many climates and geographies around the world. 

Ciela Plata aspires to empower scale in urban organic food production with rooftop organic vegetable farming components made of compression-molded Regrind: 

  • Safety surfaces for all-weather footing 
  • Seamless molded planter box liners 
  • Walkway matting to preserve roof integrity 
  • All-weather work surfaces 
  • Seamless molded liners for storage, transplant trays & transport totes 
  • Recapture trays for rain & irrigation runoff 

Ciela Plata sees a path to scale a local urban food supply, while reducing long-chain logistics, GMOs and diet-driven illness. 

Ciela Plata sees opportunity to fold our organic past into our urban present to improve our future health. 

Which Nike Grind materials will your idea utilize?

  • Rubber Outsoles
  • Rubber Flashings
  • Rubber Granulate
  • EVA Foam Injection Scraps
  • EVA Foam Flashings
  • EVA Foam Sheets & Blocks
  • EVA Foam Components
  • Laminated EVA Foam
  • Laminated PU Foam

How specifically will these materials be incorporated into your solution?

Ciela Plata compression-molded component for urban rooftop farming bring large quantities of Regrind mat, work surfaces & roof protection panels to high-density office & residential buildings with onsite dining. Ciela Plata departs from the conventional single-lifecycle product mindset, and offers synergy & scale to urban rooftop farming. Ciela Plata compounds the circular economy NIKE GRIND strives for. LIFECYCLE EXAMPLE • 2018 NIKE GRIND becomes 2019 Ciela Plata components • 2019 Regrind reclamation returns to Ciela Plata material economy & earns user credit toward 2020 Ciela Plata components • Design of Ciela Plata components is user-driven, empathic and seasonal PARTNERS • Supply: NIKE GRIND materials • Manufacturing: Existing compression-molding vendors • Venues: High-density residential & commercial real estate with onsite dining; urban farm-to-table restaurants • Design: Urban farm architects and seasonal, local, user-driven design for urban rooftop farming that feeds onsite diners • Installation: Existing compression-molding installers & approved adhesives • Users: Onsite office workers, high-density housing residents, restaurant patrons PRODUCTION • Regrind transferred to compression-molding site (More NIKE GRIND reused) • Ciela Plata components compression-molded (More business for vendors) • Molded components to Ciela Plata site (More business for installers) • User-designed custom installation lifecycle (Empathic design = stronger UX) • Material reclamation to regrind for next lifecycle (Expanding circular economy & operating leverage) Ciela Plata components expand the market for compression-molded regrind, and helps scale urban rooftop farming. From the waste column to reuse in our built environment, scaling with increasing operating leverage.

Please include a visual (can be either 2D or 3D) representation/prototype of your concept. (required)

MATERIALS • Walk, Work & Wet Surfaces: Sheets of adhesive-bonded half-inch compression-molded Regrind • Containers & Components: Seamless, molded Regrind liners for planter beds and harvest crates

What is the current stage of development of your idea?

  • Research & Early Testing

Describe your target market. Who will benefit from your product?

Ciela Plata empowers Scale in urban rooftop farming with potential to bring more local, organic food to people who spend their days in: • Office buildings with onsite dining • Urban schools & housing • Mixed-use zoning areas

How will you scale your idea? Please describe in detail your plan to scale your concept.

The full aspiration of Ciela Plata is to empower sustainable, organic urban farming in cities around the world. Ciela Plata is pursuing partnerships with a Regrind molding vendor and urban farm architects to launch a pilot program installation at a Portland corporate office with onsite organic dining. Target launch market scales to include high-density commercial and residential buildings. Ciela Plata will leverage an increasingly growing Regrind material economy and partnerships with existing vendors in manufacture & installation of compression-molded surfaces. BENEFITS OF SCALE • More NIKE GRIND reused • More business for compression-molding vendors • More business for compression-molded material installers • Material reclamation for next lifecycle expands circular economy • More local, plant-based whole foods in more urban communities worldwide

How is your idea innovative?

Ciela Plata advances rooftop farming infrastructure, empowering scale for urban organic farming: • Adds new use cases for repeated reclamation & repurposing of more Regrind material in more non-sports venues. • Reduces material cost to make new rooftop farms and retrofit projects more sustainable & affordable. • Creates new opportunities for rooftop farming with a circular economy of Regrind components. • Brings more business to compression-molding vendors & Regrind installers

What inspired this idea?

• Asking: What new uses can deploy more Regrind? • Asking: What venues can replace virgin materials with Regrind? • Research into urban rooftop farming • Onsite farm-to-table organic restaurants • Design experience in a university Architecture program • The Nike Grind challenge to innovate

Tell us about yourself and your team. What is your background and experience?

Design background includes 5 years in Architectural Design studios and university Architecture program. Project Manager with diverse brand & creative experience. Conversation with array of makers and food producers to inform Regrind use cases.

In what city are you located?


In what country are you located?


What is your legal / organizational structure? (if applicable)

Sole Proprietor

Please describe how becoming a Top Idea will support the growth of your concept.

• Material kit for full-scale Ciela Plata prototypes & pilot installation. • Additional guidance, resources & collaboration toward a pilot program Ciela Plata installation at a Portland office building with onsite dining. • Momentum toward launching a startup supporting healthy alternatives to the Western Diet, leveraging sustainable materials to impove air quality, food quality, and quality of life at work.


Join the conversation:

Photo of Chuck D

Hi Robert Smith Bryant Chu Shannon VanValkenburg Aakar Mehra -- As promised, letting you know that I uploaded a handful of new storyboards and diagrams last week to my proposal for Ciela Plata, 'Sky to Plate' urban rooftop vegetable farming components 

I'm still working on a few details, and I'm interested in your insights on the new illustrations since our last conversation. Any thoughts?

cc: Peter Lowe 

Photo of Chuck D

Hello again, I've uploaded a new component detail storyboard to Ciela Plata, 'Sky to Plate' urban rooftop vegetable farming components Any thoughts?

Photo of Bryant Chu

Hey Chuck Dye , you weren't kidding about adding more diagrams :P. I may have missed this in the illustrations, but I'm still wondering how each specific material might be used if you zoom in on the components--and even better--why.

For example, if you were bringing one of your product concepts to the compression molder, how would you explain it to them? Is it a homogeneous mixture? Layered or patterned in some way? Are you taking advantage of the different material properties to help with performance?

Photo of Chuck D

Hello again Bryant Chu -- The Ciela Plata, 'Sky to Plate' urban rooftop vegetable farming components proposal calls for rubber granulate & foam with the compression-molding methods that date back into the 1990s. As for your 'Why' questions, you'll find many of those answers in the Global Trend and Need sections of the summary, and in the green text on the Component Detail diagram in the Prototype section.

Thanks again for your guidance on diagraming over the past week or so since your team joined the challenge. I appreciate your recommendations and hope to cross paths again in the months ahead.

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