Get a virtual farm tour in the video above.
Urban Roots is pleased to announce the selection of the South Austin Farm design team! We are excited to be working with the highly-talented and well known Michael Hsu Office of Architecture (architect), Word + Carr Design Group (landscape architects), and Civilitude Engineers & Planners (civil engineer) as we plan for the future of the South Austin Farm. We are confident that this highly-skilled team will be able to turn our farm dreams into reality!
“We are so honored to be working with such a talented team to design the Urban Roots South Austin farm. Combined, they bring nearly 50 years of experience to this project. Each of the organizations aligned with our organizational mission and values, and we were deeply inspired by the reasons they each chose to work on this project,” shared Urban Roots Executive Director Frances Deviney.
While farming has already begun at the South Austin Farm, this new phase of development will include components essential for growing diversified crops on the farm and expanding our youth and community engagement offerings. The buildout will include elements such as an administrative building with community gathering space and commercial kitchen, an outdoor wash station and cooler for processing the produce as it comes fresh from the field, a tool shed and pole barn for youth meeting space and shade.
Learn more about the design team and their inspiration to work on this project below.
Michael Hsu Office of Architecture was founded in 2005 in Austin to unite people through design. They are a nationally award-winning, fully integrated architecture and interior design practice. They re-imagine materials to create essential experiences. They believe in the active collaboration of designer, client, and artisan. Their work connects them with nature and manifests a sense of wellbeing. They design spaces that engage our local, regional, and global communities.
Michael Hsu Office of Architecture (MHOA) commented that they are “thrilled at the opportunity to work with Urban Roots to develop a functional and comfortable space for their youth to grow, learn and feed the community… We admire the organization’s adherence to respect diversity and to meaningful, hard work that serves the community. MHOA is inspired by Urban Roots’ cultivation of intentionality in their work and strives for the same level of significance in what we do.”
Word + Carr Design Group is an award-winning landscape architecture design/build/service firm led by principals Mark Word and Sarah Carr based in Austin, Texas. Formerly known as Mark Word Design, they draw from wide-ranging ideas, experience, and training in disciplines including horticulture, architecture, landscape architecture, and studio art. They believe beauty is a conduit linking our senses with our humanity; casual, daily encounters with beauty are essential for healthy individuals and healthy societies.
Word + Carr was equally inspired to work on this project. They shared, “We were excited about this project for several reasons, but primarily, at Word + Carr we feel a close kinship between our mission and that of Urban Roots. We believe in the power of natural beauty and growth to strengthen both social cohesion and personal development. Urban Roots harnesses that same power in the form of food and farming to inspire youth and nourish communities.”
Civilitude is a local, Asian minority-owned engineering and planning firm, established in early 2010. Founded by Fayez Kazi, PE, Civilitude’s core principle is to deliver effective design solutions and experienced project management competitive to large companies while providing personal, flexible and timely communication that only a small, nimble firm can provide. Nhat Ho, PE, has been with Civilitude since its inception, starting as an engineer prior to joining the management team in 2014 and more recently becoming named President of Civilitude in 2021.
Finally, the Civilitude team said, “Our team at Civilitude applauds Urban Roots’ mission of cultivating young leaders through food production and farming… We were inspired to work on the new farm for Urban Roots to be able to contribute to the younger generation’s knowledge and passion about sustainability in an urban setting. Just like Urban Roots cultivates intentionality in their work, Civilitude seeks out projects with community impacts that continue far into the future.”
Our South Austin farm is currently thriving with a bounty of vegetables in the ground, and we can’t wait to see the full impact it will have on our community and youth once it becomes a fully operational farm. We would like to take this opportunity to thank Urban Roots Board members Anthony Sobotik and Sergio Negrete and Project Manager Susan Benz for all of their dedication and time they put towards selecting the design team. We are also grateful to the City of Austin, our Dove Springs neighbors, and our amazing partners and donors whose steadfast belief in our mission—to cultivate youth leadership and nourish the community through food and farming—enabled us to get to this milestone. Check out the farm tour above to see the farm for yourself, and stay tuned for more exciting updates in the coming months!