zipgrow in Milan

Perry Portrait cut outTyler Portrait cut outTyler and Perry’s 

Travel Journal

Milan, Italy

The representation of American agriculture at the 2015 World Fair opened doors for students, chefs, and farmers all over the world. In August, Tyler Schwab and Perry Baptista traveled to Milan, Italy to see the wall and meet the people, the events, and the ideas surrounding the USA Pavilion’s ZipGrow farm wall. You can follow their discoveries and experiences here.  As you read and browse through images captured of the wall, realize the long-term implications of this wall. The Farm Wall represents a great embrace of tradition with technology, something that Commissioner General of the USA Pavilion Douglas Hickey said should “ignite, not excite.”

ZipGrow Team Travel Journal – August 24, 2015

Day Six

Today was a day of tying up loose ends. Unfortunately, we awoke to even more rain than there was yesterday, which again delayed Tyler’s start time. However, he was still able to return to the U.S. Pavilion for a couple of hours to finish up a few remaining stills and time lapse videos. IMG_2424-A Since I’m not much help with the photography at this point, I headed out to a street market, where I snapped a couple of photos of the colorful vendors. There was insanely fresh fruit, plants, meats, cheeses, and fashionable clothing. Due to the rain, the market was small and quiet. milan 2015 expo pic market We met back up at the Expo this afternoon and finished up our tour by visiting a couple of the Pavilions that were highly recommended. Russia’s pavilion was huge and had a high, arching rooftop that looked out over the Expo. Great Britain’s was a fascinating representation of a beehive. But the Pavilion that really took the cake was Brasil, where we got to enter by climbing over a huge net – a great playground for the kids… and kids at heart.   milan 2015 expo pic brasil net Having covered every possible angle of the U.S. Pavilion’s Vertical Farm and visited a little of the surrounding area, our work on the ground is done. We can’t wait to get home tomorrow and start sharing the results.   IMG_2416-A   [metaslider id=5] Get a Farm Wall for your own backyard here.

ZipGrow Team Travel Journal – August 23, 2015

Day Five

Today, Tyler’s early morning time lapse plans were thwarted by a rain storm. Once he headed out, he had to come right back. Instead, the morning was spent catching up on sleep and processing photos and videos.  2015.08.23.Milan-7 In the afternoon, we headed into Milan to see the city’s biggest site: the Duomo. This gothic-style, Catholic cathedral is adorned with ornate architectural details both inside and out. We climbed a narrow, steep staircase to the upper terraces, where we could enjoy a sweeping view of Milan. Tyler was able to get some shots that we hope will add context to our final videos. 2015.08.23.Milan-4-A   2015.08.23.Milan-5-A The Piazza outside the Duomo was filled with pigeons, which flew around the square in large flocks. It made for an interesting sight.  2015.08.23.Milan-2 We rounded out our time in the city by window shopping through the high-end fashion area, Vittorio Emmanuele II, and meandering to the outer walls of Castello Sforzesco.  Wish Tyler luck tomorrow morning – we’d really like some sunrise time lapses of the wall! -Perry [metaslider id=5] Get your own Farm Wall here.

The Bright Agrotech Team in Milan - Coffee

ZipGrow Team Travel Journal – August 22, 2015

Day FourThe Bright Agrotech Team in Milan - Perry

Day 4, and we’re still not caught up on sleep. Tyler succeeded in causing a minor electrical mishap that blew a fuse in the hotel last night, leaving several rooms without electrical outlet power.

Be careful with international electric adapters, folks!

Tyler shot a huge variety of video content at the pavilion this morning. He arrived prior to the Expo opening, which is a beautiful time of day to be at the US Pavilion. There are no people around, and the light hits the wall just right.

The Bright Agrotech Team in Milan - Tyler

This afternoon, we were excited to spend some time with the Student Ambassadors.

We’d already interacted with several during our time at the Pavilion, and each one has been exceptional. Unlike other Pavilions, where visitors wait in long lines to visit very structured, guided displays, the US Pavilion is free-form, allowing visitors to choose their own path.
The Student Ambassadors work to bring the Pavilion to life by interacting with the guests. I’m sure that these are the reasons why the US Pavilion is the most visited pavilion at the Expo.
They certainly brought the Pavilion to life for us. We were inspired to see their enthusiasm about the Vertical Farm, which they say is incredibly popular. Each was very interested in agriculture, fresh, local food, and sustainable design.
We are amazed by the generosity and helpfulness of the US Pavilion team. Special thanks today to Charlene, Elena, Jack, and Adriana.

-Perry & Tyler

The USA Pavilion in Italy

Get your own Farm Wall here.


ZipGrow Team Travel Journal – August 21, 2015

Day Three

Have we told you how huge the Expo is? In total, it encompasses 490 acres. From the west entrance, it takes 30 minutes to reach the U.S. Pavilion – and that’s if you don’t stop to see any of the beautiful sights along the way! 


By now, Tyler and I are suffering from some extreme exhaustion. We decided on a later start this morning, arriving at the Expo to shoot more photos and videos at 9 AM. Today, we focused on capturing the Pavilion from a visitor’s perspective. Tyler recorded both the interior and exterior. We hope this footage will allow us to bring you all in to the U.S. Pavilion experience. 


We rounded out the morning by visiting the pavilions for Austria, Switzerland, Italian wine, Israel, and Argentina. Austria, with a complete indoor forest, was a quiet, peaceful reprieve from the bustling Expo. Israel’s exterior was most interesting, as they are the only other pavilion (at least that we’ve spotted) sporting a green wall. Their vertical field is an experimental installation featuring grain crops, including rice, wheat, and corn. 


After processing data and resting in the afternoon, we returned to the US Pavilion to capture evening time lapses of the Vertical Farm and attending the evening’s Tree of Life performance.


[metaslider id=11330]

Get a small version of the Farm Wall for yourself.

First sight of the US Pavilion in person! We’ve been seeing shots like this for week now, but Tyler and Perry have assured us it’s even more breath-taking in person. IMG_2347-A The Pavilion, designed by Biber Architects, is named “American Food 2.0” and sports not only the world’s largest food-producing green wall, Powered by ZipGrow, but living chandeliers inside the building. Guests can view the Farm Wall from below and from balconies on the side of the pavilion.

ZipGrow Team Travel Journal – August 20, 2015

Day 2

Today started off early, entering the Expo before many of the visitors. Tyler was greeted with a very sunny, well-lit vertical farm to shoot. While exploring the inside of the Pavilion, we got a chance to connect with some of the student ambassadors. We love the ambassadors – the are knowledgeable, helpful, and fun to talk to! The Student Ambassadors visit with many of the visitors each day and explain how the wall (and other exhibits) work. They shared how to say, “The wall has 42 crop varieties,” in both Italian and English. We were thrilled to meet up with Upstart Farmer and European ZipGrow distributor Eric Dargent in the afternoon. As an Upstart Farmer, the wall has significant meaning to him, and he hopes that the visitors can grasp just how scalable and easy to use ZipGrow towers are, even in their own home. There was more shooting to finish up the afternoon. – Perry   This morning Perry (@thecitybornfarmgirl) posted an inspiring Instagram update saying,

“My favorite thing I’ve seen today has not been the Pavilion or the wall – it has been the reactions of the people. They walk out to this balcony and look up, not out; they poke and prod the reachable leaves; they take photos and selfies. The positivity and curiosity is the inspiration that drives what we – what I – do.”

IMG_2321-A IMG_2319-A Tyler started taking pictures right away, many of which we will be over joyed to share throughout the week.  IMG_2358-A   Check out day three to see more photos and updates from the team on the ground in Milan.

[metaslider id=128] Get a small version of the Farm Wall for yourself.

zipgrow towers in italy Today Tyler and Perry embark on a journey to Milan for a week. They are going to Milan to celebrate the 2015 World Fair‘s theme: “Feeding the planet, energy for life.”  Feeding the planet, energy for life.What we do here at Bright Agrotech, creating equipment to support sustainable local farming, pours heavily into the theme for the expo. We are glad to have our equipment as the centerpiece for the USA Pavilion’s giant living wall, or “vertical farm”. We believe that the solutions to many world issues are present at the expo, and we want other to consider and embrace those solutions. That’s why we’re sending Tyler and Perry to meet with the architects and operators behind the rest of the USA Pavilion, to interview and get pictures. Connections like these will power forward movement in smart ag.

ZipGrow Team Travel Journal – August 19, 2015

Day One

Even though our first “day” was technically 2 days, they both rolled together. An early 3:30 AM start time got both Perry and Tyler to the airport with the perfect amount of time to spare, only to find that both of their flights were to be delayed by over 1.5 hours. Tyler even had the pleasure of deplaning. The connecting flight to Milan was also delayed. We were tired of delays!

After getting pretty little sleep, we hit the ground running in Milan. We got through customs, got our bags, took a train and a metro, managed to find our hotel, and then headed straight for the Expo.

Once we entered the Expo, we were amazed by its sheer size. It was a 30 minute walk from the entrance to the US Pavilion, which means we arrived just on time to meet Mitchell Davis, Chief Creative Officer, and Douglas Hickey, Commisioner General of the Pavilion. Both provided amazing insight and inspiration into how the US Pavilion’s Vertical Farm was working and affecting the millions of visitors.

We were a little jetlagged, but we can’t wait to show off these videos! We were also awestruck at how great the vertical farm looked. I, especially, was taken with how impressive this display of ZipGrow technology was.

We rounded out the day with scouting around the Pavilion and sampling Food Truck Nation.

– Perry

Untitled design   As we head to bed here in Laramie, Tyler and Perry are rising for day two in Milan. The photos are streaming in – check out day two to see the USA Pavilion’s Farm Wall in detail. Get a small version of the Farm Wall for yourself.

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