Benedikt Groß profile image

Works antidisciplinarily, is a speculative and a computational designer.
He currently lives in Ravensburg / Stuttgart.

Avena+ Test Bed — Agricultural Printing and Altered Landscapes

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Avena+ Test Bed explores the relationship between landscape, agriculture and digital fabrication.

Final Aerial Drone Clip


With the advent of Precision Farming, agriculture has become fully mapped and will transform farming to a highly digital activity. This in combination with other changes underway in the countryside, mainly the paradigm shift from food to biogas production and various EU subsidy schemes to promote diversity, will lead to disruptive changes within the next few years for the (European) countryside.

The project uses the idea of “Agricultural Printing” to explore the possibilities of digital fabrication carried over into farming. The experiment applies algorithms to partition and to create an environmentally beneficial structure into a standard biomass/energy production field. These additional areas establish, or improve, the connectivity for fauna and flora between habitats. This increased diversity also eases typical problems of monocultures e.g. less vermin → reduced usage of pesticides. Furthermore a farmer could “rent out” the areas for several months a year as compensatory area in the same fashion like the CO2 emissions trading scheme works (in the EU every new land for building has to be compensated). Hence in the near future a farmer might not just produce oats, peas, beans and barley, but also print “environment compensations areas” into his fields.

The overall aim of the project is to look into the potential these changes (already underway), especially in terms of design opportunities. The emphasis lays in speculating about new models which would enhance current agricultural practices, and to then imagine their possible implications.

By the end of July 2013 the test bed will be harvested to produce biogas.

85% oats (Avena Sativa)
15% eleven different flowers and herbs

11.5 hectares (320 m x 920 m) in Unterwaldhausen, South Germany


The project was made possible with the generous support of

Maximilian Erbgraf zu Königsegg-Aulendorf
Maximilian Count of Königsegg-Aulendorf

Hubert Geser – Administrator Hofgut Stefansreute
Lorenz Riegger – Project Engineer
Roland Groß – Advice and Special Thanks

Stefan Riegger – Tractor Driver
LU Peter Boos – Farming Contractor
Norbert Menz – Agricultural Advice

Prof. Dr. Klaus Schmieder – Agricultural Advice
Prof. Dr. Martin Dieterich – Agricultural Advice

Florian Vögtle – Aerial Footage
Hermann Benkler – Pilot

The agricultural machinery was generously provided by
Massey Ferguson
HORSCH Maschinen GmbH
Agrom Agrar- und Kommunaltechnik GmbH


Aerial photo of the test bed, flowers are hardly visible (end of May)

Printing with seed

External GPS/GLONASS reference station for maximum accuracy

“Seam” between oats and flowers (Mid of May)

The flower/herb mix structure blooming (End of Jun)

“Seam” between oats and flowers (End of Jun)