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Food shortages continue to plague many a nation, and now, due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, it has suddenly become an urgent global topic. Meanwhile, the agro-food tech business has gone leaps and bounds with innovations, such as N.THING, a Seoul-based company which combines agricultural industry with internet technology to circumvent the restraints of time and space, allowing consumers easy access to clean and safe foods. N.THING manages a series of smart farms, including one situated in the urban fringes of the sprawling South Korean capital. As of late, the company opened a satellite farm and store in Dosan, one of the more fashionable neighbourhoods of the city, putting its activities in the limelight right in the middle of its savvy target demographic. Called Sik Mul Sung, named after its veggie brand and simply meaning ‘vegetable’ in Korean, it occupies a 140 sqm. (1,507 sq.ft.) unit on the ground floor of a modern three-storey building and features an interior design by local architecture practice unseenbird.

The farm comprises N.THING‘s advanced container system set in a cultivation room with glass to allow ample peeks of the many plants growing under artificial light – as said, no sunlight is used, and soil is replaced by a hydroponic system – and the staff at work. All the vegetables grown here are harvested and used as ingredients for salads and ice cream, and when ordered by customers, they’re delivered via a conveyor belt installed over the bar. Yes indeed, Sik Mul Sung also features a café section with a seating area with bar stools and low benches in the middle and alongside the windows where to indulge in the goodies on the spot. Additionally, it’s a store where you can buy vegetables and all the DIY attributes to grow your own greens. Most interventions are captured by stainless steel to emphasise the venue’s artificial environment, but also makes the veggies stand out. In stark contrast, the flooring boasts a finish of red tiny pebbles to mimic the red sand landscapes on Mars. The Sik Mul Sung café menu lists salad bowls, cookies and ice creams, while the store is stocked with fresh veggies, plant kits, seeds and utensils.

Designed by unseenbird
Images © unseenbird
Photography: Yongjoon Choi


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