Mining for Greens
university of virginia
In my fourth-year undergraduate thesis project, I investigated the potential of repurposing abandoned coal mining sites like Kaymoor, West Virginia, into productive and income-generating spaces. The goal was to explore underground farming systems as a means of revitalizing abandoned settlements and testing the viability of using solar energy to power these initiatives, all in support of the U.S. goal to cut carbon emissions by 50% by 2030.
During the design process, I meticulously researched the geological and environmental conditions of Kaymoor and sought to portray them through physical models. I crafted a compelling visual identity for this sustainable initiative, featuring vibrant greenery sprouting from Kaymoor's dark tunnels as a symbol of hope and renewal. Ultimately, the idea that desolate coal mines can be transformed into flourishing underground farms stands as a beacon of what can be achieved through innovation and sustainable design.
Professor Lucia Phinney