Urban Farms: Internship at Sprout by Design

Changemaker Catalyst Award recipient, Malina Pickard worked as an intern for the urban farm and education program, Sprout by Design. She contributed remotely for the Brooklyn-based company by organizing material spreadsheets, understanding the company mission, and creating a resource library of urban farming designs from around the world. Malina Pickard is a fourth year at the Tulane School of Architecture five-year Bachelor of Architecture program.

Sprout by Design is focused on offering a safe place and educational services to vulnerable populations within New York through urban farming. Through the design-build of the farm and the educational programs that follow, participants are taught practical skills such as gardening and cooking, as well as tackling issues of racial and social justice, food justice, and environmental stewardship.

During my internship, I reorganized the material lists for the educational components of the Sprout programs. I also curated a resource library full of urban farm projects around the world. To go along with the resource library is a lesson plan that focuses on future involvement and potential careers related to the previous lessons in the Sprout program. Part of the lesson plan includes an interview video with three professionals, a biology professor, an agriculture professor, and a dietician.

Image of interview wit Professor Donata Henry
Image of the interview with Tulane Professor Donata Henry who discussed ways to get involved with nature and biology right from your own home.
Image of interview with Ken Johnson
Image of the interview with Oregon professor Ken Johnson who discussed ways to get involved with plants and agriculture in school and at home.






Image of interview with Carli Gertler
Image from the interview with Tualne Dietician Carli Gertler who discussed ways to get more involved with healthy eating and wellness professions

Being a part of this organization for a semester offered insight as to how a small company can make a large impact. I was able to contribute to the Sprout by Design mission by creating a lesson plan that will offer an opportunity for participants to continue their learning beyond Sprout.

Example of the lesson plan material
As part of the lesson plan, this is a bingo sheet to be completed while watching the video of interviews of various professionals related to the units previously covered through the education program.


This internship was not exactly as I expected which was a challenge. I expected to be more involved with the design of the urban farms rather than organizational work. However, being able to work on the resource library and curate articles analyzing different urban farming techniques and research was exciting and sparked interest for future research. The resource library and lesson plan was an original idea that I feel will offer future benefit to the participants in the Sprout programs and because of this impact I feel that this was the most significant accomplishment during my experience.

Image of spreadsheet work
A snap shot of the educational material spreadsheets Malina Pickard worked on during her internship with Sprout by Design



As I go into my thesis year at Tulane University, I can utilize the resources I gathered, as well as the experience and understanding human and social impact of an urban farm program. Because of my interest in the social benefit of the intersection of food and design, I will be able to expand on this experience and formulate a design research project that can further explore the driving ideas behind Sprout by Design’s mission.