Today in Design, we take a look at the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Spitsbergen, Norway. Completed in 2008, this massive vault acts as the ultimate fail-safe for the world’s crops. Conceptualized and organized by Conservationist Cary Fowler and the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research, the Vault does a fantastic job of ensuring that over 860,000 different types of crops stay safe regardless of what is happening in the rest of the world. Settled 390 feet into stone and surrounded by a permafrost environment, each seed is safely kept at negative eighteen degrees Celsius. At these conditions, the integrity of the seed is maintained and can be utilized at a later date. Regulated by a strict Black Box system, only the depositing country can have or grant access to the seeds they deposited. This ensures the seeds remain well accounted for and that order remains among the participating countries. We don’t know about you, but we have always wondered if the world had some sort of backup plan and apparently they do….well played world, well played.
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