Incredible journeys that shape the present & future of food & beverage industry

Written by Hema Reddy / December 15th, 2016



Eric De Feo grew up in New York, the son of Italian immigrants. As a child, he learned about design, building, and community.

He also learned that living in a big house means a lot of work!

As an adult, Eric has combined his experience and interests in design, architecture, environmental conservation, and food.

Eric has experience in designing projects for informal settlements abroad, including working with the Kounkuey Design Initiative in Nairobi to build sanitation blocks and a playground, along with public housing concepts with Gensler in Thailand.

After working abroad, Eric came home.

He co-founded OpenDoor, a collaborative living space currently in the Bay area.

He also built a beautiful and functional smart growing machine, ROOT. Grow your own fresh foods, medicinal herbs and flowers with the swipe of a finger.

If you are interested in indoor growing or would like to learn about coliving spaces, this episode is for you:

  • Eric’s influence from his childhood
  • Work/life balance
  • In the U.S., are we defined by our work?
  • The appeal of collaborative living
  • How OpenDoor works
  • Why attention to detail and design create experience
  • The amazing ROOT machine
  • Matt makes a shameless plug for the coconut
  • Will indoor growing ever produce a higher percentage of our crops than traditional, outdoor agro?
  • ROOT hydroponics for marijuana growing