What I brought away from the crit is that the current scheme is too rigid. To me, what's missing is any sense of whimsy or mystery. In order to bring back some of the playfulness that my initial sketch model had, I think I need to break free of some of the rigid rules I've set up for myself and shake up (in a controlled way) the plans.
Another topic I'm considering more now is thinking of the program in in more real terms and trying to design with a restraint that will lead to a feasible proposal. How can I create a building that not only "works" as a good vertical farm but also be interesting and thought provoking. The hard part, of course, is designing pragmatically without becoming mundane.
More specifically I'm going to try and create more than one growing climate in the building, with the smaller vertical growing pores having its own microclimate. I'm also going to let the skin of the building not only respond to the program on the inside of the building but also to its external surroundings in a more economical way. Right now, the ground floor is completely stripped of bricks and filled in with glass and new columns in an attempt to bring in the community that walks by. I think there is a more subtle (and economical) way of expressing this that doesn't include shedding the entire floor of its current skin. It only needs a trim, not a full shave.