Growing Place: Intersecting Architecture, Food & Education in an Interstitial Urban Collage
Davies, Leah Natasha
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As cities continue to rapidly expand in population, their dependence on external resources generates sociocultural challenges. How we plan to feed this growth of urban occupancy is one of the many challenges cities face in the near future. Current large-scale food systems are failing to provide access, resources and most importantly education that sustains the relationship between people, the built environment and the food they consume. This thesis engages this global issue at a regional scale and explores the opportunity for architecture to serve as a cultural and educational foundation for supporting self-reliant urban environments. Investigating the existence of food deserts in Baltimore, this thesis critiques current academic institutions and food supply centers such as grocery stores, and re-imagines them through a design exploration of the interactive market place. The design proposes a hybrid of civic, social and institutional building agendas that connect place with program through exposing a Baltimore vernacular - the marketplace - and reinterpreting the cyclic nature of food production and distribution as a place of learning. Acting as an urban anchor both at a geographical and programmatic scale, this proposal uses architecture to expose, intersect and engage people with the processes of food from which they are frequently separated.