Задание конкурса – создать ферму в центральной части Лондона, где жители города смогут принять участие в выращивании продуктов, приобрести навыки возделывания земли, которые постепенно утрачивает человечество, научиться более осознанно относиться к потреблению пищи. Местом для предполагаемого создания фермы является новый рынок Ковент. Здесь должны разместиться сельскохозяйственные угодья, торговые ряды, цех переработки, складские помещения и прочие функциональные пространства. Максимальная площадь проекта – 200 000 м².
Food is one of the most fundamental elements of human existence. Looking back, the way we produce, store and consume food has evolved greatly. Humans have thrived because our ancestors learnt how to gather, produce and consume food, all with their bare hands. And mankind has sustained due to these crucial elements of knowledge passed through generations. With industrialization came mass production, and with mass production came an influx of consumers - who started paying instead. Skills and crafts related to agriculture and food production are now mostly obsolete in the urbane environment. Mass consumerism through supermarkets and even online mediums is slowly changing how we perceive, acquire and consume food.
This has raised issues like overconsumption, poor quality, high wastage and an over-dependence on manufacturing agencies. In the long run our perception of fresh foods/fruits will be completely eroded by advertisements and fancy packaging, which can have irreversible impacts on health, and hence, the human evolution cycle.
The time to intervene is now.
As a designer how can you bring farming to the cities where people can see, participate or celebrate cultivation - and understand what they eat, much better? Where not only awareness related to food is available, but as a community we become more responsible for our actions. How can you change the image of cities as the ones that only consume, to ones that contribute too? Or make farming so easy for people using technologies of today that makes it easy for people to grow it in their homes? Urban meal mine1(n), is a place where people can generate/learn/contribute to grow food for their city. This is usually located in the heart of the city where skilled labour + abundant transport + short distance logistics + faster production technologies can break even revenue over the high cost land it occupies.
The site for this intervention is the New Covent Market located in the Nine Elms District, London opposite to historic Battersea power station. The site is close to the river Thames and is a part of Nine Elms regeneration plan. It consists of a 4 decade old market structure which houses a wide variety of wholeseller’s of foods, fruits, vegetables and flowers. The site is surrounded by residential and commercial developments of various scales, and is expected to invite people from around the city. It also has two brand new tube stations proposed in attempt to rejuvenate transport links to the Nine Elms district.