The society we live in today provides us with a massive variety of foods to consume, as well as an array of other activities catering to our “higher order needs” that depend on, but also distract from, the essential element of nutrition (Maslow). Our society’s sense of food security is skewed by the availability of cheap, junk food that don’t offer a proper foundation on which we can build beyond physical well-being and into our social well-being with “self-expression, affiliation, aesthetic satisfaction, and quality of life” (Pepper, Jackson and Uzzell 128). Dining can now be done extremely quickly and individually in the privacy of home or car without cooking of any sort, thanks to frozen packaged meals and fast food chains with drive-thrus and walk-up windows, continuing the national epidemics of obesity, wasteful disposability, and lack of community (Gardner 1). Apart from these problems, architecture itself has been designed for supporting the private role of a homemaker with rooms built for exclusive purposes like laundry or cooking, which is becoming less and less relevant to modern lifestyles, and so, it must adapt by recognizing the fact that private laundry rooms or kitchens are no longer necessary properties in future homes (Hayden S174). Fresh food preparation and consumption in collaborative, shared environments, where social interactions allow for appreciation of differences between individuals in a community, are key to healthy, sustainable living.
To combat these issues developed from inefficiencies in America’s current food industry and the unhealthy separation of economic and domestic/social needs, our group proposes the idea to create a shared kitchen system for community use, including a roof garden for growing local, organic ingredients. Interviewing employees and members of two New York City organizations dedicated to providing shared work spaces with tools and classes for creative students, hobbyists, and professionals- Art Students’ League Welding Shop and 3rd Ward- allowed us to consider the obstacles and innovative properties of these local resource-sharing systems, so we could maximize the benefits and minimize the complications in our own.Cindy Tan, Geoffrey Nurse, Kasia Suska, Rena Lee, Seeta Kanhai
December 12, 2010Building Designer Geoffrey Nurse
- Main Lounge and SKY Lounge