Utopia continued…

Achieving social sustainability

Manifesto Vision – achieving social sustainability

Things are starting to hot up again at Uni, we are starting to really focus down on our brief and ideas for our design project.

Following on from my very first post which was about Utopia, I have been trying to get to grips with this word and its connotations and how I am going to work it through my design project.

I am not sure if there can really be a universal definition for a utopian society, as a Utopia is somewhere that is perfect, and everyone has different ideas as to what perfect is. In simple terms, I guess it would be a place where everyone would be happy, but everyone requires different factors for them to be able to be happy!

What I have decided to progress forward with has taken key points from the manifesto and masterplan that we developed for the Island. This resulted in the original concept I decided upon before Christmas which I posted about here: FoodHub. However after various discussions and debates with my University tutors about the broadness of my proposal, I have been focusing in further detail on the brief. In trying to understand what food and the production of food meant in the original manifesto for the Island and working the concept of Utopia further into my plans, the building I am designing is still a celebration of food, but there is more emphasis on the ‘communal’ aspect and experience of food as discussed  in the original ideas of ‘Utopia’ by Thomas Moore.

One of the key Spike Island Manifesto criteria was to do with being able to ‘sustain’ oneself. In making the process of the food production clearer and turning the act of eating into a real sensory experience, the art of growing ones own food will become embedded into the Islanders being.

SO now I am currently researching the ideas of a central communal area for the ‘celebration of food’ within this FoodHub. Perhaps a communal dining space for the Islanders where everyone is on rotation to perform different tasks everyday e.g preparing the food, cooking, serving etc, I need to consider different age groups and their relation to food, perhaps there is a section within this building that deals with food disorders? I need to analyse the seating arrangements – is this dependent on the type of food, or the experience or is it space dependent etc? This building needs to show the process from garden to table, to educate and demonstrate the importance of food. The building should be context related to the Island and for the design to be focused on the processes that will be occurring inside.

Heston Blumenthal did a fantastic series on Channel Four called ‘Hestons Feasts’ where he conceptualises and prepares a four course feast based on a period of history or a fairytale etc. What if Architecture could be manipulated in a similar way to the dishes he creates? Architecture can add to the experience of eating, it creates atmospheres, materialises emotions etc…I have so much to get on with!! Any ideas let me know!

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