From Vertical Food Factory Studio taught by Charlie Lazor, Fall 2017
Food Babel explores the accelerating alienation of food production. The first farms hastened the move away from a nomadic society: making food is making place. Now, the majority of food production exists at a global industrial scale. Food Babel explored this acceleration by proposing a vertical food factory in the Whittier neighborhood of Minneapolis. The project investigated the tension between a future where human understandings of food production is increasingly mediated by technology, while also recalling myths about the promise of technology to produce a totalizing and centrally located infrastructure - like the Tower of Babel.
The project proposed multiple realities:
(1) The tower projects its inevitable collapse, so that the architecture is designed to already be a pre-built ruin to house future programs,
(2) The inherent technological basis of agriculture is expressed as techno-farm on the facade.
(3) The architecture offers the potential for its technology to be a liberating force - decolonizing land from agricultural production and bringing it into the city.