Drew Smith is an architectural designer and educator based in Chicago. He is a member of the utopic spatial practice, Interesting Tactics. Previously, he was a visiting instructor in architecture at South Dakota State University.





Food Babel 

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.