Food Versus Shelter

Core Architecture Studio 3

Fall 2012

LOT-EK: Ada Tolla + Giuseppe Lignano, critics, with Thomas de Monchaux

Our approach to housing began with our longstanding interest in infrastructural technology and building systems. We observed that assertions about economies of scale and concentrations of mechanical services are deployed to justify both large-scale rural agribusiness monocultures and large-scale urban housing developments. We also considered the social injustice and health crisis of the urban food desert, identified by parameters of distance travelled to acquire a certain nutritional content per calorie. We observed that both the calorie and the watt are units of the rate of expenditure of energy, and that these rates can be mutually complicit.

Each team in our section was assigned a food group, from the semi-obsolete USDA food pyramid, and was required to support production of a food product from that group in intimate collaboration with the structure and infrastructure required for collective domestic life. Rather than the good old vertical farm, we sought to establish new architectural typologies and topologies in which the production, processing and consumption of commodities is radically localized, urbanized and mechanized with domestic rituals and infrastructural cycles deeply interwoven.

Ricardo Vega + Lisbeth Mora A/B/C/D/E