Future Food Museum
Imagine a future of limited food diversity. Ecological, climatic, agricultural, economic, and ethical issues will restrict access to our current variety of crops. To compensate, we will need to modify existing edible materials to revive the foods lost throughout history. This project explores the opportunity to connect with, recreate, and innovate those once-familiar foods.
Studio: Architecture III, Dartmouth College
Instructor: Zenovia Toloudi
Skills: site research, rapid prototyping, site modeling, technical drawing, Rhino, rendering, photography
Yesterday we had six types of apples, four citrus hybrids, and three types of grapes at our fingertips. Today we do not have these luxuries. Disease, climate shifts, environmental damage, and ethical, social, and political concerns have halted the production of food we once knew.
This world will be mundane and unlivable if we continue to accept dimensionless food. We need to optimize the experience of whatever food is left. First, we must study our gastronomic past. Through analysis of the sensory properties of preserved foods, we will be able to understand the experience that came with eating, smelling, seeing, hearing, and feeling them. By maintaining a comprehensive food bank, we will have a robust reference to catalog the perceptual qualities of the foods we will have lost through time. Only with this knowledge can we process, manipulate, and curate the surviving foods to restore our loss.
The study of the past for mimicry in the present will allow us to shape our future. Why should we stop at replicating last century’s food when we can go further? With the knowledge of what was and what is, we can create what will be. With inspiration from lost foods and tools for manipulating existing foods, we will tweak and tinker, turning food loss into food resurrection into food genesis.
Through the exploitation of over-under spaces, Resurrection emphasizes the duality and flexibility of the experience of food through time. Museum visitors start their experiences underground where they move through an archive, which holds detailed sensory prototypes of lost foods. Each of these foods, in multiple preparations, is held in a sliding column that penetrates the ceiling and is pushed up by visitors into the laboratory above. In this way, visitors shape the structure of the museum. Walking upstairs, visitors rise with their chosen piece of history out from burial into the exposed world. There, visitors manipulate a currently grown food ingredient’s texture, smell, taste, sound, and appearance to mimic or even enhance the collected lost food. Here is where the past is resurrected into the future.
Iterating through forms exploring spaces above and below a surface, along a change of grade, and beside a gap helped synthesize the structure.
The plan reflects a conversation with the site's surrounding city. A basic volume is shifted, cut, reorganized, and scaled according to the urban grid system of Boston and existing deviations from that grid. Dynamic interstitial spaces serve as peripheral areas for exhibits, administration, and circulation. A void separates the museum from the site, allowing a glimpse into the archive from the outside.