New types of businesses result in new types of spaces - like this 1940s garage that was turned into an office for start-up The Hub, in Madrid. They planted an orange tree in the old oil pit, and all the interior furnishings are donated or recycled. Read more, here.
Enjoyment is the experience of pleasure for an individual—a highly personal encounter, not singularly replicable for a second individual, but based on personal history and current factors; however, standardized processes risk the user’s enjoyment in favor of efficiency and production. Standardized processes, the mass-production of goods, industrialization, commercialization, and branding, have created the cosmopolitan individual, someone in constant search of creating personal encounters and experiences through the collection of standard goods—a victim of over-consumption. The cosmopolitan lives within the urban condition, desperately in search of relief from their life—the invention of National Parks, the beach house, vacations, have all tried to solve this condition, but something more access, more local is needed as an outlet from the mundane life. Architecture has the ability to structure conditions of spatial organization to allow for new social conditions, allowing expression and enjoyment not normally permitted within the fabric of the metropolis.
11 November. Rome.
We joined the rest of the villa group for a trip to Rome last week. We filled the first day with visits to the Roman Forum, Colosseum, Basilica di San Clemente, Pantheon, and the Trevi Fountain.
2011 will mark the 25th anniversary of Carlo Petrini’s efforts in the Slow Food movement and the 22nd year of the organization. However, in terms of production and growth in Italy, this continues as new formation. Slow Food is a formal, articulated organization countering fast food and the fast life. The organization is an outward expression of Italy’s long term way of life, an appreciation for the producer and the pleasure of the consumer. Formation of Slow Food did not change how Italians operated, but instead continues to provide a voice for local traditions in production and consumption against the current globalized state of food production that values cheap, commercial, and often imported goods. Heritage, tradition, and culture are key concepts surrounding the ideals of Slow Food, indirectly referencing traditional farming production methods as the key system under watch and production of the movement. Petrini fights that he is not after a singular system of traditional agriculture, but towards bringing a system of industrialization in line with sustainability.
To visualization why traditional agriculture is not feasible as a future model of production, MVRDV’s 2001 Pig City provides a clear example of the impossible of only using biological agriculture. Between 2000 and 2050 meat consumption is slated to double, and MVRDV explored the necessary means to house biological pig farming, as pork represents the most consumed meat product worldwide. Additionally, current industrialized animal processing plants have led to different types of new illnesses transferred from animal to human. Containing organic pig farming into singular towers allows for an economic vertical integration. MVRDV combined programs of fish production, food storage, organic pig farms, slaughterhouse and export in one space. The pigs were given more land space, 2.3 m2, versus industrial farming practices, 1 m2, to allow space for roaming, play, fresh air, and straw consumption. A tower in total is over 600 meters tall; the Netherlands currently needs 40 towers to house their current consumption and export of pork. The numbers of concentrating food production into one localized area, like Pig City, are absurd. It is not possible to create a future solely dependent on biological, organic agricultural practices.
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