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How can architecture help the consumption of local food?

 

 

SOME CONTEXT:

Just so you could imagine my position a bit better, I live in Bratislava, Slovakia. One of the issues this country has been facing in the last years is that people don’t buy local food, but instead focus on saving money, rather than buying good quality products. We can see this mostly in ratios of local and external food sources in chain supermarkets. Recently some shops decided to increase the amount of local food in the counters, but the percentage still is not ideal if we want to help local farmers and the overall economy. 

The 3 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) that are mentioned in my project

 

MY RESPONSE:

The main idea was to create a restaurant next to Bratislava that would focus on providing high quality food from purely local resources. This  idea went through a lot of prototypes, remodelling and feedback from cadre members, ending with at least for me, a satisfying result. 

One of the highlights of my project was having an interview with an expert on local Slovak food sources. The interview was very pleasant and it helped me to decide what should I specifically focus on and just how important this issue really is, even though it is one of the more lightly touched topics in today’s world.

Another highlight in my journey would be the sketching part of this project. Sketching was a thing I loved to do as a small kid and thanks to this course I somehow managed to come back into it and enjoy it as much as when I was so little. 

Now I know that this result will not completely solve the issue Slovakia is facing right now. But I know for sure that this idea can help raise awareness to this problem, while at the same time provide a pleasant experience in eating good food.   

Results of my journey can be seen below with a small description to every picture. 

The final site plan of my restaurant. The site is next to a main highway approximately 30 minutes from Bratislava, Slovakia’s capital. The restaurant would make the food out of products brought from local farmers, or ideally also from its own fields. The “passage to the other side” is drawn because on the other side of the highway is a popular gas station from which people can walk to the restaurant.
The final floor plan. This one took me a while, because there had to be a lot of changes done based on feedback. The floor is divided into two parts: customer section (bottom) and employee section (top).
The final model of the restaurant. We used an app called SketchUp and it helped a lot in visualising the final product in detail.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

There are many things a normal citizen can do in order to help the local food manufacturers and the most obvious one is to just buy products from local sources. 

Even if the situation is not ideal, there are many opportunities and places where to get the best local food. Food markets, small private shops with local products or going to a farm and getting food from there. Stop buying everything from famous chain supermarkets that provide you with the cheapest, usually unhealthiest options and try something new and different. 

SOME FOOD FOR THOUGHT

As I mentioned before, this idea can help, but won’t completely solve the issue. I don’t know if any of you readers are also facing with something similar in your country, but I would still like to hear your thoughts on this topic. So I have prepared some questions for you to answer:

The problem: a shortage of local products and unwillingness of general public to buy them

  1. What other field than architecture could help raise awareness and could potentially improve the statistics?
  2. What could you do in that field?

Feel free to discuss in the comments or write anything that comes to your minds even though it is not an answer to my questions. 

If you want to read more about this topic and want to see my full progress click on the image above.
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