Edible Places #1 & #2: The Eden Project I Cornwall I UK I 2009
Food production and consumption in the modern world has become dependent on fossil fuels, following the increase in monoculture agriculture reliant on heavy machinery, artificial chemical fertilisers (pesticides and herbicides), the consumption of processed foods and the distance from farm to fork – food miles. This creates a disconnection between the producer and the end consumer, which in turn has a negative economic and social impact.
As well as reducing food security, these practices are having a devastating effect on ecology and are contributing to climate change. The bulldozing of rain forests (major carbon sinks) for industrial agriculture is an example of this. These problems have raised the idea of increasing local food production, where communities have greater control over their food; the method of production, who grows it and where it comes from. Land for food production is limited in urban areas, thus, the challenge for the summer school this year, was to design food production systems, that can be integrated into the built environment in urban areas.
Eden Summer School 2009 : Edible places 1
The focus of the summer school was FOOD; how we produce it, where we get it from and how we dispose of it, one of the most fundamental issues for the human race. Through lectures, prototype designs and construction we explored the complexity of the urban environment and developed an understanding of how it can be more suitably adapted for sustainable living and eating. Edible Places 1 focused on integrating food production into and on the building fabric in towns and cities. Edible Place 2 took this a step further and brought food into every aspect of the built environment, with a focus on the complete cycle of food production, consumption and disposal.