In a London where one in four meals are takeaways and more than 23 million portions of Chicken Tikka Masala are consumed annually, Fast Food Farm proposes a new sustainable food and transport infrastructure that integrates the mothballed Mail Rail Line with a series of site specific food production units, creating inhabited, industrialised monuments to agriculture, which produce and distribute ready-made meals tailored to the city’s needs.
Exploring the relationship between the consumer and commuter, the Fast Food Farm develops the possibility of reciprocity between sustainable food provision and instant gratification. Utilising latent heat and energy from the city’s underground transport network, the Fast Food Farm grows crops within an entirely responsive cyclical system, providing nutrition for the city’s inhabitants while responding exactly to their requirements.
Manifesting the contradictions between iconic urban architecture, commuter transportation and necessary nourishment, the Fast Food Farm embodies the universal themes of pleasure, profit and social responsibility, creating a series of spatial elements which provoke debate about contemporary urban planning and the future of food. Inherently optimistic, this project balances real world concerns with dystopic fantasy.
Shortlisted by Sustain 2012, I set up a series of interactive exhibitions showcasing the Fast Food Farm project as an integrated food supply system, using the iconic London Underground map to illustrate the hidden potential of the city’s infrastructure.
Exploiting the nostalgia surrounding the soon-to-be obsolescent carbon based generating and transmission provides an opportunity to ‘generate’ heritage as well as encourage energy consumption; here at the boundary between fabrication and stimulation lies an alternative approach to preservation.
A partnership between English Heritage and the National Grid results in the redevelopment of traditional power station complexes to embody the encouragement of energy consumption while simultaneously creating nostalgia for the carbon dependent 20th century. As centrally generated power succumbs to growth in sustainable distributed generation, shifting the balance between global and local, this project explores how architecture can be manipulated to culturally curate the past. A program combining leisure activity with social responsibilities juxtaposes the needs of transient visitors and existing communities, and embodies a series of universal themes, from pleasure to profit in a series of follies and spatial insertions into the recently mothballed Barking Power Station.
The UK consumes the most fast food, eats the most while mobile and works the longest hours in Europe. Our mealtimes are typified by easy accessible edibles and a constant need to be on-the-go. The way we eat has changed the way we shop and the way we live.
How might a future society cope with the commodification of food in a climate of instant gratification?
Based on thorough and meticulous research, the Fast Food Farm provokes and proposes an alternative response to the increasing need for immediate gratification and local sustainable produce within the city.
Sited at intersections of underground and overground rail networks, Fast Food Farm towers use cutting edge biotechnologies to produce, process and distribute London’s favourite takeaway, allowing for the reduction of wastage, sewage and road freight.
Encompassing modular construction and iconic architecture, these towers form a masterplans which re-designs the skyline of London in accordance with our appetites.