On the Edible Architecture team we have been working hard to develop a feasible method for generating the nutrients needed for a family from within their own home. We aim to achieve this through a mixture of hydroponically grown fruit and vegetables, and the growth of Cyanobacteria which will feed on waste media from the hydroponic system. This way we will optimise the nutrient/edible food output, and provide everything for a keto style diet.
The keto diet focuses on increasing meat and fat intake along with leafy greens, to cut carbohydrates out of the diet. More details found here: https://www.dietdoctor.com/low-carb/keto. Of course our diet will differ by removing meat from the schema. Our engineered Cyanobacteria will be a great source of protein, and we could add in other nutrients to balance out the dietary needs.
So why change people’s diet, and where they get their food from? Well there are several good reasons, and they may be best expressed through a fictional view of what the future might look like. In this future, 20 years from now, one might suppose that meat is a luxury. The BBC wrote in 2004 that future generations wouldn’t be able to enjoy the modern western diet, simply for the ratio of water and grain needed to produce 1lb of beef. (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/3559542.stm) One might also imagine in this future that there is a great mistrust of industrialised farming as the profit seeking methods of overfarming, persticides, and use of antibiotics have had damaging impacts on the environment which have made farming more difficult for everyone. There may also be a push for personalised nutrition, with each person curating a diet to suit their needs. These factors combined would create an atmosphere of necessarily home brewed/grown food.
Aesthetically our group wants to play with the visuals of science and contrast it with more natural materials. Our Cyanobacteria need to be grown in tubes so that the fluid doesn’t stagnate and the maximum amount of light can reach all the bacteria to maximise growth. One great example of a blended aesthetic along similar lines to our project is that of Burton and Nitta’s ‘algaculture’ (http://www.burtonnitta.co.uk/Algaculture.html) The duo bind the body in tubes which supply it with fuel from a kind of algal smoothie. Our design should be more grounded in dirty reality than this. Many kitchens in the UK don’t look too different today that they did 20 years ago. Some of those haven’t been redecorated at all for 20 years. So how a dated space crossed with a science lab looks is really appealing to us.