The Edible Architecture group have spent the last couple of weeks exploring how to re-envision the kitchen space as a food creation (rather than food preparation) area. We imagine a future where the cost of healthy living is rising, and the scarcity of available land means that food is produced further away and at much higher cost to the environment, as damaging pesticides and monocultures blight the landscape. In this world we want to reconnect the consumer with their food; and to facilitate this change, the way food is prepared in the home needs to be taken back to the drawing board.
Kitchens will produce food. No longer will they be a place of storage and preparation. Their main role will be as a hub of growth, where vegetables and some fruits can be grown all year round under controlled conditions using hydroponics. Cheap computerised systems will monitor nutrient levels and adjust accordingly. Kitchen cupboards will give way to vats of engineered algae and mycoprotein which will fulfil the role of meat in the diet. These systems will gather much of their nutrients from all of the green waste involved in harvesting the plant life from the hydroponic farms. The role of fridges will be diminished, as food will be grown to be fresh when needed. In our expanded vision we also see the role of supermarkets as ideally becoming seed banks and bakeries (as wheat is most certainly not something we can home grow).
One of the trickier elements for the group to focus on is the balance between space for humans and space for food production. We think that storage spaces will be given over to protein production and the walls and ceilings will become home to hydroponic farms. Light will play a big role in this as different light levels will be needed by different plants, so the whole space will become an area of cohabitation for humans and plan life, with brighter and darker areas that the human inhabitants may not have control over.