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AR October 2018 on Food

201810 cover ar food

Feilden Fowles | Studio FH | Light Earth Designs | IPPR | Metro | Caruso St John | Ateliermob and Colectivo Warehouse | Cooking Sections | Jean Nouvel | Urbain Dubois | Typology: Market hall

For thousands of years food has shaped civilisation, but with swelling populations and bulging megacities, how can we ensure that we don’t eat ourselves to death? This month’s issue interrogates how food shapes the buildings and landscapes in which it is grown, slaughtered, manufactured, distributed, sold, shared and eaten, bringing to the fore the intrinsic relationship between the built world and the food that sustains it.

‘How do you feed a city?’ Carolyn Steel asks in this month’s keynote essay. The answer, she argues, lies in reassessing the true cost of cheap food, which is threatening both our health and the health of our planet. From droughts in Palermo to the polluting effects of salmon farming in the Isle of Skye, Cooking Sections propose a CLIMAVORE diet that challenges the ways we produce food in changing landscapes. More than just land suffered during Britain’s colonial endeavours in Barbados: many of Britain’s great cultural assets were built on sugar and slave labour, recounts Andrea Stuart.

Two schools, the Lycée Hôtelier de Lille by Caruso St John and an agricultural college in Uganda by Studio FH, nurture new life – as well as food production – in different corners of the world. The future of meat is also a hot topic, discussed in Carolien Niebling’s The Sausage of the Future which stars as this month’s Book of the Month, while in Shanghai, an Art Deco slaughterhouse has undergone the unlikely transformation into a cultural quarter, the ramps that once led animals to their death now lined with coffee shops. We also look at fast-food architecture as it leaves the monumental plastic doughnuts behind in favour of health, openness and sustainability, and lament the slow demise of the Great British greasy spoon. Charlie Bigham rethinks not just the bog-standard ready-meal but also the bog-standard factory shed with the new food production campus in the English countryside by Feilden Fowles.

Where we can eat in public, as Huw Lemmey argues in this month’s Outrage, is governed by a toxic mix of snobbery and power, from women chastised for breastfeeding in public, or eating on the Tube, to the homeless chivvied off benches. In Rio de Janeiro, the Refettorio Gastromotiva offers a new alternative to the soup kitchen, fighting homelessness, youth unemployment, social exclusion and food waste in one building, while Ateliermob and Colectivo Warehouse’s community kitchen brings water and a public space to an underserved community on the outskirts of Lisbon. And as Tom Wilkinson finds in this month’s Typology, the market hall is falling victim to the steady march of gentrification.

The ceaseless appetite, both architectural and culinary, of Jean Nouvel features in Reputations, and Cath Slessor brings dessert, with Urbain Dubois’s ‘phantasmagoric creations’ of architecture in sponge, marzipan and crème pâtissière. We also take a look at dinner parties, art and revolution, from Judy Chicago’s feminist banquet to the surreal culinary acrobatics of the Futurist Cookbook, finishing, naturally, with the dinner party to end all dinner parties: The Last Supper.

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