The Mobile Food Collective, a cart designed by Archeworks, an alternative design school focused on addressing social and environmental issues, can be moved to any urban agriculture plot and serve as a stand, cooking table for demonstrations, or distribution center for food co-op sharing. The Architect’s Newspaper writes that the cart is targeted at underprivileged communities and can facilitate urban farming and community-building. The project also works on a design level — the mobile food collective will be featured at the U.S. pavilion in this year’s Venice Biennale.
With growing interest in locally-produced food, renewed calls for expanding green jobs, and lots of unused land in inner-cities, the designers saw an opportunity to develop infrastructure to support urban agriculture. With additional infrastructure, unused land could be turned into productive agricultural (and social) assets. Archeworks students and faculty partnered with the Gary Comer Youth Center, a community organization on the South side of Chicago, to design the project.
Archeworks teams worked with farmers markets, community gardens, and cooking workshops to learn what local urban farmers and community organizers needed. Mason Pritchett, who co-directed the project, told The Architect’s Newspaper: “Initially, we thought about designing something enclosed, more like a shed. Then we realized we wanted more of an even plane, a community facilitator, between furniture and architecture.”
Once a design had been fixed, the studio then commissioned a fabricator to build the mobile food collective’s steel frame, and students worked on the rest of structure using reclaimed wood. The unit is designed to be flexible enough for multiple purposes and audiences. Additionally, there are plans to turn these units into local food transportation hubs, from which bike deliveries can be sent to deliver produce.
Image credit: Archeworks