"New Centralities: Farming and lifestyle"
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Farming is a quantitative enterprise, where collective effort yields basic commodities. Too often, the quantitative aspect of farming is exploitative and substandard while commodities provide little nourishment. Environmental, public, and societal health are compromised due to the methodologies employed in large-scale production of food and food products. We call for a new model of farming, food distribution and application of farmed data that integrates quality into harnessing the action of the many. Through the integration of two fundamental, components of modern society, food production and data systems, we aim to elevate their value. In doing this we also redefine the concept of public urban space. Using integrated small-scale  sustainable agriculture and the farming of information contextualized in a public realm, we propose a model system that will bring a distinction of quality to our contemporary urbanized lifestyle. Bringing principals to our system will nourish a community bond – a bond that is fundamental to a healthy society.

Urbanity today is mainly lacking in public spaces. The notion of “publicness” is either totally omitted in contemporary discussion, or it is relegated to the purpose of adding spaces that have been traditionally thought and classified as public, stereotypically: parks, square, public gardens etc…. But what is a public space today, in a city like Los Angeles? How can public space be designed, “farmed” and occupied to allow people to meet, congregate freely, feel welcome and at the same time free to express themselves, to learn, to participate and to feed their “brain and body” – a place where they can be nourished? Can a new form of public space propose the idea of a “place” where each individual can participate not only in the making of something but also, and especially, has the opportunity to learn and improve the quality of his/her life?

This is, for us, the public space the city of Los Angeles needs in the 21st century. A place that does not function generically, but as demonstrated here, can adapt and evolve differently based on the necessity of the specific neighborhood, while always providing the 2 basic components “feeding the body and nourishing the mind”. One that will allow us to re-connect to the land cycle, and on the other, engaging us with information technology. Awareness and understanding are the keys to progress that will provide advancement centered on a qualitative lifestyle.

Credits: design principal: i.mazzoleni / project team: h.portillo, l.donggun, s.proudian, l.castro  / consultants: s. price biologist