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Earth, Food &Building Values in Nourishment & Spatial Experience

Meghan E. Plichta May 15, 2012 B.S. in Architecture, 2009 Master of Architecture, 2012 School of Architecture & Interior Design College of Design, Architecture, Art, & Planning John Hancock, chair Jeff Tilman, PhD, committee member


The fast pace of our modern lifestyle has left behind important

rhythms and relationships in our daily lives, including stillness and connection to the earth. This pace is spurred by the industrialization of separating sectors of our lives, which disconnects us from what could be considered central aspects of culture and conviviality, including food and building. Food and dwelling engage the senses, particularly the forgotten hapticity of an ingredient or material; they re-engage us with what is in front of and around us, whether food or space, enhancing our understanding of their significance in our lives. This thesis explores both food and building as integral elements of life, and imagines their transformation to cuisine and architecture by uniting daily life with processes.

The design of a non-profit urban farm in Sunnyvale, California

creates a vibrant source of knowledge that can reconnect visitors to natural rhythms by teaching them interaction with the land, with changing seasons, with processes of food production and consumption, and with time through dwelling. As an education center it will reinforce the importance of local food culture. Specifically, an architecture of rammed earth reinforces sitebased processes of human innovation, providing a rich user experience, and allowing the buildings themselves to teach visitors. The center links an understanding of our placement in the food process, to ethical future decisions which will balance our use and enjoyment of resources.

Acknowledgements Deepest appreciation and gratitude to my mom and dad. Their guidance, encouragement, and challenging me one goal at a time has brought me farther than I could imagine going on my own. My sister, Katie, whose support has helped me grow through many experiences beyond my comfort zone. John Hancock, for his direction and patience throughout the year. Jeff Tilman and Vincent Sansalone, who supported my thesis development, one critique at a time. Laurie Karsten, a stronghold through graduate school for my emotional and spiritual well-being. And surely to Bridget Dodd, Jesse Hartman, and Samantha Offringa, who not only supported my rammed earth endeavors with words of encouragement and assurance, but with sweat and labor in the warm California sun, not afraid to get dirty and tired in the name of design.

thank you.

Gratitude The Bell family in Taos, New Mexico for initially opening my eyes and taste buds to the joy of whole food and cooking. Misha Rauchwerger for teaching me his design philosophy and how to work with cob. Wolfram Alderson, Karen Parks, Wes, Dan, and others at Full Circle Farm for allowing me to build on their site and being so accomodating with resources, information, and encouragement. Larry at Oakley’s Paint and Glass for donating his time and resources for my rammed earth project in Cincinnati. Rick Norris with H.C. Nutting Company for not only allowing me to take dirt bucketfuls at a time for my prototypes, but assisting the effort. Mountain View Garden Center, for the extra push of getting all the materials I needed for my project onsite in Sunnyvale. Bruce King and Dan Smith in the San Francisco Bay area for taking time to share their passion of earthen and natural building with me and the world.

thank you.

Table of Contents

i. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8.





land art


rammed earth


the farm


site conditions








List of Illustrations Contents fig. 1.0 flickr user ‘seanxmachina’ fig. 1.1 self ________ fig. 2.0 flickr, ‘mongomerymay’ fig. 2.1, ( fig. 2.2, self fig. 2.3, self fig. 2.3, “Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Remembering the Running Fence,” fig. 2.4 self fig. 2.5, self fig. 2.6, self fig. 2.7, self ________ fig. 3.1. self fig. 3.2 self fig. 3.3. self fig. 3.6. Bridget Dodd fig. 3.4. self fig. 3.5 Bridget Dodd fig. 3.7 self fig. 3.8, self, Rhino fig. 3.9-11, self fig. 3.12, self fig. 3.12, self fig. 3.13, self fig. 3.14, self fig. 3.15, self fig. 3.18, self fig. 3.16, self 3.17; self fig. 3.19, fig. 3.20 self fig. 3.20, fig. 3.21, fig. 3.22, flickr, ‘lunaortiz’ fig. 3.23, diagram by self, base from fig. 3.24. self __________ fig. 4.0 flickr commons __________ fig. 5.3.1, self, base from fig. 5.3.2, self, base from

fig. 5.3.3, self, base from fig. 5.4.1, images/2008probabilities.pdf fig. 5.4.2, images/2008probabilities.pdf fig. 5.5.2, fig. 5.5.1, fig. 5.6, timeline of Sunnyvale (images from flickr) fig. 5.7.1, self fig. 5.7.2, self ____________ fig. 6.0a, flickr user ‘jo3l’ fig. 6.0b, diagram by self, descriptions from fig. 6.1, diagram by self over drawing from The Italian Renaissance Garden fig. 6.2, flickr user ‘rinpa’ fig. 6.3, flickr user ‘jo3l’ fig. 6.4, flickr user jeremy cherfas fig. 6.5, self fig. 6.6, Bing maps fig. 6.7, diagram by self, base map from Google maps fig. 6.8, progression through site, beginning with parking lot (black) fig. 6.9, flickr user ‘Marie’ fig. 6.10, flickr user ‘TaylorDane’ fig. 6.11, flickr user ‘Jackie Weisberg’ fig. 6.12, flickr user ‘Jackie Weisberg’ fig. 6.13, flickr user ‘Jose Moran Moya’ fig. 6.14,flickr user ‘daniels888’ fig. 6.15, flickr user ‘Samantha Chapnick’ fig. 6.16, flickr user ‘Johnny’s Selected Seeds’ fig. 6.17, flickr user ‘Johnny’s Selected Seeds’ fig. 6.18, fig. 6.19, flickr user ‘ahemler’ fig. 6.20, flickr user ‘dougtone’ fig. 6.21, flickr user ‘Kok Chih & Sarah Gan’ fig. 6.22, flickr user ‘Jackie Weisberg, flickr’ fig. 6.23, flickr user ‘Kim May Lam’ fig. 6.24 fig. 6.25, HEART, 2010 fig. 6.26-27, Christian Richters, fig. 6.28-29, HEART, 2010 fig. 6.30 flickr user ‘Peter Rosjberg’ fig. 6.31 diagram, self; base image, fig. 6.32 fig. 6.33 Google maps fig. 6.34-37 diagram self, base image from fig. 6.38,flickr user ‘Matt Luce’ fig. 6.39, fig. 6.40, ____________ fig. 7.1-16, self






For several years I have been interested in the topic of natural

building. While this topic and my experience with it have developed parallel to architectural discourse, the two are intertwined at the core, as our dwelling-places, as humans, originated from the earth. One could say that our carnal selves feel more at home in such a setting – that is, we can more easily dwell in that from which we come and to which we will return. This brings into contrast our rapidly developing world, specifically in terms of the industrialization of food and buildings. These two subjects are intimately intertwined with each other as well as ourselves, the audience. Food provides our bodies with the utmost need of nourishment. It allows us the freedom to think, play, work, and live satisfied. A building, or shelter rather, in its most basic state, provides protection from outside dangers, including weather, creatures, and thieves, but it also provides more than this physical safety. A shelter provides psychological security for its participants, providing a marker in the endless space on our earth and a marker in our continual progression of time, becoming a dwelling, a place for the spirit to establish place. As a result of the process of industrialization, both of these essential elements of a life-world establishing an individual’s rootedness to a particular time and place have diminished. Endless intersecting highway systems in metropolitan areas, coupled with massive, air conditioned sprawl define what is considered the normal American lifestyle.

This is the case, for example, in southern Florida. Vacationing

here on an annual basis, I experience a dichotomy of tourists and retirees seeking the quaint lifestyle of little beach towns, while actually residing in closed condominium communities, flocking the abundant outlet malls. The cultural values demanded upon architects and designers call not for


well thought out places defined by their surrounding environment, but rather for economically driven palaces of a consumerist society.

This is overwhelmingly true of the food system as well. As many

recent documentaries and films have brought to the forefront, including Supersize Me, Food, Inc., and Fast Food Nation, two movements have come to light. One is understanding the health implications of processed food in general, whether it is a Big Mac from McDonald’s, made from unhealthy, industrially-farmed cattle packaged in a questionable facility, or a box of macaroni and cheese from the grocery that requires preparation, yet includes many unknown ingredients that could be supporting the irresponsible monoculture practices that degrade our fertile Midwest topsoil. The problem is that we do not see this harm ourselves, nor do we smell its foul odor or perceive the impending environmental blight. This disconnect between our food choices and our decision based on our understanding of the food system presents the other movement growing in our society, which is buying local and organic food to support local economies which are being responsible with their resources.

In contrast to this, while living in Taos, New Mexico in an adobe

house, I enjoyed the thermal balance it offered, while being an extremely local and feasible resource. The house was designed and built by the family’s father. Though Taos was on the verge of invasion by big box retail and standardized food chain restaurants, the area is a vibrant center of cultural diversity and attracts thousands of tourists annually. I also experienced straw bale construction first-hand here, visiting a professor’s self designed and built straw bale home. Experiencing these as well as living systems and Earthships provided a realization that the richness experienced in one’s relationship to nature and the elements could be harnessed by architectural design and material choices.

Upon graduation with my undergraduate degree, I spent a year

working for Habitat for Humanity, where I learned standard residential construction practice of the rainy Pacific Northwest. From an architect’s perspective, these houses were well-built yet had a simple layout and basic amenities. Though I may cringe at such a dwelling when presented in the form of a cookie cutter apartment building and subdivision development,


these dwelling places had a spirit to them on multiple levels, for the Habitat community donors and volunteer groups, as we got to know the homeowners through their sweat equity hours.

Working on improvements of a cob cottage in Sonora, California,

the following summer deeply developed my understanding of sustainability and community. Hands-on learning experience about cob, an ancient earthen building material of clay, sand, straw, and water, and its benefits and drawbacks as a building material helped me realize that I needed to clarify for myself the role technology is to play in our society’s problems, specifically within design and the construction industry. Though cob has good intentions and benefits, certain limitations vitally prevent its use within the larger society, giving it either the reputation of a shanty ‘granola’ building, or an out-of-reach wealthy commodity. Since then, working in San Francisco for an architecture firm, I have come to understand that a certain compromise of using less-than-ideal materials may be necessary, while having faith that these technologies will improve with time, as trends show. Highly manufactured materials pose an extreme solution, however, as only the wealthiest clients may obtain them. Perhaps, just as quality local food can be transformed into an art that nourishes as well as inspires, there are priorities within architecture that can focus just as fully on the audience experiencing the building in an enlightened way, made accessible in terms of locality instead of globalized resources.

While still in search of a solution within my own design process,

this is exactly the place where I believe change must happen – within the mind of the designer. There are certain limitations and challenges our society is bound to – mainly budget, climate/comfort, and code standards. The feeling a building evokes is vital and makes the building a memorable experience. As architects we have a sensitivity to describe and understand what this is. Putting aside the ‘standard’ design decisions that make a building function, such as doorway clearances, ceiling height, adequate lighting, etc., there is a deeper opportunity in building that every designer can attain – the subtleties that evoke the emotional response appropriate to the experience. This is where a considerable intersection occurs between natural building and a rich, worthwhile experience. While high-tech,


computer generated buildings and building materials can mimic nature and natural forms, people are naturally drawn to the elements themselves. An architect cannot create nature, though, nor do we necessarily want to live in a forest by the pond, dealing with the realities and discomforts of wildlife and set off from the fabric of culture and society. What role, then, do we play in balancing an environment that supports the building’s role of containing, and food’s function of nourishment, while avoiding a sterile, lifeless environment in which to do so?





The role of food in our society has radically transformed since industrialization.

Instead of spending a large portion of time and income on food, we now have far more choices at far less cost. Government subsidies, monocultures, efficient agriculture and food systems, and fast food have made eating into a standardized, abundant commodity. And yet, if we ask what has been left behind and what has been gained, we realize that the price of convenience is being paid by environmental and societal degradation. Meals eaten on the run are often unhealthy and fail to promote community. They speak nothing of the history of that food product, as it is often processed to the level of unrecognizability. This leaves behind our awareness of and value in healthy agricultural and food preparation practices. Architecture is being treated much the same way. With economies of scale, what is left behind in the race towards more dividends, better prices, and lower cost, is a quiet, still experience within our built space. As an architect, there are choices to be made to allow the body, mind, and spirit to breathe and explore. In terms of material, whether interior, exterior, or finish, there is an opportunity for these to inform a rich experience. This is lost in both cuisine and buildings today, as highly manufactured products lose any trace of craftsmanship or connection with their natural origin.

With both food and our built environment, this problem is societal. Modern

economies create built environments void of nature, natural rhythms and processes, and therefore lacking the time, space, and experience that helps us relate to society, the future, the past, each other, and ourselves. Building materials lack a specific origin, as they are extracted from many locations, processed in one place, purchased and implemented in another, with no trace of this process to be celebrated or desired. The same is true with our food system; often meat or corn will come from many locations to a single factory to be processed and distributed as a national brand across the country. Often a limited budget and a heavy reliance on supplementary experiential elements includes tacking up artwork in a space, using air-handling systems to create comfort, and faux finishes to fool the sense and evoke a feeling of closeness to nature, when the experience is as authentic as artificial flavoring. With food, it is our constant rushing to the next activity and not


realizing the depth of pleasure to be experienced with the more historic approach to relating to food. What fast food offers benefits us now, with no connection to appreciating the past (where it came from) or being wise about the future (environmental and health degradation), causing us to lose our valuable place in the continuum of time.


There are active groups, writers, environmentalists, and architects

fighting back for the health of our world, environment, society, culture, and experience of self through their respective expertise. Paul Hawken reminds us of the richness of diversity in culture, environment, and economy, spurring us to join the Movement to help save these in Blessed Unrest. Juhani Pallasmaa finds value in rootedness, feeling the connection to a place, which goes deeper than the traditional ocularcentrism we find at the core of most architectural design today in Eyes of the Skin, while then emphasizing the importance of the body-mind connection in The Thinking Hand. Jun’ichiro Tanizaki offers a sensitive approach to understanding the value of shadow in societal value and rich, quiet experience in In Praise of Shadows. In Bringing it to the Table, Wendell Berry reminds us of the limits of the earth, and the diverse abundance that comes in listening to these. Kenneth Frampton brings the issue of placelessnes to an urban scale and argues for a new understanding of how our buildings can relate to their surroundings in his essay “Towards a Critical Regionalism.” And finally, Carlo Petrini introduces the radically historic concept of slowing down our pace to enjoy real food, to promote bio- and cultural diversity in Slow Food.

Our world has problems. Some of them we, the human race,

have perpetuated, while others are natural tragedies that interfere with our settlements and infrastructure. While we cannot fix the latter, there are thousands of active individuals and groups dedicated to reversing the effects of the ills of our society, whether in the form of environmental degradation, social and economic injustice, or decreasing cultural diversity. In Paul Hawken’s book, Blessed Unrest, he brings each of these areas of focus and activism to light – acknowledging that they are separate entities


seeking their own passion, yet celebrating their unity in fighting for a better world. Concerning environmental degradation, Hawken reminds us that in our society although techno savvy individuals and companies are hailed as the premier market, “…being blessed with technological insight does not confer self-insight.”1 In the United States we can boast of great scientific and technological achievements, but we do not have as much to take pride in concerning the treatment of our underprivileged citizens, of the ancestors of our land, and of the land itself. Hawken describes the necessity people of the past had in their more direct relationship with the earth. “Their bodies were not something that merely carried their brain around, but an entire sensate organ wedded to their habitat and tribe.”2 Hawken is stressing the importance and need to revitalize the environment, cultural diversity, and social and economic justice, but also how these are interrelated. He demonstrates that our human interaction in our environment is closely tied with learning from societal values. Also, that under good conditions, culture “provides the slow template of change within which family, community, and religion prosper.”3 Hawken references the well-respected American environmental writer and poet, Wendell Berry, when proposing that we need to solve these modern issues, injustices, degradations, and shortcomings as systemic problems. For example, Berry termed this “solving for patterns,” to encourage looking at agriculture as an issue and value of the environment and culture together, that both may benefit and contribute to a solution.4

Related to this idea of ‘solving for patterns’ is Hawken’s definition

of sustainability: “sustainability is about stabilizing the currently disruptive relationship between earth’s two most complex systems – human culture and the living world.”5 Since both are important to human survival and vitality, it is important for all active organizations to work on, and bring to the public’s attention, the need to save whales to protect our oceanic 1 Hawken, Paul. Blessed Unrest How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being, and Why No One Saw It Coming. New York: Viking, 2007. Print. p. 99

2 3 4 5

ibid., 100. ibid., 134. ibid., 178. ibid., 172.


ecosystem, the need to practice healthy agriculture to eliminate runoff and promote biodiversity and quality food experiences, and the need to encourage linguistic continuation to preserve the subtle ecological and cultural wisdom it provides.

Hawken references the Axial Age and its desire to find what fuels

change in “the source of violence, not to combat it…” This refers to how forces for destruction are able to harness so much power, and he continues, “…all roads led to self, psyche, thought, and mind.”6 This encourages a unique relationship of the individual to an immediate environment that fosters this discipline. Another interrelationship of humans to the earth, as Hawken notes, is that “[a]griculture is culture.”7 He means that cultures that remain abundant preserve the knowledge and wisdom of generations past when it comes to food and cultivation. For example, the MesoAmericans, through generations of growing, developed 5,000 varieties of corn.8 Therefore, by preserving a culture itself, its values and expertise can continue to develop. Hawken provides many examples pertaining to the interrelationships of these complex systems, revealing the value of each group working to protect even a small aspect of them, while beautifully illustrating the abundant world of people, plants, innovation, and culture. We are a part of this abundance, which needs assistance in order to thrive amongst an imposing threat of homogeneity in all respects.

In a parallel critique of the superficiality and homogeneity of

modern experience, Juhani Pallasmaa’s Eyes of the Skin: Architecture of the Senses takes aim at the problem of ocularcentrism. He emphasizes our need to approach architectural design in how it relates to all of our senses, not just vision, for us to be completely engaged with a spatial experience. Within architecture specifically, design strictly for the eyes stops at this surface level without exploring how our bodies interact with what we touch, feel, hear, smell, and otherwise perceive. Demonstrating a lack of place‑making, rootedness, and sense of the time continuum within defined space, Pallasmaa explains why each of our senses should be considered,


in relation to the richness of the project site (in terms of light, climate, 6 ibid., 185 7 ibid., 98. 8 ibid., 98

topography, etc.) to illuminate the spirit. Establishing this as an essential value labels architecture as a potential “endangered art form”9 within the prevailing ocularcentric ideology. In the book’s introduction, architect Steven Holl recognizes Pallasmaa expanding on the diverging values and goals of his thinking – phenomenological, emphasizing human experience through material use and sensual space to create rootedness – versus modern thought in architecture, which emphasizes this superficial level of visual objects and sterile, placeless space.

Our view of our place in the world determines how we attempt

to make sense of our perceptions. From the objective – subjective pointof-view, it would make sense to put in front of our vision that which we determine as most important. Yet Pallasmaa argues, “The very essence of the lived experience is moulded by hapticity and peripheral unfocused vision. Focused vision confronts us with the world whereas peripheral vision envelops us in the flesh of the world.”10 Also, “peripheral vision integrates us with space, while focused vision pushes us out of the space, making us mere spectators.”11 This stance emphasizes our need to realize that we are within the world; therefore the periphery of objects defines them as much as our conscious perception does. We are not removed from this place, but are part of its essence. Pallasmaa declares this in terms of design, “The ultimate meaning of any building is beyond architecture; it directs our consciousness back to the world and towards our own sense of self and being. Significant architecture makes us experience ourselves as complete embodied and spiritual beings.”12

This stance reinstates why making built form that pleases solely the

eye does not capture our entire being, and is therefore not accomplishing what architecture is meant to accomplish. In fact, Pallasmaa asserts “[the art of the eye] has not facilitated human rootedness in the world.”13 For example, if we consider our highly technological and ocularcentric world, there are constantly images thrown at us as visual stimuli, but perhaps the 9 Pallasmaa, Juhani. The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses. Chichester: Wiley-Academy, 2005. Print. P34. 10 ibid., 10 11 ibid., 13 12 ibid., 11 13 ibid., 19


“alienation, detachment and solitude in the technological world today” creates an “imbalance in our sensory system”14 instead of enriching our being in a place. The reason this ocularcentrism has come about within our consumerist society is quite obvious, though, as vision is the only sense that can keep up with our highly technological society, in which ‘timespace compression’15 causes us to “live increasingly in a perpetual present, flattened by speed and simultaneity.”16 Indeed, we cannot flatten or speed the process of smell, hearing, or touch; rather, they unfold over time as our bodies come into actual contact with real objects, waves, or chemicals. Ancient architecture favored the haptic realm, as “[i]ndigenous clay and mud architectures in various parts of the world seem to be born of the muscular and haptic senses more than the eye.”17

As time is unable to be compressed, neither is the effect of time on

architecture. “Natural materials express their age and history, as well as the story of their origins and their history of human use… the patina of wear adds the enriching experience of time to the materials of construction.”18 This brings the materials, even if for the brief moment in which a user interacts with them, to a rich focus, conveying their histories of other users, extractions, and craft with it.

As briefly mentioned, the idea of rootedness is essential in

Pallasmaa’s writing. This can be between the individual and space, the individual and the broader physical context, or, importantly, the individual and their place in the spectrum of humanity. In fact, “We have a mental need to grasp that we are rooted in the continuity of time, and in the manmade world it is the task of architecture to facilitate this experience.”19 As designers, capturing limitless space within the continuum of time, as this moment now, can emphasize our being in relation to the surrounding. Therefore, Pallasmaa proposes, “This new awareness is forcefully projected by numerous architects around the world today who are attempting to


14 15 16 17 18 19

ibid., 19 ibid., 21 ibid., 21 ibid., 26 ibid., 31 ibid., 32

re-sensualize architecture through a strengthened sense of materiality and hapticity, texture and weight, density of space and materialized light.”20

The senses that Pallasmaa brings to importance include sound,

time, touch, taste, and muscle memory. The contrast between how we interact through vision versus sound is apparent in ancient oral cultures, as “for oral cultures, the cosmos is an ongoing event with man at its centre.”21 Man is at the center of this auditory world because, instead of extension, as eyesight, sound draws the waves into the body. Within built space, often without the conscious thought, we perceive the space by how it sounds, whether there are echoes, indicating an open, hard space, versus shortened, clear sounds, giving a softer, nearer feel. “The sound measures space and makes its scale comprehensible.”22 In terms of sensing time, Pallasmaa believes “buildings… enable us to see and understand the passing of history, and to participate in time cycles that surpass individual life.”23 This supports the need of rootedness, to understand who precedes and may come after us, an idea larger than one’s own perception.

As time and our body interact, we come to remember and expect

certain experiences, feelings, and sounds within space. “The objects which surround my body reflects its possible action upon them…”24 saying that bodily reaction is an inseparable aspect of an experience in architecture. This introduces the Japanese concept of Ma, “the unity of space and time.”25 Our own selves are therefore an essential component of experience within architecture. In fact, “We behold, touch, listen and measure the world with our entire bodily existence, and the experiential world becomes organized and articulated around the centre of the body.”26 This is why periphery is important; it is still part of our own world and experience, even if not related to that in the forefront of mere vision. An example of this is a building set within a forest. The forest is certainly not the object of direct 20 ibid., 37 21 Walter J. Ong, Orality & Literacy - The Technologizing of the Word, Routledge (London and New York), 1991, p.136 22 Pallasmaa, 51 23 ibid. 52 24 ibid. 63 25 ibid. 64 26 ibid. 64


We have a mental need to grasp that we are rooted in the continuity of time, and in the man-made world it is the task of architecture to facilitate this experience. - Juhani Pallasmaa, Eyes of the Skin

fig. 1.1


experience, but provides a special “multisensory embrace,”27 backsetting the spatial experience that contains us in space between trees, and within the time of their collective maturation, allowing rootedness.

Pallasmaa continues to address the importance of bringing bodily

perception to the forefront in design in his book The Thinking Hand: Existential and Embodied Wisdom in Architecture. The importance of the body in our perception of the world is not disparate, as Cartisian and Western philosophy have traditionally established, in terms of a separation of mind, physical body, and emotion. Rather, each of these aspects of our lived reality continually inform each other to create the experienced reality, and is thus less able to be broken into separate components of mind and body. Modern design values, though, have developed from a belief in the separation of bodily senses from intellectual stimuli, as well as the previously mentioned ocularcentrism. Pallasmaa explains this in terms of complex causalities:

“It is, in fact, reasonable to assume that prior

to our current industrial, mechanized and materialist consumer culture, situation in daily life as well as processes of maturation and education provided a more comprehensive experiential ground for human growth and learning due to their direct interaction with the natural world and its complex causalities.”28

There is an unlimited abundance of complexity to be found in

nature and natural processes that we can learn and benefit from even within the periphery of daily activity. Compared to the stimulus overload within modern, digitized society, this kind of complexity offers a quieter, yet richer experience to unify the body and mind’s understanding of place rather than polarizing them.

Within the need to reexamine the importance of designing for the

senses is the realization of the embodied value of designing with the hand in mind. More than just a tool for the body made of five fingers, able to 27 ibid. 65 28 The Thinking Hand, p.12


grasp and perform physical tasks, “we are bound to admit that the hand is everywhere in our body.”29 Our brain is directly connected to the hand such that they need to work together to inform us of a situation, texture, or performance. In terms of material, the only way we know how to react to the visual stimuli, whether real, virtual, or imitated, is through bodily memory. For example, a photo of a concrete building versus a photo of a wood building would evoke different responses because we know, through physical touch, that concrete is cold, hard, and smooth, and we also know through touching wood that it is warm, grained, and softer.

The same is true with what we eat, yet this analogy could even be

taken farther, as the visual and tactile are connected even more intimately with our selves through consumption. If one has a plate of Ethiopian injera before them, with which to eat their sauces and stews, the smells, the feel, and the bodily movement all reflect upon the ultimate act of consumption. Thus, whenever such a task is later performed, the memory of this experience will mark a standard of pleasure. This embodiment is important in design, as we focus sometimes, but not necessarily on what the audience will consciously notice and appreciate, since “we touch things and grasp their essence before we are able to speak about them.”30

Pallasmaa doesn’t want us to design spaces for the senses merely to

engage and excite them, as a needed change to visual overload, but rather “to create embodied and lived existential metaphors that concretize and structure our being in the world.”31

The elements and qualities we attain to design, control, exhibit,

and suppress were present before our notice. Pallasmaa proposes that “[a] great building enhances and articulates our understanding of… the eternal enigmas of existence, light, and silence.”32 While considering such forces within design, daylight is certainly a virtue. In our Western-minded design intentions, we bring in natural light, have mood lighting, provide task lighting, and make sure everything is drenched in illumination to be deemed adequate. Even LEED rewards bringing daylight into every room


29 30 31 32

ibid. 31 ibid. 36 ibid. 71 ibid. 138

in a building. If we take a step back and ask about the value of darkness, is there any to be found? In his book In Praise of Shadows, Japanese writer Jun’ichiro Tanizaki beautifully illustrates the value of darkness in where it meets light – the shadow. The value lies not in the look of shadow to light, but the meanings and feelings it encapsulates. He boldly states, “… were it not for shadows, there would be no beauty.”33 One reason the shadow illuminates a space to our senses is that as vision is subverted, other senses have the opportunity to emerge. Pallasmaa tells us, “The human eye is most perfectly tuned for twilight rather than bright daylight,”34 and Tanizaki agrees. It allows us to experience ourselves, as well as other materials that are best experienced in low light, such as gold, which Tanizaki declares is most beautiful in such a setting. The importance of shadow lies in its intersection between light and dark. Tanizaki explains, “Such is our way of thinking – we find beauty not in the thing itself but in the patterns of shadows, the light and the darkness, that one thing against another creates.”35 These two or more forces together creating something new cause the dynamic qualities of shadows. And yet this new ‘thing,’ the shadow, is ephemeral, ever changing with shifting light. Place is created by these shadows, differentiating space, carving a crevice of physicality within time, in which one can dwell. These shadows don’t always need to be fleeting to be recognized. Tanizaki illustrates this through the tragedy of a forest being cut down; there is a dark, shadowed place within these woods that will be snatched away with the fallen tree canopies. With either of these cases, shadows allow beauty to surface from a subdued backdrop instead of becoming overpowered by light. If it weren’t for shadow, we wouldn’t “delight in the mere sight of the delicate glow of fading rays clinging to the surface of a dusky wall…”36 as an example of one of the quiet moments within time and space that cannot be recognized as meaningful through representation.

33 Tanizaki, Junichirō. In Praise of Shadows. London: Vintage, 2001. Print. P30 34 The Eyes of the Skin, 46 35 ibid. 29 36 ibid. 18


Tanizaki was coming from a very defined culture, the traditional

Japanese, when he wrote this in 1933. It was partially a response to the Western modernization that was encroaching on these very different values within space and design that he held in high esteem. He even finds a visit to the toilet to be a meaningful experience, recalling, “[i]t always stands apart from the main building at the end of a corridor, in a grove fragrant with leaves and moss.”37 Within this celebrated context he saw the toilet room as a place to be still and silent and enjoy “any of those poignant moments that mark the change of the seasons.”38 Translating his Japanese values to a relevant project in the West includes taking a step back from normal design values and asking what in the space should be accentuated, and what brings this most into focus. The liminality of the shadow between light and darkness provides direction in creating a moment of the additive or subtractive sum of two other forces.

A much-exercised value in the United States is our history of

agriculture and its encapsulated values of work ethic, connection to the earth, and community. Wendell Berry is well known for his stance on the environment, culture, and farming. As Michael Pollan explains in the introduction to Bringing it to the Table, Berry has brought the idea of preserving our national tradition of agriculture to his readers today. Pollan explains that much wilderness has been preserved in our country because of inspiration from notable writers of our history, such as Thoreau, but Berry provides the perspective to understand the importance of preserving healthy agricultural practices and the values that ensue. These healthy values are both for the land and for the people, and also the future. A major point Berry makes is the need to listen to the land instead of imposing one’s own intentions upon it. In this case, “By returning to ‘the nature of the place’ as standard, we acknowledge the necessary limits of our own intentions,”39 and can rather “consult the genius of the place.”40 To our modern mindset where we find that all problems have a solution, even production capacity


37 ibid. 3 38 ibid. 4 39 Berry, Wendell. Bringing It to the Table: on Farming and Food. Berkeley: Counterpoint, 2009. Print. p. 7 40 ibid. 9

capabilities, we need to realize that sometimes these solutions are not sustainable, and the proper way to handle a resource requires acknowledging its limitations. This can provide a different prosperity than economy of scale; it allows for abundant biodiversity. For example, Berry explains how intricate sheep breeds became in Britain over centuries of breeding. There are now sixty-five of them, and this speaks of the efficiency the breeders and farmers were able to establish by creating sheep that are specific to the microclimates throughout the region – allowing for the greatest production depending on their own land and the sheep’s carefully attuned relationship to it. One sheep breed may thrive on a hillside, while another needs a meadow.

Berry also introduces us to the idea of a whole food system. He

proposes that “[e]ating is an agricultural act.”41 That is, food and eating aren’t merely about consumption and the end product of a meal, but rather encapsulates the whole process, starting with the soil in which the crops were grown, to the plant itself, all the way through to the consumer. It is a shame we cannot usually see this process in its entirety, or else we would be more sensitive to our consumption habits and their integrity. In this case, we have become industrial eaters. “The industrial eater is, in fact, one who does not know that eating is an agricultural act, who no longer knows or imagines the connections between eating and the land, and who is therefore necessarily passive and uncritical – in short, a victim.”42 Therefore, this coincides with Hawken’s viewpoint (indeed, he referenced Berry’s “solving for pattern” concept), that we must encounter “the whole problem of health in soil. Plant, animal, and man as one great subject.”43

Berry discusses the importance of diversity mainly in an agricultural

setting, where plants, animals, soil, and the elements are reliable. There is a constant rhythm of seasons, birth, death, and harvest. His virtue of looking to the land as the primary driving force of the farm activities reinforces Pallasmaa’s idea of rootedness. This is true with the animal and plants’ relationship to the land, as well as how human intervention may benefit our own in the long run (like breeding sixty-five types of sheep to maximize 41 ibid. 227 42 ibid. 228 43 ibid. referencing Sir Albert Howard, 231


their production), or skimping on integrity with human relationship to the land for the benefit of an industry, but at the expense of long-term longevity with worn out land, depleted of its natural process of restoring the soil’s nutrients. Also, realizing our role in the food chain, as consumers, can be more empowering than it currently is, by recognizing the potential of variety and health to be found in sustainable agricultural practice.

To parallel this with architecture, it is beneficial to know

the properties of a building’s site context, socially, historically, and geographically, to understand what is best suited for its needs. This is relying on the “genius of the place,” as Berry referred to it. Also, in terms of material process, understanding how building materials are manufactured will aid wise decision-making for future products, with the goal of drawing creative, localized solutions that show off and maximize the good qualities of the region. This turns an industrial eater and “industrial dweller” into an individual who responds to local solutions to the question of place and time, rather than externally imposed, industrially supplied ones.

Kenneth Frampton, in his essay “Towards a Critical Regionalism”

takes issue with the placelessness of modernist buildings and the urban fabric affected by them. The Megalopolitan development, as he defines “the freestanding high-rise and the serpentine freeway”44 of such cities, is suffering from a universal identity and thus lacking any local appeal it may have carried previously. Related to this, Frampton indicates the importance of civilization versus culture. The former is “primarily concerned with instrumental reason, while culture has addressed itself to the specifics of expression – to the realization of the being and the evolution of its collective psycho-social reality.”45 Having a dynamic, changing culture within a region allows it to confront new ideas, such as modernism, and absorb them in its own regionally unique way. Frampton brings to mind how California and Western U.S. regions were still developing their own regionalism and, with the imagination and intelligence guiding this process, could see European Modernism as an option to keep or use, or not. But in the “rigid


44 Frampton, Kenneth. “Towards a Critical Regionalism: Six Points for an Architecture of Resistance.” In The Anti-aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture, by Hal Foster, 17. Port Townsend, WA: Bay Press, 1983. 45 ibid. 17

and restrictive regionalism” of New England, modernism overpowered the static state in which they had developed.46 We therefore need to live in a balance between our cultural heritage of the past, and recognizing the values of progress without being consumed by technological production and consumption.

The need for a place is supported by Heidegger’s phenomenological

approach to place as it relates building to being. He says, “A boundary is not that at which something stops, but as the Greeks recognized, the boundary is that from which something begins its presencing.”47 This boundary is necessary for our being within the space, and yet is absent from modern buildings that lack any indication to the local familiar. A practical example of this is the treatment of the site. Leveling topography to allow the building to stand as its own entity loses place, but working with existing topography, allowing the building to be set within it, acts as cultivating our engagement with the site, creating experiential and memorable place.48 This echoes the connection of design to the earth – “It is possible to argue that in this last instance the specific culture of the region – that is to say, its history in both a geological and agricultural sense – becomes inscribed into the form and realization of the work.”49 Interacting with the ever-shifting climate, weather, and light also establishes place while being connected to that on which a building is rooted, the earth. Establishing this interaction of an audience with the shifting forces (time, season, daylight), “guarantee the appearance of a place-conscious poetic – a form of filtration compounded out of an interaction between culture and nature, between art and light.”50 And, in addition to these two interactive ideas, we add a closer, more intimate one that helps establish place – the tactile. In fact, Frampton states, “Critical Regionalism seeks to complement our normative visual experience by readdressing the tactile range of human perceptions.”51 These tactile experiences include “the intensity of light, darkness, heat and cold; feeling of humidity, the aroma of material; the almost palpable presence of masonry as 46 ibid. 22 47 ibid. 24 48 ibid. 26 49 ibid. 26 50 ibid. 27 51 ibid. 29


the body senses its own confinement…”52 Recognizing the need to design with these sensitivities allows a building to reflect the forces that act around it, creating an appropriate boundary at which an experiencer can detect its “presencing,” and begin to recall the space in memory as belonging to a particular region, celebrating its particular localities.

There is much discussion surrounding the idea of critical

regionalism, and while I won’t fully explore the intricacies of this, the concept relates to the tactile experiences connecting the user to the site. Agriculture also embodies an abundance of tactile experiences, from the mulch underfoot, to digging into the dirt to plant, tending delicate leaves, and the prick of a thorn. Also, Frampton realizes the importance of acknowledging restrictions and forces within a site. These are what shape the site and potential experience and should be carefully exploited. The significance of this in terms of vividness is understanding material properties and celebrating those which are most natural to where the building is constructed, supporting diversity possible through this idea implemented in multiple regions. Though a social dimension of placemaking isn’t much discussed, this is an important aspect of any project, to draw upon traditions and expertise of past inhabitants of the area to design a relevant dwelling, evoking reactions tied to the continuum of time.

Just as a building can inform values, subtleties, and resources of

a particular place, so can its food. And yet, mass industrialization of the food system denies this rich facet of local food to our everyday life and the inherent benefits it provides. Our food system problems exist on a societal level. With growing technology we have grown accustomed to efficiency, to systems that provide us with what we want to consume, when we want to, with little knowledge of how it came about. This is overwhelmingly the case with food today. Fast food, in the name of efficiency, separates us from the land, animals, resources, and labor that went into its production. Carlo Petrini, the author of Slow Food: The Case for Taste and founder of the International Slow Food Movement, tells us the purpose of fast food is to eat hurriedly and distractedly, provide immediate recognizability, and



ibid. 28

a low price.53 If one looks at the alternatives to this, the way eating and food were approached in the past, we are opened to a world of diverse food and respected, well-tended processes, where everything is slowed down as a means of enjoyment, pleasure, and appreciation. Thus he derives the purpose of Slow Food: “[G]iving the act of nourishing oneself the importance it deserves, learning to take pleasure in the diversity of recipes and flavors, recognizing the variety of places where food is produced and the people who produce it, and respecting the rhythm of the seasons and of human gatherings.”54

Slowing time, and consciously dwelling, allows important subtleties

of our surroundings, our environment, and our creative intervention to creep into this pace of experience. The Slow Food movement has picked up a great deal of momentum since it was initiated in 1989. Since then the organization has been spreading its manifesto, including: “May suitable doses of guaranteed sensual pleasure and slow, long-lasting enjoyment preserve us from the contagion of the multitude that mistake frenzy for efficiency… Our defense should begin at the table with Slow Food. Let us rediscover the flavors and savors of regional cooking and banish the degrading effects of Fast Food.”55

The organization began as “an original attempt to approach the

culture of food and wine through disciplines like philosophy, sociology, literature, and anthropology.”56 As the group grew, it became a publishing company, continuing to attract food connoisseurs who were interested in all aspects surrounding food, including history, tradition, social gathering, and craft. The concept of ‘territory’ was considered a virtue and contains “The combination of natural factors (soil, water, slope, height above sea level, vegetation, microclimate) and human ones (tradition and practice of 53 Petrini, Carlo. Slow Food: the Case for Taste. New York: Columbia UP, 2003. Print. p. xvii 54 ibid. p. xvii 55 ibid. xxiii-xxiv 56 ibid. 6


cultivation) that gives a unique character to each small agricultural locality and the food grown, raised, made, and cooked there.”57 This reflects a value Pallasmaa brought to mind, the idea of rootedness – that what results in and from a place reflect the properties of it, allowing us to trace and possibly experience the connection between the two. Slow food is also a response to fast food, which takes away the vibrancy of variety and replaces it with a one-dimensional eating experience that is meant to be the same, always, and is devoid of craft, variety, the care of time, and regional sensitivity. Petrini notes, “alimentary monoculture… blanks out the pleasures of the palate, because… it makes them habitual.”58

In order to preserve everything good that comes with slow food,

we must embrace bringing pleasure back to eating. This pleasure comes from knowing where our food comes from and its availability based on seasons, all stemming from our own active pursuit. “The real difference in quality among these experiences [different eating place types] does not lie in how much time is devoted to them, but in the will and the capacity to experience them attentively.”59 Petrini brings us back to the concept of territory and its place in the slow food movement. Territory reflects the manifesto’s values of flavors, savors, and region to define experience; variety and therefore attentiveness is created through these differences from region to region, and celebrated as such. You would not necessarily know the difference between Italian countryside and French countryside, for example, except through experiencing it in one’s taste buds – the subtleties of wine, the richness of olive oil, and the cheese from cows intricately connected to the terrain of their respective homelands. Through consumer demand for certain products, these differences have been subdued to allow for mass production. The reaction is instead “the culture of the traditional osteria, promoting local identities, the proper use of raw ingredients, and the revival of convivial values and simple, seasonal flavors.”60 This reflects Wendell Berry’s value of listening to the land for how to cultivate it, and its limits, and understanding this connection to the land doesn’t prevent


57 58 59 60

ibid. 8 ibid. 21 ibid. 33 ibid. 51

us from seeking fine gastronomic dining, but promotes tourism that is “… respectful, slow, reflective, and as distant as possible from the culture of ‘use and discard’.”61 The holistic experience of knowing the land, people, preparation, and taste, all work together to bring appropriate dining pleasure.

Though there is a large following in the Slow Food movement, it

seeks to extend understanding of the value of taste and culture to children and adults, and unlock their appreciation of our cultural heritage of food. Also, “The education of taste is the Slow way to resist McDonaldization.”62 This causes a chain reaction of benefits, including better treatment of agricultural land and animals, preservation of the value of good food that enriches a society’s identity, respecting the art of growing and producing food, and understanding environmental limits in terms of proper food production, and living within those limits. Education should begin at home for children, and continue as an academic value. The problem exists that, in the past, “every family’s table… bore the imprint of a distinct identity in the way ingredients were mixed and cooked, but today we devour objects that come already assembled.”63 A hamburger is perceived not as its individual components, but as one whole, making it difficult for a child to distinguish a hamburger made of all fresh, local, and organic components from one that tastes good because it’s soaked in grease and salt. Teaching children about the value of diversity of taste is summed up well in the French school system view, “the strong conviction in France that taste is a multisensorial message, made up of the visual, olfactory, chemical, tactile, and auditory stimuli imparted to us by what we eat and drink.”64 As long as teachers realize the value of learning not only in cognitive capacities, but also through experience, they can open up a world of exploration for children through food preparation, food culture, and taste. For adults, taste workshops complete the cycle of understanding between knowing the source of our food, understanding and respecting that, and finding pleasure in the taste through this understanding. Otherwise, “pleasure without knowledge is 61 62 63 64

ibid. 57 ibid. 69 ibid. 73 ibid. 74


merely self-indulgence,”65 and misguided indulgence is placed in those fast foods that “press the buttons of out evolutionary cravings.”66 Workshops allow teachers and adult students to gather and take the time to understand “the historical alliance between producers and

consumers,”67 as well as

examine single food items to contemplate and understand their flavor impact and “become aware of the sensory impact of the food.”68

The final value Petrini introduces is the Noah Principle. On

a global scale, because of losing our “folk memory” and “disastrous agricultural policies that don’t respect natural biorhythms,”69 the variety of crops grown and unique foods produced – from cheese to meat to corn – has greatly diminished. Although consumers control the market, demand for a certain type of animal has replaced smaller scale, less efficient farming, “when indigenous breeds are replaced by other, more productive ones, there is, always and inevitably, a change in our sensory experience of food.”70 Losing this desire for taste diversity causes a lack of biodiversity, pushing a strain on the environment to fit an unadept animal or plant where it does not belong, and this comes with an energy and environmental price that is not worth paying, as it also degrades our cultural diversity. To counter this food standardization, Slow Food has an initiative of its own by adding products to the Ark of Taste. This was made “in order to preserve an extraordinary economic, social, and cultural heritage of peasant and artisan traditions, unwritten but rich and complex, and ancient skills and techniques.”71 The products protected are in danger of extinction and are considered by the movement as “historical and localized” compared to “oldfashioned and homemade”72 to bring their appeal and appreciation back to the forefront. The Ark then grew to be Presidium in specified regions, that is, region-specified protection for the endangered cows, cheeses, beans, etc. This movement helped groups of people already active in preserving


65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72

ibid. 61 Michael Pollan, Food Inc. idem 79 ibid. 77 ibid. 85 ibid. 88 ibid. 90 ibid. 92

their product and craft by bringing them a larger, more institutionalized voice, uniting them and elevating their status in media and against larger corporations through that unity. All of this protection is underlying the need for biodiversity to protect our environment, which protects our diverse cultures, ensuring vibrant life opportunities for generations to come.

Environmental and cultural diversity are directly linked to the

sense of place established within architecture. As a good business model to ensure similar quality in stores across the country or the world, chain stores and restaurants will have identical or extremely similar spaces, color schemes, and graphics. What is lost in this is active engagement of the audience with the space. Instead of wonder, discovery, and sensation of new tastes, textures, and forms, a “monospace” collapses this multisensory experience; the experience of place, therefore, becomes habit. Rejuvenating a sense of place will require active engagement from an audience, which begins with design values originating from the place itself. Local resources and restrictions can inform materiality, aperture, shadow and daylight, and interstitial spaces, creating a different feeling and type of dwelling in each place. This unites Hawken’s case for diversity, Pallasmaa’s rootedness, Junichiro’s shadows, Berry’s “genius of place,” Frampton’s site heritage, and Petrini’s territory.



Land Art.



A community farm is an opportune place to learn about food

and experience its rhythms and taste, as all of the processes come together. The food system, which is usually larger and too complex to comprehend, becomes tangible. Preserving diversity of food is a link in preserving the system of the human intervention with the earth, while also promoting cultural diversity in a way that allows people to enjoy relating to the land as well as each other. For example, cheese produced in France, from French cows, will and should taste different from cheese produced in California by Californian cows, and taking the time to learn this broadens ones understanding of both places.

Relating the values of Slow Food to design, there are numerous

similarities. First, there is contemplation and realizing one’s place in a larger system, as Pallasmaa discusses in Eyes of the Skin. Second, there is the value of the sensorial experience created from preparing these raw materials – plants, meat, herbs, and spices in the case of food, and earth, water, rock, metal, and light with architecture. Third, it is important to preserve the differences in how these ‘ingredients’ are treated as well as their unique craft to a specific region, agreeing with Kenneth Frampton’s value of preserving regional identity to create the sense of place. Fourth, educating young and old alike on these values is key to both slow food and good architecture. The aim of my project is to introduce the parallel between healthy eating in terms of the environment, biodiversity, cultural diversity, a holistic food system, and pleasure and these same ideals are manifested in a building and site experience for Full Circle Farm.


While most art is considered within its element in a museum

or gallery, a movement of land artists, with various values, methods, and goals, took their creative efforts to sites themselves, to allow the land to interact more intimately with the artistic intervention. Robert Smithson, discussing his “Spiral Jetty” work, has stated, “I’m concerned with a phenomenon that doesn’t originate in my head, it originates in the world.”1

“Mud, salt crystals, rock, water.” This line is stated repeatedly in

relation to the orientation of Spiral Jetty within the mapping of the Great Salt Lake, in Utah. The datum created, the negative space within the lake, is material, gathered ingredients to disrupt the “fill,” water. When walking on the jetty, what is dynamic, shifting within a few paces on the route, is the view created by this geometry, imposed on the natural material, which also 1 Robert Smithson, Smithson, Robert, Lynne Cooke, Karen Kelly, and George Baker. Robert Smithson: Spiral Jetty. Berkeley, CA: University of fig. 2.1, Spiral California, 2005. Print. p.153 Jetty


imposes on the experience. And yet Smithson, discussing the origin of his work, states, “From that gyrating space emerged the possibility of the Spiral Jetty. No ideas, no concepts, no systems, no structures, no abstractions could hold themselves together in the actuality of that evidence.”2 Smithson draws from primordial origins and scientific processes, both visible and invisible, perceptible and beyond sensible time and space, to draw together elements within his work.

Spiral Jetty is located in a remote area of the Great Salt Lake, a

2.5-hour drive from Salt Lake City. The audience’s experience with the artwork unfolds in time in two ways. The first is from start to destination: there is clear evidence of removing oneself from civilization more and more as the road seamlessly progresses from two lanes to one lane, from asphalt to treacherous gravel, at this point literally feeling the rawness of the surroundings with the bumpy road. Smithson’s Jetty is the only reason fig. 2.2, view of lake and mountains upon arriving at the Jetty

one would venture out here and, though it is indeed a rich experience in itself, making the journey to this point provides scenery otherwise unseen, undiscovered by the average traveler. In other words, the destination reveals the already existing beauty and expanse of its surrounding mountains,

2 Smithson, Robert, George Baker, and Lynne Cooke. Robert Smithson Spiral Jetty: True Fictions, False Realities. New York: Dia Art Foundation, 2005. Print. p.8


pastures, and salt flats. The second experience is the Jetty itself. Smithson is interested in process, such as natural processes imposing their mark on his work, as well as drawing inspiration from such processes. Erosion, stratification, crystallization, and sedimentation all contain beauty that can be exposed.

This experience, created by imposing geometry on a natural

landscape, has drawn many people to this remote area for decades. This space-making was in response to the nonspace being created, at the time of modernity, namely the superhighway system. As it is explained in Robert Smithson - Sculpture, “his work became points of focus, not glossings on the land.”3 That is, he made intentional, conscious, changes that responded to human as well as natural conditions.

Another work of intervention within certain geography is Christo

and Jean-Claude’s “Running Fence” art installation from 1976. The project,

fig. 2.3, Diagram indicating the power of negative space (the Jetty) becoming a placemaker, indicating views and directional progression, and its geometric translation.


3 Hobbs, Robert Carleton, Robert Smithson, Lawrence Alloway, and Lucy R. Lippard.Robert Smithson-- Sculpture. Ithaca: Cornell U.P., 1981. Print.

24.5 miles of fence units18 feet high in Marin and Sonoma counties (just north of San Francisco), was an “ordinary landscape suddenly transformed by underlying invisible topography of the land.”4 The datum created by the fences revealed what was already existing, namely the varying topography of the hills of wine country and farmland in Northern California. A datum such as “Running Fence” can reveal topological differences, which are ever-

...ordinary landscape suddenly transformed by underlying invisible topography of the land. - The Running Fence Revisited

fig. 2.3, Christo and JeanClaude’s Running Fence

4 The Running Fence Revisited. Dir. Wolfram Hissen. EstWest Films, 2010. Smithsonian. Web. 20 Oct. 2011. <http://www.smithsonianmag. com/multimedia/videos/Running-Fence-Revisited.html>.


present, or changes over time, such as seasons, plant growth, or sunlight and shadow. Processes and rhythms of our lives are apparent in various ways. A vital sign of life, the heartbeat, is a constant and easily perceived rhythm. Along with the heartbeat, breath can quicken and slow, depending on our activity level. Other bodily rhythms are not as easily perceptible, including overall health. Just like the human body, space and time can contain rhythms we perceive or not, including diurnal, lunar, and seasonal cycles, and earthâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s axial rotation. Providing delineating space to mark time and distance provides a point by which to measure otherwise imperceptible cycles and rhythms.

Bringing to presence what already exists, as in these two iconic

works of landscape art, can be applied in the setting of this thesis. An urban farm incorporates the patterns and progressions of plant growth on a farm, as well as the human interaction and understanding of this through educational workshops, seasonal events, and more passive experiences such as a neighbor taking a weekly walk through the grounds. The large expanse of the site suggests a cohesive datum to signify where one is on the site in relation to other areas. The expanse of time to understand the farmto-table processes and growing cycles requires another sort of datum that measures time.

The need for and creation of food and shelter are comparable.

Both are necessary for human survival, food to nourish the body and allow physiological processes to endure, and shelter for protection from elements as well as a psychological place-marker of territory. Following Petrini, however, cuisine that is slow food, and buildings that are poetic architecture




â&#x20AC;&#x153;The fence is not the work of art, the work of art is all-togetherness.â&#x20AC;? - The Running Fence Revisited

fig. 2.5, diagram illustrating the value of a datum in uncovering an existing condition; in Running Fenceâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s case, the topography.

fig. 2.4 (below), A datum can give indications of progression and change within a landscape as well as time.


x35 pm

are more than this. It is because our society and technology allow for specialization that we are able to create both of these. Petrini tells us, “That is what real culture is all about: developing taste rather than demeaning it.”5 Both cuisine and architecture provide an opportunity for engagement through their own defined processes (order), time (continuities), and materiality. This process will involve the multiple scales of utilizing local resources, responding to local population needs and goals, and the architect or chef ’s desired reaction to and dialogue which such local forces. Time involves principles extracted from “Spiral Jetty” and “Running Fence,” the importance of relating design to the patterns and cycles of the earth, whether that is designing for poetic daylighting and shadowing different times of the year, or creating an exquisitely arrayed dish of seasonal

cultivato builder dwells with their meal and the process of creating food, and the longer one earth

ingredients. Materiality involves craft and detail of arrangement; if the goal is engagement, there must be layers to uncover over time, the longer one dwells within, around, and upon their architecture, the more rooted they feel within their defined territory. In fact, the territory is defined precisely by such meaningful encounters.



Slow Food, xxiv

fig. 2.6, On the farm, instead of statically measuring time, the activities themselves and their spatial implications can indicate progression.


cultivator/ time builder

or/ time







fig. 2.7, Using the same elements of the earth, human and time, plant and building development can grow and die in cycles, though the length of these cycles does not tpically coincide.




Rammed Earth



Besides my experience working with standard construction

methods and materials, and an apprenticeship working with cob, I recently designed and built a project using rammed earth in order to become more familiar with it. It is an attractive building material primarily for its low environmental impact, as most of the wall material (earth) comes from the site or nearby, drastically reducing the carbon footprint. Besides these environmental benefits, clients appreciate the “old world” quality this raw building material evokes, and architects grain notoriety for their rammed earth projects as its popularity continues to spread in the United States.1 In fact, on a list the Smithsonian recently shared called “40 Things You Need to Know About the Next 40 Years,” the number one point is “Sophisticated Buildings Will Be Made of Mud.”2

There are several key insights I obtained from my firsthand from

one’s first experience building with rammed earth. First, rammed earth is minimally processed. The builders themselves excavate and mix the soil with any needed components, and install it using one of several formwork technologies, performing the entire process.

Also, the necessary soil

mixture for a solid wall is usually not what is available onsite. Therefore, it is necessary to determine other necessary ‘ingredients’ must be added and what appropriate amount. This process is eliminated in standard building practice today, just as it is with cooking: ‘ingredients,’ materials, and components are standardized so that individual instances and calculations will not be necessary. Though this assures a certain amount of quality and 1 The Rammed Earth House, David Easton, Ch. 1. 2


safety, it strips a meal or a building of an opportunity to provide meaningful, enjoyable experiences. Whether this is a flavor brought out by the right combination of tomatoes harvested in one place with seasonal herbs from nearby or a wall material securely connected to a metal staircase it canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t directly touch, individual instances provide opportunities for innovation for a designer and appreciation and satisfaction for the audience, both coming about from time and care. This manifested itself

fig. 3.1. The shake test is used to determine the subsoil elements, such as the amount of clay, silt, organic matter, and sand.

fig. 3.2 During the process of actually constructing the project, I realized one of the setbacks of working wth earth in our economy, which is the amount of hard labor necessary.

in my rammed earth experiments through adding sand to already existing soil, on site. Even during the process of construction, it brought farm visitors around asking about the material, process, and results, and an opportunity for them to give their opinion, and become educated on the implications of a natural building method while experiencing delight. The final insight from my work was a realization of how connected to the site the end result was. Since the formwork was sized based on the plywood available, this organic material was the primary by-product of the


construction, since the other materials – sand, soil, aggregate, and water – could simply return to the earth.

Within the site of Full Circle Farm, its context is an old orchard

and agricultural field turned into suburban neighborhoods, plazas, and roads. As Robert Smithson approached site, an appropriate response would identify these nonspaces to create space, and utilize other forces, examine their opposites, and observe the interaction of the two. For example, in using rammed earth, perhaps the interaction of digital fabrication and raw

fig. 3.3. Jesse Hartman takes the formwork off another soil sample. The samples varied in clay to sand ratio to determine the correct mixture.

material would create a dialog of the ‘new normal,’ the realities of the lived world that is technology. This is especially relevant in this region of Silicon Valley, while still proclaiming the value of remembering earlier building materials and methods. In this way the cycle may abound where the site informs the context, forcing a stance on agreeing with or opposing this context through built values. Back in Cincinnati, this was one of several rammed earth prototypes I further explored. This piece was a result of milling a computer-generated 3-D surface and using it as a side to the formwork, which is traditionally simply flat planes. The result is a 3’x3’x8” piece of rammed earth. As a regional response to my site being in Silicon



fig. 3.6. A detail of the spacer notch to lock one section of the earth sculpture to another. Moistening this section shortly before it is rammed loosens the clay particles, which act as the binding agent. fig. 3.4. (left page) A dog finding his place amongst the earth and his master. fig. 3.5 (left) Myself fixing the formwork to the already constructed section, requiring the earth to be tamped around the pipe clamps. fig. 3.7 A group of volunteers and farm workers enjoying the place created by the rammed earth sculptural bench. This, combined with the cob bench by a volunteer team (in forground) create a gathering space in the community garden section of the farm, overlooking the rest of the fields.


Valley, adding an element of digital technology touches on the present societal conditions and indeed provides an interesting interplay of raw material (earth) to our modern world through not direct interaction with digitized design, but rather traces experienced within the earth itself.

The other wall studies I constructed included experimenting

with light penetration. With its thick, monolithic presence, considering aperture and light in design is often implemented as a view â&#x20AC;&#x153;punched outâ&#x20AC;? of the wall surface. This creates a certain beauty, as the sill is inherently exaggerated compared to todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s standard construction of a few mere inches, but these studies look at light interaction between interior and exterior and not necessarily view. Also, an experiment with glow-in-the-dark paint successfully showed a visual tracing of mixing a liquid substance with the

fig. 3.8, Rhino model of form piece


fig. 3.9-11, constructing milled formwork

earth before ramming it into the formwork. It resulted in a random display of the paint, only visible in black light, the control factor being the single layer in which the substance was added. It is also reminiscent of mineral luminescent rocks.

fig. 3.12; It was a risk of whether or not the dirt would compact enough in undulating crevices, so extra attention was paid to these.


fig. 3.12, fully tamped piece wall (this took about three hours)


fig. 3.13, the straight side turned out well

fig. 3.14, the rippled side was also successful

fig. 3.15, a rendering of implementing these modular digitized earth walls within my design


fig. 3.20 top; Luminescent rammed earth fig. 3.19 above; Luminescent rock fig. 3.16 left; Adding PVC pipes at varying angles creates a nique effect of tunneled light concentrated in certain areas depending on the light source location.


3.17; right; The effect of concentrated light against the raw earth illuminates the texture, denying any sense of homogeneity at this level.



fig. 3.18, Rammed earth piece with plexi-glass inlaid to test light transfer ability.


An especially instructive precedent in rammed earth construction

is the Oaxaca School of Plastic Arts in Oaxaca, Mexico. It consists of several indoor units separated by outdoor paths and gathering spaces. The rammed earth utilized in this building is the primary ordering device in terms of material hierarchy as well as building configurations. The monolithic,  massive walls are a product of the inherent properties of rammed earth, as it needs to be the specified thickness, compared to concrete that could have made thinner walls. The design shows how rammed earth was used for its inherent qualities, such as its direct excavation from the site, utilization of the immediate environment, and the tactile qualities it offers. Though the architect reveals topography changes, hinting at the use of soil dug up on site by creating a divot in which to build, he also plays with the mass and weight defining the material by elevating one of the classrooms about ten feet above grade, floating it on concrete plinths.

Using rammed earth as a primary ordering device is contrary to

many contemporary buildings that instead use the material as an accent piece. At this school, besides the rammed earth, the secondary material is concrete, which provides supporting beams, columns, and window lintels. The rammed earth walls are like bookends to classrooms and conference rooms with glass curtain walls in between. Stone is a tertiary material that is used more as a complement material to the rammed earth. It is similar

fig. 3.20, view of Oaxaca School of Plastic Arts fig. 3.21, detail of wood grain on concrete


in that it is still in a raw, minimally processed form, and it doesn’t compete with the rammed earth, but reinforces the ‘of the earth’ feeling. And finally, though it is not visible, wood plays a part in the construction of this campus, leaving its imprint from the concrete formwork. Earth, stone, and concrete are inorganic materials and, as used in this project, reflect their permanence as solid masses. Wood, however, grows and dies; its ephemerality reflected as grain-patterned traces on the texture of the concrete.

This building is useful to study for its treatment of rammed earth

as a primary material, yet it is developed in a modern language instead of conforming to traditional vernacular design. This provides an encouraging example that there are new ways to implement this very ancient material, yet there are also setbacks, just as with any new construction techniques: after being open for a number of years, walls began cracking as exemplified by a student’s artwork pointing to the problem. This points out shortcomings of the material, that each site’s soil content is different, as well as critical clay-to-sand ratios for the desired wall height/width/length. Though this is also true for concrete, there are many more laboratory tests and building standards known and implemented for this material than for rammed earth. Extra precaution is necessary, especially in earthquake prone regions such as northern California.

fig. 3.22, wall crack brought to attention through intervening art on rammed earth wall



fig. 3.23, plan diagram showing wall planes and window interruptions fig. 3.24. Section showing the schoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s embeddedness in the site; some area are carved away while others appear more built up - one classroom is even elevated.



The Farm.



Full Circle Farm works with a spectrum of residents in the city.

Their aim is to provide education and awareness of the food system. This encapsulates the ideal food system, which they are currently proposing, utilizing organic processes of historical agrarian practice. This is in reaction to current farming practice, which is degrading to the worker, consumer, and environment alike. The vision for the future includes valuing human innovation. This is necessary for the cooperative unification of battling current population problems with the healthiest farming practices. The diverse population contains certain needs while also providing resources to help the organization realize its goals. Local philanthropists are able to support fundraising events that occur on the farm a few times a year. These include cultural evenings such as the Shakespeare play nights in the summer, the â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;full harvest feastâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; in the fall, and other sponsored eating events. Also, funding comes from individual donors and corporations, such as a large grant the organization just received from a tech company in Silicon Valley that is, in turn, volunteering at the farm as its company holiday social event. These financial resources are used by the farm to raise healthy growing and eating awareness and to produce crops to be donated to food banks, bought by schools, and sold and given in the form of an annual CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) program.

Farming and agricultural practice is far removed from almost all

of the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s residents. Whether it is the upper-middle class family with an income from a large tech company, or a struggling single-parent household with a minimum wage job, working with the soil and understanding the relationship of our food to the earth is overlooked. Therefore the


city residents at large have the opportunity, and arguably the need, to become aware of the value of good agricultural practice regardless of age, ethnicity, career, or income. The need doesn’t stop there either, as a deeper understanding of the food production process should not be seen as sacrificial, but experienced as a celebration of the richness of diversity: diverse crops, tastes, cultural dishes, and other ways food is integrated in everyday life and culture.

The farm and growing process have an annual cycle of their own.

Combining this with the schedules of potential users, classes, and volunteers, creates a need for spaces that respond to each use type, as well as some that are unique to seasonal demands, time of day restrictions, etc. For example, winter classes require an enclosed space, and spring classes could be in the open, but covered to protect from the rains. Evening events will need ample lighting, and summer workshops can be held outdoors, but need a designated gathering location for various activities. The question of how much to build is a sensitive one, as the buildings should always be realized within their larger context – the farm – and constantly framing the activity on hand as such. A relationship exists between the different stages of food growth, cultivation, and preparation, and this can be exemplified through a unifying site, strategically incorporating awareness of one to the other. A cohesive ‘biome’ of the food production system – and, importantly, our involvement in it – can emphasize the connection to agriculture that is lost in industrial consumption.

The purpose of this educational center is to provide a more

permanent grounding and visual beacon for the farm’s presence within the community. The farm is already very involved with classes and tours, summer workshops, volunteer opportunities, and fundraising dinners. Providing a built space that allows these activities to occur more easily, while reinforcing to its users the ideals and the beauty of working with the earth, will stretch the impact of the organization within the community and also as a model regionally and nationally. Allowing the full spectrum of food enjoyment to be experienced on site – from the open land to enclosed, intimate eating areas, enables all aspects of the food system to be exemplified with high integrity, as the farm would want to express. Many


people come to the farm for tours, and allowing them to see the range of potential activities possible at the farm, including a directed experience involving them in the growing, cultivating, and consuming process, will grow interest and enthusiasm for further participation. A built space can be a direct metaphor of a healthy system/process of consumption, unfolding in time from inspiration, cultivation, design, work, construction, preparation, and dwelling/savoring. While existing as a metaphor, the farm’s structure can facilitate and emphasize the cultural, physical, and environmental importance of a healthy food system.

The program itself can expand from what is already on the site to

cater to a larger crowd. A restaurant or café where meal preparation can be seen would be beneficial, as well as defined paths for different ‘wanderers’ to take. The different sorts of people coming to the farm include: paid employees, volunteer staff, regular volunteers, special event volunteers, expert volunteers (building, legal, nutrition, orchard maintenance, etc.), sporadic individual volunteers, sporadic company volunteer groups, sporadic community volunteer groups, media, farmstand customers, CSA members, neighbors going on walks, middle school classes, summer workshop students, one-time class students, and sporadic tour-takers.

Designated ‘stations’ of the food process can broaden one’s

understanding of their place in it, as the consumer. Contrasting a local, hand-cultivated farm with the typical industrial agricultural model, and shedding light on the amount of land, energy, and time used for each, as well as the length of time taken for growing versus transporting and preparing the food, also exemplifies this consumer-to-product relationship. The organization itself understands its impact limits, as it only has so many acres contained in an urban fabric. It can perhaps have a greater impact as a prototype of healthy farming and food practice, on a broader scale, while providing practical, more everyday application activities and crops for participants.



The project will encapsulate the ideas of the farm, acknowledging its historical

qualities while looking to the future to incorporate more community involvement and awareness. Related to this is the history of agriculture itself as well as the more recent urban and community farm movement. The last aspect involves education and will tie the program together and be the mechanism of community involvement.

The word ‘farm’ has two unrelated etymologies. In Latin it comes from ancient

manors that used agriculture as a revenue source. The term “fee farm,” from the Latin ‘firma,’ meaning a fixed agreement or contract, became associated with the agricultural practice itself.1

The second etymology stems from a line of Old English words and

meanings, including firmo (“means of living, subsistence”) and “perk u-” (“life, strength, force”). It is also related to feorh, meaning “life, spirit,” and feormian, meaning “to provision, sustain.”2 Agrarian means “relating to the land,” from Latin agrarius, “of the land,” from ager, “a field.”3 Agriculture is from the Latin agricultura, “cultivation of the land” from agri, “a field,” “acre,” and cultura, “cultivation,” also related to culture.4 To dig further, culture signifies “the tilling of the land,” figuratively “care, culture, an honoring,” from colere, “tend, guard, cultivate, till.”5

The farm has a long history, starting with the shift of civilizations from hunting

and gathering to agriculture. It can be said that much development of societies have occurred because of this shift – when groups settled in one place and were able to produce more than what was merely needed to survive, other occupations were born, such as spiritual leaders, philosophy, and the arts. Gradually the shift in agriculture occurred from working for basic survival to financial gain.6 In terms of politics, “The distribution of farm ownership has historically been closely linked to form of government.”7 This includes voting rights tied to farmland ownership. We see the agriculture industry and politics relationship alive today, in that


1 2 ibid. 3 &searchmode=none 4 il%FE&searchmode=none 5 6 ibid. 7 ibid.

the government subsidizes certain crops and is heavily influenced by large food industries with health and nutrition regulation.

A lot of culture has surrounded the agrarian way of life in the

United States. It is connected to our country’s nostalgic “Americana” roots, producing good products and yields from the hard working, Puritan mindset our country holds in high regard. Many food companies today try to convince consumers through marketing and packaging that their products come from an old-fashioned, family-owned farm. The products of a farm were not only the crops, but also the virtues that came with hard work. In fact, in the tradition of Jeffersonian agrarianism, this went so far as encapsulating “virtues critical to maintaining a republic.”8 The author goes on to claim that “farmer’s labor… cultivates virtues necessary to the nation’s welfare,”9 emphasizing this strong connection in work ethics to our national value system.

In modern times, renewed interest in organic farming is apparent

among the young adult population, as seen with the program WWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) – arguably a product of mass communication, environmental concerns, and ‘anti-industrialization.’ This same reason explains the growing trend of urban and community farming. The urban farm has a history in our country from industrialization, urbanization, and WWII. For example, the concept of Victory Gardens was seen as an act of patriotism so that industrial efforts could focus on military production, and therefore result in citizens’ self-sufficiency. Today we see the modern victory garden whose goal is “declaring independence from corporate food systems, reducing reliance on fossil fuels to bring food to the table, and cultivating a more healthy and fulfilling life.”10 Modern solutions take different forms, going back to our old agrarian virtues or incorporating technology. Technological solutions fuel the hope of feeding a projected plateaued population of 9 billion, including methods enumerated by biotechnology scientist Nina Federoff, as fertigation, hydroponics, aquaponics, and urban farms.11 8 Wendell Berry & the Agrarian Tradition, Kimberly Smith, ch. 1 9 ibid. 10 11 lecture, Nina Federoff, May 8, 2011, ISDRC17, NYC


More than a typical farm, Full Circle Farm is committed to

education. Education comes from the stem of educare. ‘Originally of education in social codes and manners; meaning “systematic schooling and training for work” is from 1610s.’12 Educate means “bring up (children), train,” from Latin educatus, of educare “bring up, rear, educate,” which is related to educere “bring out, lead forth,” from ex- “out” + ducere, “to lead.”13

Though this is a broad category, it is generally a place funded

by a community where extra-curricular or continuing learning may occur through specific classes. In terms of continuing education, a center may provide support needed by lower income members of a community to provide better or steadier job opportunities as well as life skills. The typical prototype of education is the one room schoolhouse. These are associated with farming and agricultural life in that they served children of rural areas. They were also used as meeting places for community gatherings and social activities.


Full Circle Farm has a clear vision of local and societal health in

terms of food consumption. There is a disconnect of most eaters from the food system, which shows itself most harmfully in terms of low-income households unable – and unfortunately sometimes uninformed – to obtain nutritious food and understand why this its importance. As their website explains the vision, “Full Circle Farm represents a shift toward food systems that are local, fresh, and sustainable… Through our stewardship of this land, we honor our rich agricultural past while demonstrating how powerfully abundant our agricultural future can and should be.”14 Also, as a “place of both beauty and purpose, Full Circle Farm serves a pivotal role in our community’s movement toward a food system that nourishes our bodies,


12 earch=education&searchmode=none 13 in_frame=0 14

the land, and the generations yet to come.”15 The need they are serving is beyond simply purchasing and consuming healthy food. They explain the need for education: “In addition to healthy food, our children need the chance to develop complex relationships with the land; they deserve to have the same sense of place that once grew out of local family farms.” This reflects the value of rootedness, as Juhani Pallasmaa describes in Eyes of the Skin, as well as the Slow Food movement’s idea of territory, where the value of a land’s relationship to the crops it produces is understood and celebrated.

While developing the productivity of their land, Full Circle Farm

sees themselves as a model to be imitated by other communities: “We can no longer afford to address food security issues solely with hyper-local approaches. Full Circle Farm is advancing urban agriculture and food security in Silicon Valley by providing a regional solution that can be scaled and replicated on any school campus or vacant lot.”16

The farm serves a diverse population, with all activities relating

to food. The eating, growing, and cultivating experience, and the land stewardship awareness all relate to humans and food. Adjacent institutions include urban farms, ‘non-present’ CSAs (ordered online, delivered anonymously), community centers, after-school programs, and community classes. Hands-on learning in various food-related activities encourages an active role in growing awareness within the community, accessible to neighbors and volunteer opportunities. The farm provides not only a place to learn about plants and agriculture, but the culture that surrounds its preparation and consumption. The organization can expand its impact in educating about the entire food system in a way that inspires the most basic inspirations for the hard work it requires – good taste and social enjoyment.


Full Circle Farm is one of several urban farm non-profits in the

city of Sunnyvale. The organization has an advantage in its proximity to 15 16



a middle school, enabling a health class to incorporate regular visits to the farm. A staff of six paid employees and a team of around six Americorps members run the organization. It also has a board of directors including many professionals from diverse fields that help in decision-making. The head of the organization and the board of directors have the most influence on approving a design. The farm is on public land, so it would potentially be an involved process getting the building permitted and approved because of going through a public approval. The farm has a positive presence in the community; the public has already fought for its presence instead of more housing. The addition of an educational building would help the organizationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s team better serve the public. Also, it would provide gathering space and provide a clearer experience by developing not just the farm, but facilitating the whole educational experience, from farm to table.

Since Full Circle Farm is on public land and a non-profit, the

goal is that it benefits everyone who wants to help and is involved. They are doing a good job of this, as they donate produce to food banks, provide fresh produce for schools, and have a CSA for those who can afford it and some who cannot. The largest limiting factor, therefore, is acreage. The farm can only support so many crops. It will be assumed that adjacent certain land not being utilized currently eventually could be, either for crops or for a building that can support the education and awareness side of the organizationâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s goals. After all, as the organization recognized itself, since it cannot feed the entire region, it is important that it acts as a model to other sites for sustainable, organic urban farming.

Case studies of a building used in urban farming and

environmental awareness include the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee. This building facilitates youths and families to engage with nature to realize the importance in that relationship. They have both classes and workshops within their buildings, as well as outdoor activities.

By utilizing rammed earth technology I will create the metaphor

of a connection with the earth; this exists with users interacting with the gardening and cultivation process outside directly. It occurs within the building in, for example, a kitchen classroom where they learn to prepare the raw ingredients to make something new, something structured, much


in the same way that the process of creating the rammed earth walls surrounding them have occurred. There is a rather large, multistory facility on a college campus in Australia that I can refer to in terms of the structural integrity and design language and detailing of this.

The overall goal will be: to facilitate cultural and flavor richness,

awareness, and appreciation; to reinforce the connection to nature, natural processes, human intervention with environment in the form of agriculture and working on the earth with oneâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hands, to teach awareness of health concerns and good eating habits by revealing the depth of cultural richness to be found in a good eating experience; and thereby to encourage diversity, awareness, nature, human health, and vitality for the individual, family, and community.



Site Conditions



1.MAPPING This community urban farm is situated within a suburban neighborhood, adjacent to a middle school and several sports fields. There are three entrances, the main vehicular access point in the southeast corner, with two on the west side for students and weekend volunteers. The west entrance provides a unique and welcomed corridor for neighbors, as there is a 12â&#x20AC;&#x2122; wide pedestrian path between the houses and farm which is always open, even when the farm itself is locked.This corridor, the siteâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s adjacency to other civic activities, and sidewalk access in a suburban setting allows it to be frequented by local residents taking a walk or needing a destination for their children to explore and discover.

fig. 5.3.1, space designation diagram fig. 5.3.2, entrances diagram





5 3

16 10



fig. 5.3.3, image location key





6 2 11 1







PHOTO SURVEY The main entrance to Full Circle Farm is from the south, off of Dunford Way. The street can be a throughway from one major road to another, but is used mostly by the local neighborhood, those at the nearby schools, and people attending children’s sport games at the nearby stadium.

There are three trailers on the site, this one pictured is the most used and contains the main administrative offices and a small conference room. From my experience of working on the site, a staff member suggested I stay in its shade for a little while to combat dehydration on a particularly hot day.

Vegetables on the side of the path. Growing vegetation is present on almost all paths currently within the site.

Experimentation and ‘alternative’ structures are welcomed on the site. This cob oven was finished around the time I started coming to the farm. There was also a cob bench next to my rammed earth one that helped enclose a teaching space






This photo was taken at the end of our work day, around 6pm. It was still bright enough for our work, but the brilliant, dynamic shadows distracted tasks too technical.

The children love the chickens, who live at the connection point of the offices, produce prep, produce/ CSA stand, and the beginning of the farmland.

Standing at the northwest corner, there is a view of the farm, the stadium on the adjacent site, and the beautiful view of the mountains.

The site itself is very open and feels expansive, but one is often reminded of its proximity to â&#x20AC;&#x153;regular lifeâ&#x20AC;? with the sound of cars driving on Dunford. Also, when there are sports games on the adjacent football field, one constantly hears the murmur of the crowd.






The weekends more often have garden than farm volunteers. This space feels more manageable as it is a smaller plot of land and often has more people, as volunteer organizations or multiple idividuals, easily creating sociable activity density.

There are two gates to enter the garden side. One opens to the second as well as to a pathway from it to the schoolgrounds. This gate is always unlocked and neighbors often go for walks, sometimes coming into the garden and farm. On the other side of this gate is a little vermiculture station under the shade of the street trees.

This underutilized space is located at the southeast entrance of the farm, where most vehicular traffic enters and the farmstand is located.

The stadium on some weekends is a source of considerable noise, as the loudspeaker and muffled crowd sounds transform the feel of the farm, a reminder of its placement in the suburban fabric.






The farmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s greenhouse can be seen in the distance with this photo taken from the open field between the farm and adjacent middle school.

This location is important in the proposed design as it is where the several entries and programmed spaces intersect.

A view to the road from the road is partially blocked by trees which reenforce the feeling of enclosure within the farm.

A view from the garden side, looking east across recently tilled soil towards the main entry on the east end.



3.CLIMATE DATA Sunnyvale is located in a temperate climate area. As the name suggests, most days are filled with sun, with the majority of rainfall occuring in the autumn months. Climate design considerations therefore include as much passive heating and cooling as possible to mitigate need for active systems, though air conditioning can be utilized in interior spaces. Outdoor, covered spaces are a priority, as they both allow a greater visual and experiential connection of a class or demonstration to the underlying purpose of the farm and food system, and the climate allows such spaces to be comfortable with raincover and shade. Considerations: •considering adapted comfort levels of local population, comfort zone temperature (grey on graph) is set at 65 - 75 °F •average monthly temperature ranges 48 - 68 °F •design high temperature ranges 63 - 88 °F •design low temperature ranges 32 - 57 °F •annual mean temperature: 59 °F •annual design high: 83 °F •annual design low: 32 °F1

1. Data and chart extracted from Climate Consultant 5.2



4.EARTHQUAKES / FAULT LINES California is prone to earthquakes. There are specific areas more at risk than others, but the building code is strict in designing earthquake-proof structures state-wide. According to the Sunnyvale, California website: “A project-facilitated new development and infrastructure construction within the project area [in Sunnyvale] would by law be designed and constructed in accordance with the Uniform Building Code guidelines for Seismic Zone 4 to avoid or minimize potential damage from seismic shaking. The structural design of new project-facilitated building construction proposed within the project area between now and the year 2020 would be expected to incorporate all required conventional engineering measures considered necessary to reduce related seismic shaking impact potentials...These measures would be expected to reduce project-related seismic safety impacts to less-than-signficant levels.”1

= site fig. 5.4.1, Earthquake probability in San Francisco Bay region nca/ucerf/images/2008probabilities.pdf fig. 5.4.2, Sunnyvale is located near a quaternary fault. ucerf/images/2008probabilities.pdf

1. p. 12.9 “Downtown Improvement Program Update,” 2003 http://



5.SITE HISTORY Before the agreement between the Full Circle Farm manager and the Sunnyvale board of trustees agreed to leasing the eleven acres to the organization, the site was part of Peterson Field. It was abandoned athte time, which brought a strong case for the farm, while others argued for turning the site back into an organized sports site. As of 2007, Full Circle Farm has the site for at least ten years with the option of leasing another ten years, or to 2027. Several residents of Sunnyvale informed me while on the farm that before it was a sports field, then abandoned, it supported an orchard. As shown on the map to the left, since Sunnyvale is near San Francisco and San Jose, as each city kept expanding, more and more of the land used for orchards and agriculture became urban sprawl. Today there are very few orchards and agricultural areas left within Sunnyvale despite conditions promoting flourishing crops, including a temperate climate and fertile soil.

fig. 5.5.1, map from 1956, fig. 5.5.2, map of Santa Clara County, 1876,






The Spanish arrive in Santa Clara Valley

Martin Murphy Jr. as part of the Stephenstownsend-Murphy Part buys land and starts a wheat farm, living in a wood frame house shipped from New England


The division of land creates the cities of Sunnyvale & Mountain View



Th cre Su Mo


olvement in forts and the ndustry, the Moffett rfield, Ames y, naval guns, t launchers

Amongst other tech companies since WWII, Pong, a videogame 2000 company, establishes its headquarters in Sunnyvale


olvement in forts and the ndustry, the Moffett rfield, Ames y, naval guns, t launchers

Orchards and farms are cleared to build homes, factories, and offices

1945 Orchards and farms are cleared to build homes, factories, and offices


200 1972 Amongst other tech companies since WWII, Pong, a videogame company, establishes its headquarters in Sunnyvale

Besi orch are hou


Besi orch are hou




nnery in First the cannery in the Walter Everett -opened in county the opened inCrossman the t establishing county, establishing begins selling riculture and fruit agriculture and real estate in as the canning as the the city s major county’s major industry







Walter Everett Crossman begins selling real estate in the city

Heavy involvement Heavy in involve military efforts and military the effort defense industry,defense indu including the Moffett including the Federal Airfield, Federal Ames Airfie Laboratory, navalLaboratory, guns, n and rocket launchers and rocket la





Santa Clara County Joshua Hendy Iron Joshua Works Hendy relocates Iron Works relocates Orc Taxes, soilSanta Clara County named named of the “Garden its facilities of to Sunnyvale its facilities from to San Sunnyvale from San cle n, and degradation, andthe “Garden the World” the World” Francisco, becoming Francisco, the first becoming the first fac use imports wheat cause wheat non-agricultural industry non-agricultural in industry in become farming to become Sunnyvale. Sunnyvale. cal in uneconomical in a County Santa Clara County orchards Small fruit orchards ge wheat replace large wheat farms. OSU archives_flickr OSU archives_flickr




Amongst other tech companies since WWII, Pong, a videogame company, establishes its headquarters in Sunnyvale

Full Circle Farm, an educational organic farm, is created on an abandoned sports field near Peterson Middle School flickr,

2002 Besides privately city-owned orchards, remaining orchards are demolished and filled with housing and stores


fig. 5.6, timeline of Sunnyvale









surrounding the site at large, and immediately adjacent to the farm is a middle school, a montessori school, and various recreation fields.

Though each home has a yard, it is clear that the site is part of a

larger open spatial relief within its context, including two football fields, three baseball fields, tennis courts, and basketball courts.

fig. 5.7.1, building density fig. 5.7.2, open green space


CONSTRAINS + OPPORTUNITIES: • It is necessary to keep a clear path throughout site for large trucks and tractors

• With user time versus space progression, the design must create enough cohesion that one would travel across the site for an activity; careful placement so this only happens when necessary

• Middle school students have a time constraint and their activity zones should stick to the garden area of the site to not waste time walking.

• Seismic conditions are a vital consideration. • The facilities can be used and visited most hours of the day, allowing dynamic plays with light to enhance the feeling of changing time within a space, whether indoor or outdoor.

• There is currently minimal infrastructure (building drainage, electricity, etc.) on site, but being embedded in an urban fabric makes it easily accessible.


SITE DESIGN PRINCIPLES • Building(s) should be visible from Dunford Way to create a visual presence in the neighborhood.

• Large social gathering spaces are used often, but should be multifunctional to support daily use in other ways

• Break site up into nodes of learning and experiencing; acknowledge the distinction between garden and farm as well as rooted cultivation to uprooted consumption.

• There is no topography to drive design; excavation and sculpting the earth can be used to create spaces, and the backfill can create the walls.

• A datum, that is, a dominant line or path against which all other elements are seen in relation, is needed to understand changing place on site and passing time (daily and seasonal).

• To preserve the experience of being on a farm itself, an appropriate response to an organic farm’s organizational structure is necessary








A shaded walkway, passageway or sitting area of vertical posts or pillars that usually support cross-beams and a sturdy open lattice, often upon which woody vines are trained.

A formal garden construction on a level surface consisting of planting beds, edged in stone or tightly clipped hedging, and gravel paths arranged to form a pleasing, usually symmetrical pattern.

A line of closely spaced shrubs and tree species, planted and trained in such a way as to form a barrier or to mark the boundary of an area.



A natural or artificial cave that is associated with modern, historic or prehistoric use by humans.

cloister A rectangular open space surrounded by covered walks or open galleries.

A small group of trees with minimal or no undergrowth.

allĂŠe A straight route with a line of trees or large shrubs running along each... to emphasize the â&#x20AC;&#x153;coming to,â&#x20AC;? or arrival at a landscape or architectural feature.

porch External to the walls of the main building proper, but may be enclosed by screen, latticework, broad windows, or other light frame walls extending from the main structure.



An intentional planting of trees or shrubs that is maintained for food production.

A simple, singlestorey structure in a back garden or on an allotment that is used for storage, hobbies, or as a workshop.



Plants clipped to develop and maintain clearly defined shapes.

A free-standing structure sited a short distance from a main residence, whose architecture makes it an object of pleasure.


The climate of Sunnyvale allows many opportunities for interstitial

indoor-outdoor spaces. Some items, such as kitchen appliances, should be enclosed, while other spaces, such as for dining, learning, or waiting, may need permanent or temporary cover to protect from seasonal or unexpected rains, while remaining open otherwise.

Because the weather is both

comfortable and reliable, and because a connection to the farmâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s activities of tending crops and learning about agriculture is desired, programmed outdoor space is essential.

These outdoor and interstitial spaces derive from long-standing

traditions of Western architecture and landscape design, still filled with useful meanings.

These include pergola, allĂŠe, grotto, garden, grove,

hedge, porch, topiary, shed, cloister, parterre, orchard, and pavilion. The following diagrams exemplify their basic arrangement in terms of open space, delineated space, and built boundaries, varying from black (open) to pink (built).

fig. 6.0b, examples of traditional Mediterranean interstitial and garden spatial elements

previous page, fig. 6.0a, Villa Lante


Garden Park fig. 6.1, drawing of Villa Lante

fig. 6.2, the manicured garden area of the site


fig. 6.3, past the garden borders, nature prervades the built features.

fig. 6.4, a stepped water feature draws the audience from one level to another.


Bagnaia, Italy Jacopo Barozzi da Vignola 16th Century

This Villa design from the Italian Renaissance exemplifies incorporating the building into site design and the varieties of geometry and spatial effects that can be used to design “nature” to satisfy the human experience. Here, the two dwelling units penetrate the hill within the formal pattern of the garden, strengthening the garden’s symmetry. The overall plan balances the formalized, geometric garden against a more natural (but still planned) roaming park with a less formal structure. There is strength in the individual units: the different spatial types, whether a building or an outdoor area, are to be experienced as separate entities, a “terrace” within the whole, hence there is strict separation through hedges, material change, level change, etc. The fountains act as place-connectors, allowing one to travel from among them, reaching the whole site.

fig. 6.5, green, built, and path spatial study


fig. 6.6, aerial view of Stone Barns Food & Agricultural Center


STONE BARNS CENTER FOR FOOD & AGRICULTURE Frederick Law Olmsted, 1933 Reuse design by Machado & Silvetti Associates, 2004


Located in Pocantico Hills in New York, this center was donated

and retrofitted from the Rockefeller estate. It is open year-round to volunteers, tours, and dining. The center is twenty-five miles from New York City, placing it out of reach of the casual city traveler, yet it becomes a destination for those seeking a trip out of the city, as well as quality, local food. It is similar to this thesis in that there is programmed indoor space connected to an urban/community garden.

The design strategy utilizes an existing farm, turning it into

a campus for agriculture education. The central courtyard organizes all activities around it â&#x20AC;&#x201C; one arrives in a linear progression from the parking lot to the demonstration garden to the courtyard, and then proceeds to the desired activity. Since this is a successful, existing education center, it demonstrates the scale and varied activities that can be supported, including an education museum, administrative offices, a restaurant, cafĂŠ, various gardens, crop fields, and greenhouse.


The main courtyard space is the organizational device for most of

the centerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s program. The museum, offices, restaurant and cafe surround this courtyard and the gardens and fields are on its periphery in most directions. While a courtyard may seem too fortified for a non-profit, welcoming space, it clearly connects and delineates activity spaces, in that the open fields are one level and scale of activity, while interpersonal interaction and learning are on a more intimate scale. Also, there are penetrations to the courtyard, allowing flow.

fig. 6.7, plan massing diagram of built space


The following diagrams illustrate the spatial sequences of the center. An important observation to this is the linearity of movement of most spaces versus â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;cogâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; position of the courtyard.



2 9

fig. 6.7, progression through site, beginning with parking lot (black)



fig. 6.8, aerial map



8 5





fig. 6.9, view of center from parking

fig. 6.10, demo garden



fig. 6.11, entry

fig. 6.12, counrtyard - activity cog



fig. 6.13, Blue Hill Restaurant


fig. 6.14,Silo Lobby


fig. 6.15, Museum

fig. 6.16, vegetable field fig. 6.17, vegetable field

8. fig. 6.13 Vegetable field (Johnnyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s


fig. 6.12 Vegetable field (Johnnyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fig. 6.18, greenhouse

fig. 6.19, free range chickens

10. 11.

fig. 6.20, wetlands



fig. 6.21, The rich and warm feeling of the stone is a distinguishing and dominant feature of the center.


fig. 6.22, A central courtyard as an organizational device still allows variation in building height, size, scale, yet provides a clear focus and circulation.


fig. 6.23, The courtyard provides open, yet contained space the city-dwellers may relate to, and which contrasts with the green fields.



HERNING MUSEUM OF CONTEMPORARY ART Herning, Denmark Steven Holl 2009

fig. 6.24 saerial view of museum fig. 6.25, building plan



The building form is responsive to the site itself, while intentionally creating interstitial spaces through extended planes.

Textured concrete elevates the delicate and intimate feeling of the museum, by drawing one close to feel the unusual texture. Variation is created most often from the roof and ceiling planes, which in turn create dynamic daylighting where the roofs meet.

fig. 6.30 aerial showing roof overlaps which create spatial differentiation through light penetration at the seams

fig. 6.26-27, texture

fig. 6.28-29, clearly defined interstitial space


outdoor interstitial covered


fig. 6.31

Interstitial space is a unique aspect in this project. There are

several wall planes that extend past the programmed space of the building, creating â&#x20AC;&#x2DC;tunnelsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; of covered outdoor space that are clearly connected to the overall structure, but could be used to simply pass through from one area of the site to another, or contain informal groups or meetings. The extended planes are illustrated in pink.


With this facility as a base, the Center will continue to be an important conduit between residents and nature. -


URBAN ECOLOGY CENTER Milwaukee, Wisconsin TKWA 2004 The Urban Ecology Center based its design on environmental stewardship and community,1 exemplified through components on all scales of connection of user to building and building to site.

Perhaps most

importantly in achieving the goal of the center, it becomes a background for the teacher to student learning, student and environment interaction, and an inviting community gathering space.

fig. 6.33 fig. 6.32, left; street entrance

1. “Milwaukee’s Urban Ecology Center,” http://www.architectureweek. com/2010/0519/environment_5-3.html


fig. 6.34



The center focuses on serving its surrounding neighborhood

within a 2-mile radius, with activities ranging from that of the casual passerby to staff, volunteers, and program attendees. There are spaces on all scales to support learning and interaction, as well as special activity spaces, such as the children slides from one floor to another, the exterior climbing wall on the west side of the building, and an observation tower. Important environmental aspects include a photovoltaic roof, greywater system, recycleable exterior metal paneling, and a sustainably harvested wood structure and features.


410 sf 210 sf

190 sf

1200 sf 390 sf

560 sf 580 sf

410 sf 260 120


66 sf 280 sf

190 sf 1230 sf

90 sf

480 sf


fig. 6.35


With the emphasis on community involvement and education, the Urban Ecology is an appropriate program precedent. As previously mentioned, there is an emphasis on a variation of “soft degrees of separation”1 to create nooks for casual gathering as well as classrooms for more guided activities.

activities learn perform watch interact eat observe work prepare teach gather

space names vestibule exhibit space open/multi-use hearth offices observation tower slide classrooms atrium

square footage 90 410 1230 190 500 (260+120+120) 280 100 1010 (410+210+390) 1200, 1230

1. “Milwaukee’s Urban Ecology Center,” http://www.architectureweek. com/2010/0519/environment_5-2.html


public space double height space


private space fig. 6.36


The central hearth is a classic symbol as well as utilized gathering space, as well as an ordering and connecting device of the first and second floors. Exterior balconies emphasize the buildingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s connection with nature by allowing the students to play, disperse, and have other planned activities outside while still under the supervision of the center.



fig. 6.37


The circulation emphasizes how many different ways the interior and exterior are connected depending on the activity. For example, the west side ciculates those going to and from the observation tower and climbing wall. The front opens to a garden space o the first floor and ample balcony space above. The slides on the south end overlook an extensive plot of land being rehabilitated.



fig. 6.38, left; Climbing wall on west end fig. 6.39, Having a great deal of open space within the building is similar to the Stone Barns Center, but on a smaller scale. It provides opportunity for more communal events both on the first and second floor.

fig. 6.40, The slide is the one of the most unique features of the building. That and the climbing wall on the observation deck tower show the playful attitude of the building, encouraging children to come learn and experience.





Pleasure without knowledge is mere self-indulgence. _Carlo Petrini

fig. 7.1 conceptual collage of feasting area fig. 7.2 conceptual collage study of incpororating tensile coverings fig. 7.3 conceptual collage of orchard and feasting area from west end



The objectives with the education center is to provide opportunities

for exploration and understanding of the food system and one’s placement in it to the diverse types of people coming to the farm, from CSA members, children at the adjacent middle school, volunteer garden workers, regular employees, those attending classes, feast attendees, and casual neighbor strollers.

Careful attention in the site planning exists where spatial

experiences are in relation to their surroundings – what is above, underfoot, beside, and how these spaces are proportioned in relation to adjoining spaces.

This reinforces the peripheral spatial experience, as Pallasmaa

explained. For example, the root cellar is not a quick stairway down from either main entrance, but a gradual declination underground that requires a certain amount of time and paces, to allow the new surroundings to envelop the senses.

Also, the orchard surrounds the classrooms and kitchens, showing

that the education is embedded in the process of growth, as seasonal changes can be casually observed from the defined space of ‘classroom.’



fig. 7.4 site plan; the main entry on the southeast end of the site opens to the main sequential experience, with the main walkway leading to the classroom and feasting space.







self + earth pace

chance encounter, discovery

community building, learning students





The program includes a produce stand, indoor and outdoor

classroom space, two kitchens, casual gathering space around these, the feasting space, a root cellar room and storage, administrative offices, and educational ‘stations’ throughout the site.

The site as a whole will teach the audience of their placement in the

food system. This will occur through the distance and time taken traveling to each area of the site as well as specific activities. The effective progression is from consumption to understanding. The steps along the way include gaining appreciation of labor and physical exertion needed in tending and obtaining food, understanding the physical limitations and opportunities for fresh produce, our placement in time in terms of implementing appropriate technology compared to possibilities of the future, and pacing one’s expectations within limitations, including abundance at harvest times and restraint in slower seasons, and finally, an appreciation of the parts to whole, an individual ingredient’s contribution to a meal, and the process to help it transform into such. All such activities vary in their architectural needs, with more built space required for learning about ingredients and preparation.

fig. 7.5 program diagram showing forces and goals and the need for a central node fig. 7.6 diagram showing a datum established by an intervention amongst plants to measure existing change - plant growth.


CONSUMPTION TO UNDERSTANDING While a linear succession the typical way of understanding the food system, each element in this educational experience is interwoven with the rest, and to varying degrees relate to each of the three main driving design elements of earth, community, and system/processes.

community c asses, eaclasses, g learning





enjoyment (feast)



moments marking change

e o oym ymentt eas s

rammed earth building









fig. 7.7 left; diagram of sequence spaces (pink) and their relation to the driving design elements (black), with the ultimate goal being full enjoyment of the food process at a communal feast.

the process of creating food and nourishment



one’s relationship to place in terms of constant patterns, cycles, and processes, including daylight, harvest seasons, and plant growth itself. architecturally, how the earth not only provides nourishment, but the site’s own earth provides dwelling as well.


the fruit of labor and understanding through a farmer’s market, creating a meal, and an educational class.

fig. 7.8 (top) The six elements of the sequence to understanding, all as part of the three goals, learn, observe, and share.

fig. 7.9 below; A diagram demonstrating the blurred indoor/ outdoor space created by both natural elements such as tree canopies, and the tensile structure element.

gradation of enclosure The region’s moderate climate allows a gradient of enclosed to ex-



fig. 7.10 Rendering of ‘consumption’ space, the farm stand.

fig. 7.11 rendering of one spatial element considered for ‘wandering’

fig. 7.12 Rendering of working in field. Though one is consumed by vegetation, the outer levels of enclosure on the site, in this view, include the greenhouse and volunteer center.



fig. 7.13 Rendering depicting root cellar tasting room; other senses, mainly sight, are suppressed in order to bring forth the flavor of unusual and endangered foods.

fig. 7.14 Preliminary rendering of preparation/ kitchen space. Foliage covering the curtain wall indicates the time of year and reenforce memory of the ingredientsâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; origin.

fig. 7.15 Rendering of working in field. Though one is consumed by vegetation, the outer levels of enclosure on the site, in this view, include the greenhouse and volunteer center.



There is no space unrelated to the unconscious image of the perceiving self.

_J. Pallasmaa

fig. 7.16 Night rendering study of a light penetration effect experienced outside of the building.


BIBLIOGRAPHY 1. Berry, Wendell. Bringing It to the Table: On Farming and Food. Berkeley: Counterpoint, 2009. 2. Easton, David. The Rammed Earth House. White River Junction, Vt: Chelsea Green, 2007. 3. “Farm.” Wikipedia. Accessed October 22, 2012. http://en.wikipedia. org/wiki/Farm. 4. Federoff, Nina. “Keynote Address.” Lecture, International Sustainable Development Research Conference 17, Columbia University, New York City, May 8, 2011. 5. Food, Inc. Directed by Robert Kenner. Performed by Michael Pollan & Eric Schlosser. Magnolia Pictures, 2008. Netflix. 6. Frampton, Kenneth. “Towards a Critical Regionalism: Six Points for an Architecture of Resistance.” In The Anti-aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture, by Hal Foster, 16-30. Port Townsend, WA: Bay Press, 1983. 7. Full Circle Farm. “Our Vision.” Full Circle Farm. Accessed September 28, 2011. 8. Full Circle Farm. “The Challenge.” Full Circle Farm. Accessed September 22, 2011. the-challenge/. 9. “A Grassroots Food Revolution - The Modern Victory Garden.” The Modern Victory Garden. 2010. Accessed October 4, 2011. http:// 10. Harper, Douglas. “Online Etymology Dictionary.” Online Etymology Dictionary. 2001. Accessed October 22, 2012. http://www. “agrarian,” “culture,” “education,” “educate” 11. Hawken, Paul. Blessed Unrest: How the Largest Movement in the World Came into Being, and Why No One Saw It Coming. New York: Viking, 2007. 12. Hobbs, Robert. Robert Smithson: Sculpture. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press, 1981. 13. Knight, Amelia. “The Running Fence Revisited.” Accessed October 20, 2011.


14. Matthews, Kevin. “Milwaukee’s Urban Ecology Center.” ArchitectureWeek. Accessed October 4, 2011. http://www.architectureweek. com/2010/0519/environment_5-1.html. 15. Pallasmaa, Juhani. The Eyes of the Skin: Architecture and the Senses. Chichester: Wiley-Academy, 2005. 16. Pallasmaa, Juhani. The Thinking Hand: Existential and Embodied Wisdom in Architecture. Chichester, U.K.: Wiley, 2010. 17. Petrini, Carlo. Slow Food: The Case for Taste. New York: Columbia University Press, 2003. 18. Rael, Ronald. Earth Architecture. New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 2009. 19. Smith, Kimberly K. “Chapter 1.” In Wendell Berry and the Agrarian Tradition: A Common Grace. University Press of Kansas, 2003. 20. Smithson, Robert, George Baker, and Lynne Cooke. Robert Smithson - Spiral Jetty: True Fictions, False Realities. New York: Dia Art Foundation, 2005. 21. Smithson, Robert, Lynne Cooke, Karen Kelly, and George Baker. Robert Smithson: Spiral Jetty. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 2005. 22. Smithsonian. “40 Things You Need to Know About the Next 40 Years.” Smithsonian Magazine. August 2010. Accessed March 30, 2012. 23. Tanizaki, Jun’ichirō. In Praise of Shadows. New Haven, CT: Leete’s Island Books, 1977. 24. USA. City of Sunnyvale. Downtown Improvement Program Update. 2003. Section 12, “Soils and Geology”



Earth, Food, & Building: Values in Nourishment and Spatial Experience  

Master of Architecture thesis 2012. Research ties together the history of the food system in the U.S., education, and natural building. The...