Foodhall as a public space.
The problems of food waste and social isolation are implicitly linked; these can be traced back to a lack of infrastructure for communal dining and food sharing. The foodhall project is a systems based, design led approach upheld by a CIC (non profit Community interest company) . Oscilating between architecting new sharing facilities, communal dining facilities, developing communication platforms and new campaigns for awareness and connection. We integrate at multiple levels with a reciprocal approach to action and research. It is a journey of discovery and many efforts are subtle and invisible. Others are obvious and immediate, however they implicitly relate to one another by instigating the condition for collective action towards a more communal and sharing world.
A students, graduates, architectural designers, town planners, writers, theorists, web developers,cooks, kitchen fitters, citizens and city dwellers our actions can be defined as ‘public space and resource making in a difficult neoliberal economy’ in the right to the city movement. We firstly research and issues close to home then immediately act upon constructing a solution. High concept, concise and direct implementation. We are not funded by any funding body and are entirely not for profit, we have no client other than the city itself.
We uphold decentralised approach of practice and maintain rigorous post occupancy evaluation with the public users of our spaces and services. Developing with feedback we create a loop. The casual café user or city dweller becomes a co-producer of the space and place. We are supported entirely by city’s citizens in more than one sense; We have made it this far with no start up capital. pay as you feel Donations, feedback and sponsorship from those that benefit and support the spaces and services are our only revenue stream. We reinvest this back into the space and aim to develop more communal facilities in the future. Of course as we are humanists; donation is never obligatory, our food, space and services are for anyone who wants or needs them.
Our lineage in Sheffield can be seen as a modern reinterpretation of the historic Scotland street commonwealth café ran by Edward carpenter in the late 1800’s in kelham island.
We take a lot of inspiration from the Indian Ashram system/gudwara’s and the darma to give free food. This creates a public welfare of donation based food which does not have a western equivalent . We also only serve vegetarian food.
We are accredited as part of the Real junk food project network and this means we follow the principals of reclaiming food that may have otherwise been thrown away to lower food waste. However we are more concerned with the aspects of public space so maintain our own identity.
Our primary focus is currently to engage early instigators within student and graduate communities in university cities and explore how they relate to the wider community; This stems from a key piece of research by defra, the habit discontinuity Hypothesis: In which it is discovered that habits developed during ‘moments of change’ stick with us for a very long time.So we carry out lots of cross societal, cultural learning workshops with food as the social glue. In this respect this early area of focus is has a high lifelong embedded positive environmental and social impact. It also just so happens we are students and recent graduates ourselves.
We refuse out of the box solutions. Our Eyre street community kitchen and pay as you feel café is developed DIY completely from reclaimed materials crafted and transformed bespoke fit to context.
The community fridge is kept stocked by a network who make regular donations and benefit from our ‘we care’ accreditation scheme. This shows the community that they are active in their support for local community groups and are also have less waste.
We help both student groups and the wider community with our facilities.
Please get in touch if you want to host a communal meal. Or visit our web application to make one in your home for your community. If you want to help us with the foodhall project get in touch as we always want to hear from prospects, volunteers, donators and friends.