Located in the heart of Manchester, between Oxford Road and Upper Brook Street, my school of Community explores various ways of bringing the people together through food. Wider feminist urban design strategies were implemented with the aim of making the city more communal and inclusive. Furthermore, the on-site program manifests visual and physical connectivity through a public allotment, market, restaurants and communal kitchens to bring the Mancunian community together.
The proposal is derived from looking into basic human behaviour of how we gravitate towards people who look like us, as we feel more comfort due to cultural, racial and ethnic similarities. Whilst this can be true to some extent, it creates an indirect and unconscious bias and little do we know that if we were put in a situation where we’d have to interact with others, we would get along just as well.
In order break this bias through architectural means, I created a series of communal spaces where people could come together and share their culture through growing, cooking, eating and selling food. The Interconnected indoor and outdoor programs allow immense opportunity to bring various users together all year round. Increasing chances of encounter through the secondary spaces from paths, buffer zones and thresholds were also embedded within the program to enforce the connectivity ethos. Careful attention to environmental strategies and reduced embodied carbon was considered to enhance the quality of spaces complying with the 2050 net zero carbon plan.
Diverse cultures and traditions is what makes our human race unique, and by embracing and by sharing these cultures with one another, we connect. Growing, cooking, selling and eating food is done through diverse means globally. Designing an environment for that breaks biases and allows the user to not only seek comfort in the diversity but also thrive overall as a human race.