Barn: Designing a Restaurant that Embodies the Convivial and Dynamic Nature of the Whole Food Movement Open Access
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Using the ethos of the Whole Food Movement as its foundation, I will design a sustainable restaurant that redefines pleasure in the food experience. My thesis project is the creation of a green restaurant; green both in terms of its purpose and its design implementation. The foundation of this restaurant is based in the Whole Food Movement. I will explore this movement in terms of its socio-political, economic, and environmental implications, and also its emphasis on the pleasurable experience of food. The term whole food is an inclusive term that describes a worldview that involves not only food but the food experience. The Whole Foods Movement involves both physical foods but also the food experience. The goal is to eat locally and organically whenever possible and eat food, not food-like substances. Since the Post WWII era, the food supply in the United States has been changing rapidly. The availability of locally sourced foods that are sold in accordance with seasonality has been replaced by a mass produced, industrial system of food. Since the 1970s, this has increasingly come to mean cheaply produced foods that utilize corn or soy as their basis. The rise of the factory farm and the use of industrial fertilizers and genetically altered species of seeds have changed the health content of even our whole foods supply. Not to mention the tremendous impact this has had on the livestock we rely on for diary products and for meat. This system has depleted the nutrition content of our foods, increased the consumption of industrial food-like substances within our society, incited a nation wide epidemic of obesity, and created a culture where food is no longer an experience but rather a means of sustenance, all of which has had tremendous consequences for the natural environment. The Whole Foods Movement aims to bring people back to food that is grown in accordance with seasonality, local availability, and naturally/organically. The foundations and basic philosophical ideas behind the Whole Food Movement parallel the foundations of the sustainable design movement. The sustainable design movement, in regards to interior design, works to create built environments that leave little impact in their selection of materials and implementation. My design will utilize local materials and local artisans. This is in accordance with the Whole Food Movement's emphasis on localism. By using local resources, the restaurant will be further rooted in its community and its natural environment. My choice in site is set within the framework of the sustainable design and Whole Food Movements. Utilizing adaptive reuse, I will convert an old barn in the Finger Lakes region in New York, into a restaurant that serves whole, local, and organic foods whenever possible. By using an existing structure, the restaurant will be firmly rooted in the history and community of the area. I intend to use sustainable materials, whenever possible.