UBC Graduate Research

SALT : notes on food, locality and a new coastal architecture Hansen, William


Witnessing the rise of the globalized food system and its fragility, networks of farms start to organize to create more agro-independent regions. In the Saanich Peninsula on Vancouver Island, a network of farm already exists. To make it even more comprehensive, a new salt farm co-op is proposed: The facility would provide salt to the local farmers as a farming tool, as a consumed good, and as a building material. Reconsidering the modern farm typology through the lens of an architectural and agricultural “new local,” the project aims at igniting a conversation about what food independence would look like at an architectural level. How does this independence, and the new social dynamics that come with it, echo in architectural form? Through material research and architectural iterations, the outcome consists of an archipelago of productive spaces that invite the public in. Built out of salt, the facility makes a point: reconsidering the way we produce food impacts the way we could think about local architecture. Though the salt farm is a response specific to the context of the Saanich Peninsula, it raises issues that are relevant to many communities around the world: How can we create new and meaningful ways of eating and building? What does it mean for a region to become independent? This thesis hints at a new approach to making farms and farming food so that we may sustain both ourselves and our planet in the future.

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