† An Urban Farm as an Outdoor Social Space: Our Generation’s Symbol? That, in a nutshell, is the proposal by Don Wood and Amale Andraos of Work Architecture for a courtyard in Queens, New York:
. . . the architects’ creative process started with the more traditional P.S. 1 courtyard concept of an urban beach, focusing on themes like the striped bathing costumes of a 1928 photograph called “La Plage.” They moved from there to contemplating “Sous les pavés, la plage” (roughly, “under the paving stones, a better life”), a slogan dating from the 1968 student riots in Paris. Finally they arrived at the notion of “Sur les paves la ferme,” meaning, “Over the pavement, the farm.”
“We wanted to find what our generation’s symbol would be,” Ms. Andraos said, “embodying our preoccupations, our hopes for the world.”
In working out their design, the architects also kept in mind the movement from industrialization to postindustrialization, from global to local, from the free market to the farmer’s market, and from sand to hay.
Read the complete article about the design competition and the evolution of Wood’s and Andraos’s concept on the New York Times site.
† Competing Views of Cloning: Slow Food has taken a position squarely against cloning and GMOs, largely based on concerns about biodiversity and the sometimes delicate balances that keep ecosystems operating efficiently. Not everyone shares this view, as expressed by James McWilliams in an op-ed piece in the February 5 New York Times, available online. On the Gristmill blog, Tom Philpott finds many faults in McWilliams’ arguments.
† GOOD magazine’s Food Issue: GOOD magazine is good for Slow Food and a good read. If you’ve waited to check it out, consider taking a look at the food-focused March/April issue about to hit newsstands. Several articles consider food consumption, food politics, and food-as-business as well as Los Angeles-specific topics.
In November 2007, Slow Food USA announced a partnership with GOOD, joining eleven other nonprofit organizations that benefit directly from GOOD’s growth. GOOD focuses on social, political, and environmental issues, and will donate 100% of its subscription revenue to nonprofit groups. If you sign up for a subscription to GOOD you can designate your $20 subscription fee to Slow Food USA, a win-win situation. Visit the subscription page and consider adding GOOD to your monthly reading list.
† On the Road: Many Slow Food members and friends make their food choices an important part of their travel plans, and the travel section of the February 4 Los Angeles Times offered a selection of California food festivals for 2008, including dates, descriptions, and links to local websites.