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Published by Vinay Yadav

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Published by: Vinay Yadav on Jan 08, 2011
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NovaTerra/ jaargang 4 / nummer 1 / april 2004 / 30
Life design can be seen as a mixture of urban design and,in this case,food culture.The aim is to create a balanced and higherquality society.‘On the way to food’describes a bottom up process in whichpeople are encouraged to participate insomething like the ‘slow food’movement.Justas ‘fastfood’is characterised by adistinctarchitecture and urban context(often roadside parking lots) ‘slow food’needs a specific urban design as well.In a broader sense,this covers aspectslike quality of space,culture,economy,environment,society,atmosphere,taste,feeling and networking.Life design shouldpull these various strands together andtransform them into physical elements wecan enjoy in real space.
food culture = cooking culture +restaurant culture
Fabricia’s book aboutfood wonderfullyillustrates the maxim ‘You are whatyou eat’.
Food creates directvalue for bothindividuals and society.Food culture isdiverse and flexible and is an integral partof the food cycle.When we define this cycleas production,consumption and waste,we find food culture where production andconsumption intersects.Two importantelements in this are ‘cooking culture’and‘restaurantculture’:cooking cultureinvolves the creative process;restaurantculture is aboutentertainmentand goingout.Combining these elements in an urbansetting requires creative solutions,in termsof architecture and urban planning.Thecombination of food culture and urbandesign is new,butcould nevertheless fitwell into contemporary urban societies.For a food culture to develop we needstrong core areas in our cities where urbandesign is dedicated to all aspects of food.Whatmakes such a centre attractpeople istaste transaction,creative thinking andenlightenmentthrough experience:tasting,own cooking,watching others cook andguessing how they do it;atmosphere,sound,smell and so on.This is the type of urban environmentwe should create.
the potential for food culturein north-west europe
Food culture has developed slowly in theNetherlands and in NorthwestEurope.The
On the way to food…
Tajima Masayuki,TU Delft,Faculty of Architecture / Illustrations:Tajima Masayuki
This article is aboutmy graduation projectatthe Faculty of Architecture,DelftUniversityof Technology:‘On the way to food’.Itexplores the relation between people’s daily livesand the builtenvironment,which I call ‘Life Design‘.
NovaTerra/ jaargang 4 / nummer 1 / april 2004 / 31
Calvinistic culture in Holland was one inwhich spending more than absolutelynecessary on food was frowned upon andeating in a restaurantwas thoughtto be awaste of money.Family life was conductedindoors.Atthe same time the Dutch did nothave a tradition of growing or processingtheir own food.Poor climatic conditionsalso hindered the developmentof a foodculture;people enjoy food more when theycan choose to eatinside or outside.ForEurope as a whole,the disruption of twodevastating world wars slowed down theinteraction between nations and peoples,for a long time preventing the spread ofood products and culinary traditionsthroughoutthe continent.Butnow,inthe 21stcentury,the situation is different.Looking forward,I anticipate thatglobalisation and technological developmentswill encourage number of trends:The developmentof a more constructiveattitude towards food culture and itspromotion.The use of existing assets:theagriculture and biotech industries;cultural environments such as historicalelements and districts (creating romanticplaces);transportinfrastructureforexporting and importing produce;andgreater ethnic diversity.The adoption of more general Europeantrends and mentalities towards food,linking environmental concerns withfood quality.Bringing differentcultures together andcreating new culinary traditions.
san francisco – a centre of food culture
A good example of an urban structurethatsupports food culture is the SanFrancisco Bay Area in California.The city of San Francisco is the centre of this foodculture,with a clear centre of gravity in thedowntown area.In turn,this centre connectsto the surrounding food sub-centres:Berkeley for Californian cuisine,San Jose forMexican food and Napa Valley for wines.Each city has its own vivid colour.The welllaid outinfrastructure system guaranteesthe fresh delivery of ingredients and a rapidtransaction of taste.Itenables people tomove around in search of greattaste anda variety of good butcheap ingredients.This networking and sharing of informationmakes the San Francisco Bay area a placewhere going outand cooking cultureresonate constantly.
food culture in rotterdam
The city of Rotterdam has a number of elements in place for developing a foodculture,both in quality and quantity.The city is ethnically diverse,has a well-established infrastructure system (portandmotorway system) and occupies a goodlocation in both the Randstad and North-WestEurope.Unfortunately,Rotterdamlacks a clear focal pointfor food culture.The biweekly marketatthe Binnenrottenear station Blaak (the largestfood marketin the Netherlands) could be an importantelementfor such a focal pointbecause itis a source of fresh and cheap products.Butalthough the Blaak area provides abackbone for a cooking culture,itdoes notprovide the necessary activities for tasteand cooking creativity itself.Something islacking.
wijnhaven – regenerating an innercity area
Situated near the Binnenrotte market,theWijnhaven (Wine harbour) is ideally located
City, Food culture (network of people)EthicsIdentity of the areaPolitical (social and cultural)Economical--CommercialismBottom up approachSlow food vs Fast food Ecology RecyclingBurnt Sustainability Global Scale OperationEuropean Trend, Organic Product Top down approachNederland as leading countriesMaking CultureConsumption Culture
Cooking CultureRestaurant Culture
Figuur 1Developmentof food culture.
NovaTerra/ jaargang 4 / nummer 1 / april 2004 / 32
between two major transithubs (Beurs andBlaak) and between the two bridges thatconnectthe northern and southern parts of the city (Willemsbrug and Erasmusbrug).After the bombardmentof 1940 theWijnhaven area was developed as a mono-functional office area and remained thatway for aboutfifty years.The area is nowundergoing an urban renewal process inwhich the Wijnhaveneiland andsurrounding area is being transformed intoa mixed-use,high-rise,high-density urbanarea.The excellentaccessibility,the closeproximity of the city centre (within walkingdistance) and the spatial quality of thesurrounding water makes itan outstandinglocation.As a linear elementthe Wijnhavencan easily connectthe city’s ‘cultural axis’,the Witte de Withstraat,with anotherconcentration of cafés,bars andrestaurants,the Oude Haven.All thesequalities create the rightconditions for asuccessful urban redevelopment.ButtheWijnhaven is still lacking a dominantculture;food culture could fill thatgap.
a new food culture centre
The developmentof the Wijnhavenarea should firstconnectthe Witte deWithstraatto the Oude Haven.A bridgestretching from the Witte de Withstraatisnecessary to guarantee a smooth flow of people.Since bringing people over to theWijnhaven area is key to the success of the further development,we could starttreating the area as an extension of theWitte de Withstraat,the current‘culturalaxis’.Eventually,Wijnhaven could offer astrong food culture combined withbusinesses,home offices,entertainment,housing and a sports centre.The idea is topromote a balanced community thatunderstands the essence of Life Design.This concentration of creative ideas andenlightenmentwill eventually become themotor for the generation of a strong foodculture here.A strong emphasis is putoncooking culture because its creative skilland thinking is an essential ingredientfora progressive food culture.The new food culture core could contain thefollowing main components:
 A Ministry of Taste
a food culture think-tankfor ideas,research,marketing,promotion,advice and education.This will include
BinnerotteRotterdam Central StationWitte de With Straat Oude HavenErasmus BridgeBeursBlaak 
Existing Public DomainCity icons to define boundary of Rotterdam downtown areaUrban Scheme for this project Major Street for automobileFlow from outside of downtown area
Expected Flow after the intervention
Figuur 2Food culture in Rotterdam.

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