This studio interrogates how built architectural intervention can inspire, precipitate or facilitate policy change from within the Black urban farming community in Buffalo. While urban farms are active and productive already throughout our area, forthcoming food and agricultural related regulations could radically shift the landscape for producing food within the city. What will these changes mean for the urban ag movement in the city? And more importantly, what COULD policy change look like, such that it strengthens and augments the movement, allowing more locally produced, affordable and healthy foods to be produced within low-income communities of color? What can we do as makers to help articulate the material consequences of these potentials, by materially exploring the consequences of zoning changes, the need for energy and water access, or the requirements for safe food production?
This studio will work in intense collaboration with an established urban farming organization within the city, Buffalo Go Green (BGG), to identify a modest built project, collaboratively design it, fabricate it in our shop, and install it on BGG’s Zenner street site in Buffalo’s east side Bailey Green neighborhood.
This project is funded through a research grant from the Foundation for Food and Agriculture Research, as part of a five-year research project “Growing Food Policy from the Ground Up”, a collaboration among UB, Johns Hopkins, University of Minnesota, Urban Fruits and Veggies, Appetite for Change, Massachusetts Avenue Project, and Food for the Spirit.