neal robinson – one potato

One potato, two potatoes, three potatoes, four. Five potatoes, six potatoes, seven potatoes, more!  “More!”, is the defining promise of the Supermarket. Mutable, stealthy and stocked with asynchronous edibles, exotic narratives and far-flung geographies, it assures one always finds more than the intended bargain. A condenser of capital, commodity and communion, sometimes you find milk, other times, you find love (a.k.a. “murder”- see Bernard Tschumi) Patterned and surgically arranged, a good, super, market never lies. It simply trades in the double trouble of both reflecting cultural desire and simultaneously inscribing it back upon us. It is a self-fulfilling institution: one that balances both promise and incarceration.

Beginning with the humble yet globally impactful, “potato,” One Potato explores the varied institutional/situational groundings of your personal, local, loco-ed food and gadget market. Saturated with adverts, dubious nutritional claimants and devious circulatory systems, we’ll use both your pandemic and paranoid re-collections to reposition both the social and formal response-abilities of this this suspicious type. We’ll recognize that we are also the “produce” that feigns objectivity in the literal, feedback (fruit)loop.

Basil, Milk, Mango and Oyster will be but four of the millions of characters that work to exchange empathetic values between customer and custom, worker and work, and produce and producer. 

Expiration dates: Designing for our-selves yet on behalf of others, this studio is ripe for unintentional rot. Aisles of unconscious bias, privileged produce and ecological displacement are seemingly integral to this institution of distribution. It’s not an easy shop.

“One Potato” invites you, seduces you, needs you to rethink the shop.

We’re open 24/7 except major holidays or mass incident.

Wednesdays are Double-coupon day.

1st hour of operations reserved for the immunocompromised

Competitor’s coupon are honored.

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Student Work

Alex Vernon – “Forage Storage”

Permaculture economies predate shopping, and may outlive markets as we know them. For now, though, they range from backyard-berries to prized matsutake mushrooms in Japan. Shopping, however, is in itself a form of foraging. Selections, recommendations, tools, travel, perishable goods, all derive from foraging strategies. Yet foraging does not necessitate a formal architecture. But what if it could? This project proposes what types of architectural typologies could exist to establish a permaculture-economy based on foraging. By folding in grocery store tropes into an otherwise primitive act, how does nature become commodified? Foraging economies span more than just distance; foraging’s socioeconomic motivations span from local hobbyist to professional, from rich to poor, yet very little infrastructure or architecture exists within these permaculture economies. . 

“Market as permaculture” parallels grocery store actions with its more primitive roots – foraging – to understand what types of economies emerge when provided with a market-rhetoric infrastructure by atomizing 20,000sqft of “retail space” and distributing it over a mountain. Thus allows for the hiking trails to become “shoppable”, with intermittent locations between designed to compliment the product’s conditions. 

“For centuries, foraged food was a sign of poverty, and they called it “famine food,” or “animal food.” The exception was truffles and porcini, which today command enough money for a good forager to be able to wait in line at the supermarket, buying stale food with the bourgeoisie.”

– Anna Tsing, The Mushroom at the End of the World

John Lozinak  – “CARe-it-Cake”

“A lot has changed over the years in Holtville, but one thing in particular has stayed constant: our love for carrot cake. It’s all we eat actually; breakfast, lunch and dinner … It does get old at times, but it’s all we really have now.” – Holtville Citizen, Circa 2075

Various environmental, political, economic, and social conditions are constantly reshaping architecture, but rarely will a specific food product solely dictate these changes. The self-proclaimed ‘Carrot Capital of the World’ (Holtville, CA) will experience drastic changes over the next 50 years. The force behind it all is the beloved carrot cake. 

Primarily focusing on three broad categories, this project explores possible transformations through (but are not limited to) addition, duplication, and adaptation. The three categories chosen are (1) the Agricultural industry, (2) the Making/Selling of carrot cakes, and (3) the Social aspects of carrot cakes.

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