The 2012 theme of the National Day of Architecture is food and architecture. Mediamatic's aquaponics project Voedzelf/Feedself and the Biodiesel Canteen by João Negro featured at the Food & Architecture Fair hosted by the Amsterdam Center for Architecture (ARCAM).
Food, people and cities are inextricably connected. The exponential growth in population has placed a lot of stress on the food production and -distribution cycle. This development calls for new ideas and applications by creative designers and urban citizens. Mediamatic embraces this development.
Over the next few years Mediamatic will focus on redeveloping itself as a hyper-local open house for art, new technology and fresh stuff. We are moving away from new media and towards biotechnology: art and design with organisms. At Mediamatic we've been experimenting with aquaponics: a sustainable food production system that combines the cultivation of vegetables and fish in a closed cycle. This method utilizes natural bacterial cycles to convert fish waste to plant nutrients. The plants filtrate the water for the fish without the need to discard any water.
In the Diesel Kantine (Diesel Canteen) João Negro makes soap and bio-diesel from old frying fat collected from the neighborhood around Mediamatic Fabriek. Two basic elements of everyday life: soap and fuel. The soap we produce is scented with spices from our own aquaponics cultivation. The bio-diesel heats the stove that we use to prepare snacks made from our aquaponics fish and veggies; the Kantine and the neighborhood sustain one another. The energy comes from the neighborhood, the ingredients come from the neighborhood, and João will feed, clean, educate, and entertain the neighborhood.
Location: Centrale Markthallen, part of Food Centre Amsterdam, north of the Jan van Galenstraat in Amsterdam West. Time: 10.00 to 18.00. At the Food & Architecture Fair you’ll find different designers, food experts, chefs and architects who illustrate the inspiring relation between food and design. For more information about the Food & Architecture Fair visit the website of ARCAM and the website of Dag van de Architectuur (National Day of Architecture).
The French/German broadcasting station ARTE dedicated an item about urban farming and our aquaponics project at June 2, 2012. Go to this page for the broadcast.