Space of Dialogue
Reframe a vision of a community center.
An intensive life in a city and constant interaction between its citizens contributes to the fact that we are less likely want to know our neighbours as today we tend to see our homes as a safe place where we can escape from additional communications. This can be seeing as a dangerous tendency as then the reaction to changes that are happening in a neighbourhood (good or bad) is slower.
How can we define and create healthy relationships in a neighbourhood ?
To find a process, object or a space that can represent the idea of Genuine Dialogue in a neighbourhood was a focus of this project.
The notion Genuine Dialogue is taken as a metaphor to define a way to establish healthy relationships between people in a neighbourhood.
Genuine Dialogue can be described as a process that holds differences together. Genuine Dialogue contains not only of a verbal communication. What is more important - it is a process where its participants are becoming aware of the “others”, that they are different, and as a consequence they consider the “others” as the persons they are. Genuine dialogue requires an interhuman “social” sphere in which person meets person.
Nowadays realities have changed and a classical community centres are not fully performing the functions assigned to them. So, what place could take the function of a classical community center?
Research brought the project into a local supermarket, as the most commonly visited site in our neighbourhoods. A local supermarket is the only place that neighbourhood residents are visiting at least once a week. Supermarket or area around it has a great potential to spread the news and involve residents into local events and activities as it is full of people living nearby!
Further investigation of a supermarket itself opened up an interesting 'symbiosis' or 'cooperation' between the supermarket, local social organisations, supermarket partners (food manufacturers/product providers) and food banks.
These finding as well as the original thesis of 'Genuine dialogue' leaded to an idea of Communal Cooking System (Community Kitchen), what would unite all the parties listed above and take the advantage of already existing relationships.
Cash desk and
Place of the Community Kitchen in the supermarket was carefully chosen:
it has to be visible;
communicated well with the supermarket customers;
follow restrictions and rules like temperature, smell, logistics or technical communications.
Taking all these into account as well as most common floor plans of the supermarkets, was suggested a principal model of the supermarket interior, where the Community Kitchen is placed next to the window and between the bakery and cash desks.
Information stand plays an important role in the organisation of the Community Kitchen activities.
People can place an announcement of their event, questions, leave event booklets, get an information about coming events, reserve kitchen for their own event and etc.
Bellow you can see a simulation of the use of the Community kitchen information stand screen.
VALUE OF THE PROJECT
Neighbourhood / Neighbourhood residents: By seeing each other (passive participants) and cooking together (active participants) they can make stronger connections and help their neighbourhood thrive.
Local non-profit social organisations are already using ''food'' and ''cooking'' as a tool to connect people in neighbourhoods. They are in need in a permanent space and also a communication channel that can reach a wide audience. Community Kitchen can help them with that.
Supermarket also have programs aiming to support locals and events related to food and cooking. Having Community kitchen in a supermarket can help to get more clients and strengthen relationships in a neighbourhood where they are located.
Food manufacturers/related industries while promoting their products can support the kitchen with food and related products.