Farmers Market Design Competition

How can better design ensure that food grown by local farmers is delivered and distributed to urban residents?

A contest sponsored by GOOD, The Architect’s Newspaper, The Urban & Environmental Policy Institute, and The Los Angeles Good Food Network. Demand for “good food”—defined as healthy, green, fair, and affordable—is rising. Whether it’s from a rural family-run farm, community-supported agriculture group, or a backyard plot, locally grown food is increasingly viewed as a solution for many economic, environmental, and health concerns. Yet significant barriers exist in bringing that food to urban tables. Even if a steady supply of good food is available, it can’t be delivered without better distribution networks that efficiently move it to multiple outlets and consumers. What we need is a massive shift in our food delivery systems that will provide a variety of opportunities for farmers to sell directly and effectively to urban residents, helping us redefine the path from farm to fork. It’s time to rethink our local farmers’ markets. the OBJECTIVE We want designers, architects, farmers, chefs, vendors, and farmers’ market shoppers to think about how good design can improve upon the modern farmers’ market experience. the ASSIGNMENT Design a new venue, product, distribution method, or marketing mechanism that increases both financial returns to farmers and access to healthy foods for consumers of all scales—from the home cook to food service chefs. Innovations should help small family farmers bring good food to market and/or provide consumers access to good food.

By September 1, 2009, send us an email at projects[at]goodmagazine[dot]com with the following:
—At least one image: sketches, drawings, three dimensional renderings, scaled technical drawings, photographs, altered photographs. Your images do not need to be high res to submit to GOOD, but you must have high res images ready for printing and/or publication should we want to publish and print yours.
—A brief narrative, up to 500 words, that explains how the design enables food production and/or delivery methods that support both the needs of small- to mid-sized family farmers and/or distribution to urban residents.
—Your name, city, and local farm or farmers’ markets.

A jury of architects, urban planners, journalists, city leaders, chefs, and farmers will judge the entries. Winners will be announced September 3, 2009.

The winning entry will receive a fantastic prize package consisting of farmers’ market goodies, cookbooks, a one-year subscription to GOOD and a GOOD T-shirt (with more to be announced). The top three entries will be published in an upcoming issue of GOOD magazine and exhibited at the Occidental College campus, and the designers will be featured in a story in an upcoming issue of the Architect’s Newspaper. The top 20 entries will be published on GOOD and exhibited at the Los Angeles farmers’ market celebration, Farmers’ Markets: 30 Years and Growing, on September 3, 2009

Your design can be a permanent “hub”—a market design that will provide year-round direct marketing opportunities for farmers and create a vibrant public space with food at its core (this project recommended for architects who want to propose a large-scale, holistic design). Examples include
—A public space customized for local farmers to sell produce year-round
—A retail store for local farmers
—A wholesale market for local farmers to sell to restaurants and supermarkets
—A market within a mixed-use development with complementary businesses
—A restaurant that heavily involves and features local farmers
—A system for vending local produce within an existing retail store

Or your design can address one of the programs or products that service farmers markets: the collection, storage, and transport of regional foods; processing, food product development and marketing; or food and health related community services. Some ideas include vehicles, farm equipment, storage
-containers, distribution methods, tents/vending stalls, kitchens for processing produce, public eating areas
, campaigns
, school programs
, chef/restaurant programs.

Some additional inspiration: Read about how design can help farmers’ markets from our own Alissa Walker; The Science Barge is a floating sustainable farm in New York; The New City Market is a model for sustainable permanent markets; The Mercy Corps food carts in Jakarta make healthy snacks more attractive to kids; Foodzie is an online farmers market where small food producers and growers can sell their products; The Edible Schoolyard is a garden and kitchen classroom for urban public school students.

Debra Eschmeyer

IATP and Kellogg Food & Society Policy Fellow
National Farm to School Network
Center for Food & Justice, Urban and Environmental Policy Institute, Occidental College

t: 419.753.3412 c: 419.905.8612

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