• Solari: access to a sustainable food system at The New School (TNS)

    Well-being, Environmental Design

    Design211_432_

    I am working with students and faculty who are advocating for a sustainable food system at TNS. I’ve consulted with Skidmore Owings Merrill Architects, an architectural firm working on the design of the New Building for TNS, where I plan to impalement my project.

    My goal is to create school resources/opportunities that will make healthy eating more accessible on campus, while serving as a communal outlet for education about local food from the Green Market, water consumption, and renewable energy.

    Solari is made up of two carts, one for transporting food from the Union Square Green Market and the other for vending food and juice on school campus. Solari makes nutritious food that’s been locally grown available to students removed from options for leading a healthy and environmentally conscious lifestyle while at school.

    Next step is to test my prototype at one of the Earth Week events hosted by Renew School, a student group, which aims to engage TNS members in issues concerning health, environment, and renewable resources. I hope to also implement my project in retail stores that are within the vicinity of greenmarkets— Kiehl’s, a skin and hair product retailer, has shown interest.

  • Sophia,

    I've been invited to give feedback to all Parsons students, regarding your thesis projects.

    Solari is a great idea at a time when whole food nutrition for both our bodies and our environment is critically important. I like that you suggest implementing this into elementary schools, for starters. (Get 'em while they're young!) Look into the case studies from Curitiba, Brazil, where Jaime Lerner implemented a recycling program that started with the young children, who then went on to teach their parents. Like your project, this is far more effective than doing it the other way around. Bottom-up environmental education has the potential to bring about greater, lasting impact than top-down enviro-education.

    You've also hit the nail on the head with the accessibility issue. We tend as a culture to eat "junk food" because it's all around and far more available than healthy, whole food. Once this gets turned around - when the good stuff becomes just as available as junk - then we'll be more empowered to choose the real food solutions. Finally, partnering with local farms is great. As is getting the students involved in working the cart at school. Perhaps the students could alternate shifts and be accountable for certain crops?

    Good luck testing your prototype. Yum! J.

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