I recently watched a viral video on Facebook that sparked a dialogue in my head about what we are really trying to accomplish with our wellness center and food hub in Las Vegas. As it stands, there are a few guidelines that my group has set up to keep in line with our wellness concept and one of them was to make sure wellness was reflected in every aspect of our programming. Currently, we have set aside rooms in our building to host a dining area, a test kitchen, and an educational component. We envision an array of activities occurring in these spaces that are inclusive and appealing to many demographics.This idea brought up the question of how one can design with social equity in mind. Specifically, one issue that we have considered but have not fully fleshed out was how to interact with the homeless and transient community that frequents our site.
The specific video I watched showcased a new approach to feeding the homeless that revolved around dignity. This was a concept that they incorporated at both a design and programmatic level. Programmatically, it was accomplished by serving people as if they were getting there orders taken at a restaurant as well as offering culinary certification courses. Design-wise, they utilized restaurant style seating and back of house instead of buffet set-ups or long benched tables. I think this is an aspect we should also consider if we are truly trying to be encompassing and give back. Design-wise we already have the space so all we are left with is adopting a portion of our program to do something similar. Especially, the vocational program component.