Las Vegas Food Hub:On the ground

Landing over Lake Mead

We had been discussing Las Vegas primary water source for weeks and we were finally able to view it from above!

Site Visit

I was surprised by the amount of street art surrounding the site and the fact that there wasn’t many people around other than those waiting at the bus stop.  Nevertheless, having my own ties with urban contemporary art I found the present works intriguing.

Container Park and Downtown

First Friday

As the name infers, this event occurs on our site ( featured above) every first Friday of the month. It was a massive event with many food vendors as well as live art and music. It was a really eye-opening lesson in how an otherwise uninhabited space could be activated by a little food!


Las Vegas Food Hub: Striving Beyond Food

In  envisioning a food hub worthwhile of Las Vegas my team has entertained the notion that ideally the food hub is representational of much more than a source of food. It should be a communal space that aspires to inspire wellness in the entire community.

In this respect, we would like to reflect this concept at every level or our program (yoga meditation, indoor agriculture, aromatherapy spaces, cooking studio, informational workshops, classes, and our retail spaces). But the question arises, what does wellness encompass? How does it manifest spatially ?

Here is how we have defined it thus far:

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Las Vegas Food Hub: Envisioning Sensory Spaces

These are few narrative drawing that I’ve created which have emerged out of my team’s discussions of what we are envisioning for the space. While I pride myself as a inspiring architect, much of my personal design senses and interests are and have been rooted in the human experience with interior spaces. This includes, both tactical and sensory interactions.

Often in the beginning stages of design I partake in these type of  narrative drawings, be them abstract or fleshed out, to serve a few different avenues. For one, much like sketching as they serve as a springboard for generating ideas. I often prefer collages,as its a fast way to add texture and color. On that note, when working with others these can easily aid guide our material choices, act as a visual cue to get feedback from respected resources, and record thought processes in which can be referenced if the project strays from any initial deign guidelines.

In regards to the Las Vegas Food hub initiative, I  fully intend to update this post as we produce a few more of these. Any feedback is welcomed!

narrative 1.png
Abstraction of production and performing spaces
One of two main entries
narrative 3
Yoga Studio

Las Vegas Food Hub Series: Research and Preparation of Codes

HIEARCCHYThere’s no doubt that zoning, building codes and city based overlays are important. They serve a public need for protection from unseen disasters that can occur in our structures as well as help create and retain identities of neighborhoods. Mandates on height, frontage, plants, and even smaller details like signage more often than not challenge design decisions of the architect.  As a result, sometimes as a student of architecture there is a strong  association with codes as necessary evils that really serve to stifle the ability to create. But why is that?


conceptConceptual is comfortable

Architect students spend a lot of time developing concepts through drawings and modeling charrettes. Often in the studio these concepts become so precious to the point that  changing directions entirely is comparable to pulling teeth. Yet, through all of this they know that the project they are working on will in most circumstances remain a conceptual design. Consequentially  they can settle into a comfort zone which frames adhering to codes as an exercise for later practice.

The smart approach would be to take them seriously with the understanding that they can be challenged and may change in time. By taking them seriously it asks the idea to become a  reality. In that respect, the codes become passable obstacle that only serve to enhance the students design by pressuring them to critically problem solve.

tiedupinredtapeFear of red tape

Red tape can become complicated, appear contradictory, and cause confusion. In our initiative to design a food hub in downtown Las Vegas  we’ve discovered three primary levels of ordinances and codes: zoning and land use, the city’s centennial plan, and form based codes. When to use which one and what trumps the other, we’re common questions that arose.

Our work around? Split the work and take the time to sift through an synthesize the information into digestible chunks. There’s no use in speed reading through the material or you will simply be forced to carry a manual around. Instead, give it a thorough read so at least you become familiar with the terms and make some guidelines that indicate where to find more information.

What to do about Monsanto Protection Act

*Sigh* this Monsanto Protection Act gives me a major headache and makes me sick literally. Its not something we should be wrangled into like cattle. Soon our perceptions about growing tomatoes is going to be like growing marijuana in your basement. Ridiculous, on both ends. So you can either stock up on uv lights or join this ridiculous fight for food security and accessibilty. What can we do about it? The first step I’m taking is to sign this petition in the small hopes that maybe it’ll get someones attention. I encourage you to do so also.

What’s the other alternatives. Make a stink about it. You know how to take things into your own hands right? Get people together and get involved with/or create more community gardens. Where? Do it at your school, your university, outside your house, inside your house, at your church, or in that weird lot behind where you work. Better yet, support small local farmers by going to farmers markets. Get to know who is growing your food and how. But to give a fair warning, in some cities and states even if you start growing food in your own yard you can get fined.