Fifty percent of the habitable surface of our planet is dedicated to food production. It is the world’s largest industry, yet our cultural, spiritual, and historical connection to how we cook and what we eat continues to dissociate. Our project, Corn / Meal, reverses this growing trend through a legible interactive landscape installation. Planted corn of different species will give relatable form and scale to this complex regional industry, while providing space for playful learning experiences for both the students and the public. A clearing forms an intimate outdoor room. A tablescape weaves through the clearing, giving varied space for visitors to cultivate food literacy, to reconnect to the act of eating, and to harness the transformative power of a shared meal.
MASS Design Group is a nonprofit architecture firm that operates with the understanding that all architecture is embedded in a social, cultural, and political context. Led by a collective of Principals, the firm is based in Boston, Massachusetts, and Kigali, Rwanda. They have built a reputation for sensitive projects that strengthen community ties and use architecture to heal. Their international portfolio of mission-driven projects that span the fields of design, research, advocacy, and training was recognized with the 2017 Cooper Hewitt National Design Award in Architecture, and recently they earned the 2018 Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Architecture. MASS partnered with the Equal Justice Initiative to design and build the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, a deeply symbolic and powerful site for reflection on the nation's history of racial terror and lynching. The memorial opened in April 2018 to national praise. MASS Design Group is driven by the shared belief in architecture that serves the community, without compromising high standards of beauty and design.