New Civic Rituals
Project
Desiccate With Care
Designer
public works with Freddie Wiltshire and Billy Adams
Project description

Supported by Üsküdar Municipality.

Desiccate With Care turns food dehydration and preservation into a collective civic practice. The work takes as its starting point the Turkish culinary tradition of giving vegetables a second life by preserving them under an open-air drying ceiling. The process of dehydration and the cultures that surround it are explored, while produce is gathered to test and discuss drying rituals from around the world. As a counter-narrative to modern immediacy, this slow race against decay sets a new pace for public life.

The process of air-drying food has been a performative preservation technique for centuries. Examples are found around the world. In New Mexico and Arizona decorative and pungent ristas are fixed outside homes to welcome visitors. In Norway the hjell, a rich fish from the north, is hung to dry for months on wooden A-frame cathedrals of ice. In Japan, the colourful hoshigaki ritual sees thousands of persimmon fruits left to shrink deliciously in the gentle autumn breeze. The process of drying food was a necessity that has slowly evolved into a social ritual.

Desiccate With Care nurtures patience and solidarity within the city in these pandemic times by reactivating an abandoned building in a much-loved community garden, Kuzguncuk Bostan. Kuzguncuk Bostan is a thriving park, urban allotment, meeting space and communal hub for the local village. It is also a symbol of the battle against gentrification, in favour of the protection of ancient green land and timeless food-growing traditions.

Biography

public works (UK) is a not-for-profit critical design practice set up in 2004 that occupies the space in between architecture, art and performance. Together with its interdisciplinary network, the practice creates sustained relationships that build commonality and trust, and enable co-authorship, reworking the city’s opportunities towards citizen-driven development and nurturing rights over the city. The practice is interested in what constitutes ‘civic’ in the city and how to redesign structures that restrict it. Their work gives space to and facilitates civic practices that promote direct involvement and collective action in order to transform and re-appropriate contemporary public life.

Billy Adams & Freddie Wiltshire (UK) 

A collaboration that navigates the space between the typical roles of architects and makers, their practice is driven by material processes and crafted approaches towards building. Their work seeks to understand methods of construction in a direct and hands-on way, often building their own projects on site as an embedded form of practice. The transfer of skills and knowledge to end user are essential to the success of these proposals, empowering local groups to take ownership of their built environment in the process.

YEAR
2020

#vegetable #culinary

HOSTED BY
Kuzguncuk Neighbourhood Association
This project opens in April 2021.
LOCATION
Kuzguncuk Urban Garden
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