New Yorkers have been living under a terrorist alert for the past two years. This project redefines the home as “refuge,” both as a place of living and retreat, and as a self-sufficient unit containing enough water and food to sustain a person for one year on 2,500 calories per day. A Mediterranean diet is chosen for its simplicity and the numerous variations the few ingredients provide. A potted herb garden is grown for fragrant recipes and a fragrant home.
The food packaging has aesthetic and structural properties. Pasta boxes may be stacked much like bricks, to maximize stability. MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard) shelves give extra functionality and strength. The “water bed” is a futon with a platform made out of water containers and fluorescent lights to make it glow. As time passes, and the food and water supply is depleted, new configurations are generated. At the end of one year, the resident (who is no longer eating Indian takeout at this point) may donate all remaining food to a soup kitchen, throw out the shelves and boards, and move his/her possessions to a new studio and explore the functional, nutritional, and aesthetic qualities of Chinese cuisine.
Approximately $80 left for pots, duct tape, and candles.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on April 29, 2003