Project 4: "What's Cooking?" (Week 1)

This week we started the "What's Cooking?" project. It was a rather busy week with many different things to do. Especially with food. We were divided into food groups from the very first day. Noodles, Curry, Grill, Sushi etc. I was given Tapas.

The whole point of this seven week long project is to design a small cookery school at a given site (Tynemouth). Cooking is an essential part of human activities. The school should accommodate the learning of about 16 students and have enough space for one guest each. The students should be able to work in pairs. When the cooking is done, the guests and the students require space to enjoy the meals made that day.

We should focus on the eating/cooking spaces, but we will be designing all elements of the building, including: outside space, entrance, reception office, staff room and changing facilities, visitor's wc's and cloakroom and food storage.

Hence I decided I would go to have some Tapas to get the feel of eating them in Newcastle. The following pictures are from a lovely Restaurant/bar called 'La Tasca' on Grey Street.

After eating the very tasty tapas, I asked if I could take a snapshot of the kitchen. I was told 'no', but he opened the door so that I could take a picture from the threshold. I think, cooking and eating should be separated, because of health and safety - especially in a busy tapas kitchen.

I used this experience to create my A2 research sheet that was required for Wednesdays tutorial, along with about 3 sketches of the way tapas are generally eaten. I came to the conclusion that they are generally a bar food eaten on the bar, or as a kind snack before dinner as a group. It is definitely a social food.

On Thursday, our group, Tapas, created an intervention in the 1st year Studios. We used our research and the materials available inside the studio and skips, to create a space in which tapas could be enjoyed by anyone who came there within the hour we would serve food. I believe it was a success, considering we created the space in about 2 hours.

Friday is considered the start of the second week of this project, however I still consider it part of the first week. On Friday we had an early morning lecture about casting with plaster. Afterwards, we headed to the studios for a casting workshop. We cast items that we had found etc to form the negative spaces within. The multiplicity of different items used was astounding. If every-one cast about 3-5 items, our studios should have about 500+ different casts right now.

Mine weren't very good, because I didn't think too much about original items...

While doing these interesting workshops and events, we were supposed to work in our sketchbooks about the ways in which we would want our buildings to work. However, the very first part of the project (Week 1&2), were more about research than design. Hence I am not going to post any pictures of design work just yet. Nevertheless, the following are some of my research done in my sketchbook: