The Seattle-based architecture studio DynamikSpace is working to empower the city’s consumers to grow their own foods and build a better food system.
Since 2000, DynamikSpace has designed spaces around indoor agriculture. Over the last five years, the design process “has definitely led more to agricultural, food-system solutions as it relates to a restaurant or a cafe,” Melanie Corey-Ferrini, founder of DynamikSpace, tells Food Tank.
DynamikSpace and 3.14DC, its planning and concept creation division, have combined indoor agriculture and technology to address this growing interest. One of their recent design concepts, “Where Grains & Greens Meet,” is a touchless, micro food stall with an in-house garden to provide fresh ingredients for customers.
According to Corey-Ferrini, restaurants or cafes with indoor gardens can help educate the customer about the food system. These gardens allow consumers to engage with ingredients in their food and urge them to learn more about their food’s nutrients.
Corey-Ferrini also founded the organization Beam Experiences in 2014 with the goal of educating Seattle students through experiential science, technology, engineering, art, and math (STEAM) programs. Here, she learned the importance of hands-on learning. This inspired her to use DynamikSpace and 3.14DC to educate high school students about local food systems and help them access healthy foods.
To support adults in the Seattle area, DynamikSpace and 3.14DC partners with local organizations, like Soroptimist Seattle, to provide training and education careers in the hospitality industry. By teaching adults how to utilize urban gardens and grow their own food, Corey-Ferrini believes that they can help residents become more financially self-sufficient.
DynamikSpace and 3.14DC also hope they can help food insecure communities become self-sufficient through their efforts and support from other organizations. According to Northwest Harvest, approximately 2.2 million Washington residents are facing food insecurity due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Corey-Ferrini hopes that indoor agriculture and urban gardens can help combat the increasing rate of food insecurity in the state. “It’s giving people that menu of agriculture options,” Corey-Ferrini tells Food Tank.