Honors Capstone Project
Date of Submission
Yutaka Sho, Asst. Professor
Martin Hattasch, Asst. Professor
Honors Library Drawer
Capstone Prize Winner
Won Capstone Funding
Architectural History and Criticism | Architecture | Urban, Community and Regional Planning
This thesis investigates the eating practice of American commuters. The issue of food is addressed through a social lens, affected by spatial conditions. The project thus aims to reinvent the operation of roadside food business, through the design of a series of spatial conditions that activate new social relations.
Commuters’ eating practice is problematic; the drive-thru as a prevalent building and business typology has created spatial and social isolation for various parties in the society. The social isolation has two implications. On one hand, as drivers eat alone in the car, they are isolated from other eaters, thus degrading the social value of food. On the other hand, because the drive-thru is standardized and franchised, people cannot shape the experience in their own creative ways, thus negating the social value of design.
Therefore, the thesis is a critique of both the space for commuter eating and the design process of how that space is made. This project thus imagines an alternative spatial type to liberate eating from its confined situations, and propose a systematic design process in three steps: from a manual, to a product, and then to a local test, within which planners, architects, food vendors, commuter eaters, and the neighborhood community can together shape their space for food, eating socially and creatively.
The idea of picnic is thus a metaphorical one. It means the concept of eating with others, while exploring new spaces and engaging with other social activities. Picnicking is the antithesis of rigidity. The thesis addresses the issue caused by rigidity, with the proposal of design mechanisms that foster socialness, creativity, and spontaneity.
Luo, Yuxiang, "American Picnickers" (2014). Syracuse University Honors Program Capstone Projects. 727.
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