SYSTEMS OF SLAUGHTER

2012 M. Arch Thesis Studio.  Advisers: Raveevarn Choksombatchai and Mark Anderson.

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While high performance sustainable technologies have become prevalent in the building industry, they are often concealed behind surfaces, missing the opportunity to galvanize social involvement in reducing our negative impact on a threatened ecosystem. My masters thesis aims to forge a new consciousness of sustainability through architecture that reveals the currently hidden processes that support modern life.  This proposal imagines an interface between users and the built environment that engages the public with more ecologically minded practices.  Public programs meander through an industrial infrastructure, shaping a unique perspective of the workings of an urban pork slaughterhouse that treats and reuses its own wastewater.  The stages of pork processing and treatment of waste materials are revealed via architectural elements that simultaneously fulfill both sensual and technological demands.  As the normally shunned practices of animal slaughter and waste treatment are crafted for inclusion within the public realm, they are given new merit within the public conscience.

At a post-industrial site in Red Hook, public programs of park, farmers market, butcher shop, public kitchens, meat smokers and BBQ pits, butchering school, and various pork preparation and curing spaces are integrated with pork processing that demonstrates exciting new technologies for reduced negative impact on the environment.  Here, sustainability is not posed as an idealistic utopia, but rather demands attention to the reality of our human existence.  Architecture becomes an agent in shaping public awareness of processes of slaughter and waste which are an integral part of the urban context.