Design Project 2 | Interview #1: Dr. Ramírez

Journal Entry For
Project 2 - Interviews

Interview - Dr. Belinda Ramírez (they/them)

  • Made appointment for Thursday 7/27 at 1pm to 1:20pm Sweet Hall 221D for the group to review mini-proposals
  • Gained additional resources on the Food Hub idea
  • Mandela Grocery Cooperative in Oakland
  • Project New Village - food hub in the making
  • Food Shed Inc., San Diego
  • Expressed enthusiasm and importance for Farmworker Housing issue, however agrees with group that while idea meets requirements, is less "creative" than others
  • Cautioned that carbon sequestering cows is being pursued by a company called "Rumin8" funded by Bill Gates and reminded that raising cattle is inherently carbon inefficient compared to other food sources, even other animal proteins like chicken

7/27 Interview in Sweet Hall 224D:

Interviewers: @Kevin Nicolas Haller @Eugenie Lee @Sean Yepez

  1. Intended Users and Purpose: The food hub is designed for communities affected by disasters such as hurricanes, where basic food needs become a priority for survival. The hub aims to provide relief and support in the aftermath of the disaster, empowering local communities to become self-reliant in the long run.
  2. Disaster-Affected Areas: The food hubs are most needed and could be effectively used in disaster-affected areas prone to hurricanes and similar natural calamities. Regions like the coast of Florida, parts of the global south, and southeast Asia, where hurricanes are common, would be suitable locations.
  3. Food Procurement Needs: After a disaster, the immediate focus is on providing relief, even if it means distributing processed food. The priority is to ensure that people have access to food to meet their basic nutritional needs. However, the ultimate goal is to empower the affected communities to grow their own food and become self-reliant over time.
  4. Standardization and Customization: While there can be standardized modules for food hubs, it is essential to consider the diversity of locations, climates, and cultures. Customization is needed to adapt the food hubs to the specific needs and contexts of different communities.
  5. Creating a Shared Community: The food hub, especially with a communal kitchen, can act as a catalyst for creating a shared community. Food is a universal need, and communal spaces can naturally foster connections and a sense of togetherness among the affected population.
  6. Essential Features: Some key features recommended for the food hubs include shaded areas for protection from the sun, ample space for people to sit or gather on the ground, boards for planning and discussions, and basic amenities like restrooms. The location of the kitchen and the specific facilities offered may vary based on the neighborhood and community needs.
  7. Distinguishing from Charity: The food hub should focus on humanitarian efforts rather than being a simple charity. It should aim to empower the affected communities and promote self-reliance, rather than just providing short-term aid.
  8. Temporary vs. Permanent: The food hub should be designed to integrate with existing local supply chains without disrupting them. While the hub might start as a temporary solution after a disaster, it should be adaptable to become a permanent fixture in the community, fostering connections, and creating job opportunities.
  9. Gathering as a Community: The idea of modular food hubs, encompassing not just a kitchen but also spaces for training and community interaction, seems important for creating a cohesive and functional setup.