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  • fin’s labyrinth

    fin's labyrinth
    ILLINOIS

    CENTER FOR URBAN FARMING COMPETITION
    First Place – $1200

    suckerPUNCH: describe your project.

    Stewart HICKS, Allison NEWMEYER of DESIGN WITH COMPANY with Joseph ALTSHULER: Fin’s Labyrinth is an architecture and urban strategy that encourages you to play with your food. Both a working fish farm and a new form of public (civic) amenity, this project uses the infrastructure for raising fish as a backdrop to a wide range of activities designed to entertain you while getting you acquainted with your next meal. It reintroduces the production of food into the daily lives of city dwellers, making a more concrete connection between what we put in our mouths and the environment required to generate it.



    The project consists of a field of fishponds and towers that create productive program pairs in their base and capital: Kitchen / Restaurant, Classrooms / Gallery, Water Testing / Activity Rental, and Processing / Offices. These towers sprout from the ground, reaching for the sun and behave as much like plants as they do buildings. Their height and infrastructure provide the necessary potential energy for rainwater harvesting, filtering and dispersal throughout the fishponds. At every opportunity, the inputs and outputs of fish farming, human activity and aquatic plant life are chained into productive ecologies wherein the waste of one system serves as the food for another.

    Once arriving to the Labyrinth, you are presented with a choice of fish species: grouper, tilapia, salmon, etc. Choose wisely, your selection will have a lasting impact on your stay! After being assigned an individual fish within your chosen species, it is yours for the day. Name it, follow it, play with it, do whatever, it is up to you. Play Marco Polo as you wander through the maze by following your fish’s audio and GPS clues. Eventually you can catch it, have it cleaned and prepared in the Electric Stunning Fish Harvest Tank. Watch it from the aptly named Finema, which also shows late night fish related movies: Finding Nemo, A Fish Called Wanda, Splash, Jaws, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, etc. Then, head upstairs to the seaweed bar and receive your bento box for a fishtastic dining experience. If you are not interested in the full day experience package, stop by the markets along Navy Street on your lunch break for some fresh fish tacos.

    sP:what or who influenced this project?

    DWC: Coral Reef Hyperbolic Crochet, Finding Nemo, the Labyrinth Aquarium

    sP:what were you reading/listening to/watching while developing this project?

    DWC: Stranger Than Fiction, Bruce Sterling, J.G. Ballard, Beastie Boys, Tribe Called Quest, Jurrasic 5 w/ Chali 2na, Tread Water – De La Soul, Take Me to the River – Talking Heads, Underwater Rimes – Digital Underground

    Jury Comments:

    Sean LALLY: The proposal does a great job of embracing the requirements set out by the competition with beautiful perspectives and drawings but doesn’t miss the opportunity to overlay an element of humor when envisioning the lifestyles of people engaging this farming experience.

    Michael SZIVOS: This is a project that is in danger of being believable. Out of all of the proposals this is the most radical project that looks like it could actually work. I would definitely like to see this project in person. Can’t necessarily figure out why, but its because it would be something totally new. Formally it is strange, but with great symptoms that produce interesting spaces, conditions, and effects. Not so interested in the towers, but the fish farm would be great to visit.

    Ronnie PARSONS: I am intrigued by the strangeness of Fin’s Labyrinth. The organizational scheme, consisting of multiple towers connected by a network of tubes seems oddly fitting for the site; however, the project description took me too far into the realm of fantasy.

    Keith VANDERSYS: The ‘aqueous’ urban space coupled with fish farming makes for a very rich and playful project. The didactic qualities of fish farm coupled with recreational space makes for a thought-provoking experiential journey.

    Lonn COMBS: Addressing the secondary program of the park as an equal in creating a public space is a strong organizing idea.

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  • WP_Modern_Notepad
    • masH Says:

      Far. Out. This project shows some strong thinking and provides a delightful narrative. I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but the towers seem to bear a striking resemblance to the (public?) housing across the street.

      Solid project.

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