RCA architecture student project examines how reinterpreting faith can help regenerate east London’s most deprived area
Project title: Cultivating Faith: The feeding of the 59,000
Designed by: Thomas Greenall
Proposed location: Beckton Alp, London E6
“Fifty years hence we shall escape the absurdity of growing a whole chicken in order to eat the breast or wing by growing these parts separately,” Winston Churchill, 1936
Recent advances in tissue engineering look set to make Churchill’s vision commercially plausible within the next decade, forcing many to question society’s accepted norms.
Science has already provided answers to many of the biblical miracles – creation, transfiguration, immaculate conception, resurrection – exacerbating an increasing loss of faith in the primacy of the Church.
Concurrently, the food industry is becoming increasingly subject to religious influence, with the value of global halal food production now at £300bn annually.
Given this emerging conflict, is our pursuit of genetic enhancement directly contradicted by our desire to retain traditional theist practice?
In light of an impending global food crisis, and an inevitable shortage of halal meat in the UK, science turns its attention to the last remaining biblical miracle – the feeding of the masses.
Located on a toxic wasteland in the heart of Newham, urban farming becomes manifest as the UK’s first commercial in vitro meat production facility.
Through an investigation into the inevitable acceptance of lab-grown meat this project questions: ’Can a reinterpretation of faith become a tool for the regeneration of London’s most deprived boroughs?’
Thomas Greenall is an architect and graduate from the Royal College of Art in London. This project was exhibited as part of his final year presentation at Show RCA 2009.
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