by: Erin White
{abstract} Erin White is a graduate of the Master of Architecture Program at North Carolina State University. He has a BA from Bowdoin College in Maine and studied at the Boston Architectural Center in Boston. White has been a chef, a carpenter, a statistician, and novelist before returning to North Carolina to finalize his career in Architecture. This explains the merging of many motivations in White’s work, which envisions new applications of architectural thinking and shifts in the role of the architect in planning, design and community development and connectivity.

White’s article will focus on this shifting role of the architect in helping build healthy community food systems to extend well beyond the conventional role of the architect as building designer. “By working at multiple scales and allowing design data to move fluidly, the skills and training of the architect may find important contributions to the complex problems of which buildings play only a small role. Any efforts to reverse the trends towards industrial-scale globalized agriculture and its attendant crises in health and hunger must deal with very complex systems at multiple scales. The architectural design per se of farm, market, or outreach buildings, however intelligent, typically won’t engage the critical junctures of community health, food policy, and urban placemaking that must be addressed in these problems. While ‘architecture’ may be limited to built spaces, architectural areas of expertise such as systems thinking, collaborative design, spatial analysis, and visual communication extend much further than the conventional service mechanism takes advantage of.”

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