Commensality Social Infrastructure

Even though the industrial landscape of Oerlikon has been almost entirely wiped away, the new large-scale city district we find in Neu Oerlikon today still bears the rationality of the factory it has replaced. This master thesis argues that the way food is provided within the district is yet another illustration of this ‘factory-like’ characteristic. Food franchises, canteens and supermarkets are geared toward quick & efficient bits, located inside buildings plots that hardly interact with each other and their surroundings. The master thesis proposes to reuse the existing kitchen at the MFO-site to design an integrated and open infrastructure for commensality – when sharing food becomes a social act – and as such use food as a catalyst to develop a currently much-lacking social infrastructure in Neu Oerlikon. By centralizing and integrating different functions around food on a highly accessible site, new business models and alliances can emerge, while setting the foundation for gradual growth of an actual neighbourhood.