Fig: 1 – A bustling urban square with multiple transportation systems
With a growing population, the consumption and popularity of meat and dairy products have been skyrocketing. A lot of ethnic origins advocated for a balanced plant origin and animal origin diet – or at least constraints to balancing both. But as we urbanize more, meat and dairy consumption globally has grown 400% in the last decades and is continuing to grow more.
With a growing city population and sectoral depletion of natural resources not only animal habitats close to cities have shrunk to almost limits. At the same time, an entire industry is now set up to raise livestock in closed atmospheres and feeding them with genetically modified food and medicines for raising yields.
This leads to not only poor living conditions for animals – at the same time humans consuming dairy, meat products are prone to ingesting such chemicals and agents with them.
Where is the balance?
Fig: 2 – A bus stop in an urban condition at night serving as a street light
While the world is pushing towards plant-based diet and vegetarianism, deteriorating conditions of animal farms are still a persistent issue for most places globally.
The lack of design thinking and empathy in developing the right kind of livestock farms is a major cause of diseases and even the pandemic we are living through. Everything is somehow related to such mismanagement at the ground level.
‘We are what we eat‘– Is always said and understood by all since childhood. If that’s the case then why do humans eat from places are cruel and unhealthy for animals themselves?
The design subject has been always paradoxical and never addressed in general.
How can we bring design ingenuity and instill more empathy in building the right kind of dairy, poultry, livestock farms?
Fig: 3 – Problem - Despite any location a dairy farm is an engineering solution
The design challenge looks at a dairy farm for cattle in a peri-urban condition. Consumption of dairy is global yet the farms they come from are always an afterthought.
The design of the farm as an exercise is often ignored and eventually ends up being an efficiency problem of fitting more and more in less space which shouldn’t be the case.
The problem is to understand economic restraints and deliver a balanced living environment for dairy farms.
How many levels should be placed? How can hygiene be efficiently practiced? If there are limited grazing areas how can we ensure there are enough physical activities for animals? How much lighting and air should be enough? How can resting areas or outdoor areas make a balanced life possible in restrained spaces? How can we excise weather control in such tight budgets – especially in extreme climates? And similar questions require to be answered in this design challenge.
Issues: Identify the top 5 issues persisting with animal farms globally and their causes. Addressing them head-on is the right way.
Planning: A dairy farm has several concerns – comfort for animals, hygiene, ventilation, maintenance, isolation room, healthcare spaces, storage areas, etc.
Understanding limits: Identifying limits of how much should be an ideal limit
Modularity: How can parts or the entire design be replicated across similar situations at other places?
The site can be in any city of any scale in the world. The capacity is 100 animals. The site is 60m x 60m placed in a peri-urban region of a city, with limited grazing pastures around it. The adjoining context can also be borrowed from a site of your choice; however, the design of the dairy farm holds more weight than context information at large. The height and other building constraints are kept unrestricted for this competition.