Cricket Shelter

The UN has mandated that insect sourced protein will become a major component in solving global food distribution problems. This impacts people globally, since continuing to raise livestock is not possible at our current rate of consumption and resource extraction.

It is a well-established fact that industrialized animal agriculture accounts for a fifth of all human greenhouse gas emissions. With global demand for meat projected to double by 2050, the industry’s land requirements constitute one of the most significant drivers for deforestation in the world. This project proposes an alternative: with 1% of the greenhouse gas emissions and requiring 0.001% the land to produce the same amount of protein annually as cattle farming, we feel that environmental destruction need no longer be the consequence of ensuring our food supply. Cricket Shelter is a prototype for an urban farming strategy that minimizes the ecological footprint of protein-rich food production.

The continuous impact of climate dynamics, armed conflicts, non-stop urbanization and economic upheavals present a distinct need for a hybrid architectural typology to deliver parallel solutions for food and shelter in distressed regions. Our proposal is a dual-purpose shelter and modular insect farm in one structure.

Raising cattle, pigs, and chickens for meat all require immense amounts of fresh water, land and energy. Breeding insects for food typically takes three hundred times less water for the same yield of protein. Our project aims to maximize access to nutrient resources and to support local communities in anticipation of post-disaster scenarios. This also targets societal upgrading strategies in both developed and developing countries as the temporary shelter easily converts to a permanent farming system/eatery after the crisis has dissipated.

Cricket Shelter is a self-sufficient, interconnected array of structural pods that fosters an optimal environment for supporting the life cycle of crickets. The embedded ecosystem was developed to permeate the structural system, each independent module linked by tubes connecting the elements to render the crickets “free-range”. Whereas in many parts of the world entomophagy is more common but contamination is more likely, Cricket Shelter’s innovative process offers a sanitary and hygienic solution.
Cricket Shelter was conceived as a hybrid architectural typology delivering parallel solutions for food and shelter in distressed regions throughout the world. As a modular structural system it lends itself to simple construction and deconstruction in various site-specific orientations, making it easy to educate consumers on use and maintenance. As an architectural object, the shelter can contribute to the public realm inhabiting into vacant lots, pocket parks, and rooftops, bringing agriculture and entomophagy into focus for the local populations. In this way we can fulfil our aim of educating the public about their role in sustainable consumption


Credits: Mitchell Joachim (PI), Maria Aiolova, Melanie Fessel, Felipe Molina, Matthew Tarpley, Jiachen Xu, Lissette Olivares, Cheto Castellano, Shandor Hassan, Christian Hamrick, Ivan Fuentealba, Sung Moon, Kamila Varela, Yucel Guven, Chloe Byrne, Miguel Lantigua-Inoa, Alex Colard.

Sponsor: Art Works for Change.

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