a taste of home


Students
Ana Arenas
Carol-Anne Rodrigues

Advisor 
Ana Miljački

Readers
Cristina Parreño Alonso
John Ochsendorf

A border is both a physical location and a political condition that divides two countries. A border, however, is not impassible, nor is it only a fixed location; it is also an immaterial trace that is carried forth by everyone who crosses one.The border lives beyond the thin demarcation between nations, and thickens to accommodate the stories of all those who wear its mark as they travel from their origin point to final destination.This thesis proposes that the border does not only exist at a land’s edge, but also within our immediate surroundings, where we see borders all across the city of Boston.

From newly formed migrant groups to the communities of locals who have lived here for years, Boston’s diversity defines its inner neighborhoods and outer suburbs. Across the city, we cross borders when we enter neighborhoods, enter a store, dine at a restaurant, or arrive at a home. These stories of borders manifest in the collective sharing and exchange of food at the table. Immigrant-owned restaurants across Boston offer their cuisine to celebrate their culture and create a sense of home in an unfamiliar place.

On the other hand, borders are also experienced across the city through the inequitable access to food. Charitable organizations throughout the Greater Boston area work to bridge the gap between food excess and food scarcity, but there is still a divide. In a city rich with diverse cuisines & a lack of access to food, how can architecture help bring equality to the sharing of food and dignify the experience of immigrants?

This thesis proposes a network of “Food Embassies,” a new institution that celebrates food from across borders and bridges the gap between excess and scarcity. As an embassy serves its people in a foreign place, we propose Food Embassies across Greater Boston to provide accessibility, to create community, and to provide tastes of home.