The Farm Project by Mike Meiré at Design Miami

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The Farm Project, a mobile working kitchen with live-in livestock, travelled to Florida for Design Miami last month.

Designed by German creative director Mike Meiré for luxury kitchen and bathroom brand Dornbracht, The Farm Project is based on a rustic farmhouse kitchen, in deliberate counterpoint to today's ubiquitous minimalist look.

With pigs and goats in a pen, chickens in cages and tanks of fish, the kitchen was used to prepare meals each lunchtime and evening.

The kitchen is housed in a greenhouse-type structure clad in panels of different materials.

The Farm Project was first shown in Milan in April 2006.

See all our stories from Design Miami 07.

Here's some info:

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Mike Meiré: THE FARM PROJECT
for Dornbracht Edges, now at Design Miami, December 2007

Following the successful presentations of the "The Farm Project" at Salone del Mobile in Milan in 2006, at Passagen in Cologne in 2007 and during the opening days of the sculpture projects muenster 07, Mike Meiré's installation is now invited to Miami. From December 7 - 9, 2007 the Farm will be presented as part of Design MIAMI during Art Basel Miami.

"The FARM Project" walk-in installation by Mike Meiré is the sketch-like image of a farmhouse kitchen transformed into the present time. A small house, the outer façade is formed by a patchwork of panels in a wide range of materials. On the inside household goods, animals, food and families jostle on a few square metres.

The kitchen is a highly complex place, an ongoing "making of", a workshop for the senses. Mike Meiré has brought the kitchen back to life in its archaic form as a counterpoint to high-tech minimalist design tendencies. Pots, pans and hams hang from the ceiling. Live sheep, goats and pigs serve as reminder that food does not come from the supermarket, but is something living. As a social event "The Farm Project" tells stories of life and death, past and present, transience and honesty.

‘The FARM Project’ is not a decorative idea, but an attitude, a belief – a call to the alternative,” Mike Meiré explains in the latest Dornbracht publication, the SPIRIT of WATER. “For years now there has been this incredible urge to design everything, as the result of which we have gone without so many interesting, lovely and enchanting things, especially in the kitchen. I think that’s a shame, because the kitchen has always been a place of life, of living, and of tolerance.”

A print documentation, released in June 2007 (ISBN 978-3-86560-293-0), charts the progress of its creation, the construction, and the two exhibitions in Milan (2006) and Cologne (2007). Dr. Peter Weiss, Claudia Neumann, Manuel Herz and Jens Peter Koerver comment on the project from the perspectives of science, design, architecture and art.

As a current contribution to the Dornbracht Edges, The FARM Project is the continuation of a series that collects projects at the interface of architecture, design and art. The Edges are platforms, especially for designers and architects, who depict their visions and utopias. The individual projects are as diverse as they are exciting. Thus in 2001, internationally renowned architects such as David Adjaye and Claudio Silvestrin developed their ideas of the bathroom of the future in ‘Bath modules’.

In 2003 Matali Crassat provided a poetic new interpretation of the bathroom in ‘Update / three Spaces in one’, and 2004/2005 the Dornbracht Research Unit ETH Zurich under Prof. Dr. Marc Angéli looked at the acts of cleansing and care from the point of ritual and their ‘Production of space’. Mike Meiré himself created a futuristic “wash-plant” for people in 2004, the “E-R-S – Energetic Recovery System”, which cleanses the spirit as well as the body.

The systematic promotion of art and culture has been part of Dornbracht’s corporate thinking since 1997. From the start the company has sought debate with art and the creators of art – a debate that does not functionalise art, but instead lives by and on mutual inspiration.

The company’s commitment is divided into several areas, which have developed separately and parallel since the first edition of the Statements Projects in 1997. As part of the Statements series, between 1997 and 2003 Dornbracht regularly presented free interpretations on the subject of "cleansing rituals” by internationally renowned artists, photographers, writers, musicians and designers. Since 1998 Dornbracht has addressed the general public with the Dornbracht Sponsorships, which included supporting the German contribution for the 48th and 49th Biennale of contemporary art in Venice. Since 2000, the exhibition series Dornbracht Installation Projects® has been based on the idea of presenting contemporary artistic positions in the field of installation. In 2005 Dornbracht launched the Performance series and transported its commitment into a new discipline: the temporary, situational character of a performance.

Mike Meiré is an art director and designer and has been curator of the Dornbracht Culture Projects since 1996. Following E-R-S (Energetic Recovery System), The Farm Project is Mike Meiré’s second work for the Dornbracht Edges series, which is located at the interface to the arts. Mike Meiré lives with his wife and their three sons in Cologne.

  • Suzy

    So the main question is: are we allowed to slaughter/eat them?

    :)

  • Leah placebo

    I love bringing the farm to the fore. This particular effort strikes me as a romance. In it, we can have our cake and eat it too (have our pet farm and a “farm” too (albeit a romantic one)). It’s a far cry from life on the farm — but it’s better than point-of-unwrapping, pop-in-the-mouth food-from-god-knows-where/what/whom. At least one begins to imagine the actual look and smell of that food on one’s plate when its face was alive and looking atcha.

    As a practical consideration within the romance, I do wonder about hoof-and-mouth disease, flies and so forth. Odors. Dust.

    Regarding the stated impetus/premise of this piece, and speaking for myself and most everyone I know, neither the kitchen nor cooking has been designed out of _my_ life. I don’t know whom the artist is speaking about. What class, what age range, what country, what educational background, what career? Just take a look at the proliferation of cooking utensils, cookbooks and cooking videos, and the rise of greenmarkets, community-supported agriculture, and the 100-mile meal. Increasing numbers of “folks” are remembering whence their food comes and engaging with real-life farmers.

    I admit to feeling a bit offended by being served something in this piece that I have already “thought” of — and engaged w/.

    I’d love to see a proliferation of real urban farms, tours of urban slaughterhouses (humane ones), city kids learning animal husbandry on a daily basis and so on. The fact that art can still make a statement about farming is sad to me. This topic, like topics that have little or nothing to do with humans experiencing each other (environmental topics, I mean), remains WIDE OPEN. Hope to see more. And would love to see more thinking/art-making about energy-dependence at all levels.

  • http://www.arq507.blogspot.com Carlos Eduardo

    Love this project, very interesting…