Food Shaping Kyoto: food and the city according to Vitra

From June 7 to 17, the Vitra Design Museum celebrates Kyoto’s food culture, from native crops to street food.

Thanks to its natural environment and its long past as an imperial city, Kyoto has developed a tradition and a culture of food production, distribution and preparation that made it one of the most relevant world gastronomic capitals.

The Vitra Design Museum dedicates to the city “Food Shaping Kyoto”, an exhibition curated by Basel-based architects Shadi Rahbaran and Manuel Herz and the KYOTO Design Lab, which traces the impact of food on city’s design, architecture and physical fabric.

How does a city feed itself? How is food produced and distributed within in a city? And how are cities shaped by these dynamics? Kyoto has a peculiar history caught here as an excuse to investigate the broader theme of the connection between food and city: it is home to a distinctive set of foods such as vegetables that are only grown in this region or locally produced edibles like yuba (tofu skin), saba sushi (preserved mackerel sushi), and high-quality sake that benefits from the softness of Kyoto’s water; as the seat of the imperial court, the art of serving food has reached here its peak of perfection; the Wholesale Market, active since 1927, became a model for all other markets in Japan.

The nerve center of the local gastronomy is the Nishiki Market, home of the dried “bonito”, a species of fish exported worldwide, that the market’s head chef Kumiko Tamaka will cook during the food performance on June 9 transforming Vitra Campus’ Buckminster Fuller Dome in the bustling meanders of Japan’s most authentic and experimental food market. 

Food Shaping Kyoto
Shadi Rahbaran, Manuel Herz, KYOTO Design Lab
Buckminster Fuller Dome, Vitra Campus
From June 7 to 17, 2019
Charles-Eames-Strasse 2 79576 Weil am Rhein, Germania

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