Camper FoodBALL | Barcelona | 2004
Camper FoodBALL is a health food store. For lack of definition it is a restaurant, a bar, a fast food restaurant, a take-away, and possibly could be a point of encounter or a reference point in the context of a neighbourhood. In this case its indefinition makes it adaptable to situations that are not pre-established, and which thus are much more contemporary. Thus the space is used in different ways depending on who is using it, a clearly usable space that does not shun the space of representation.
The space is divided into three basic parts: the entrance with the counter; the kitchen; and the area to consume the food, a series of wide steps laid out like a grandstand. These three spaces have the goal to be completely characteristic, lacking external references; they seek to be informal, for contemporary people. They allow individuals to act as if they were in the street though they are inside, as if the street were home and we were walking through a world conceived as mathematical coordinates, eating meta-territorial food. FoodBALL promotes street food and a way of casual eating.
The interior vertical space is covered in its entirety by something like a stage set painted with figures in axonometric perspective, representing an idealization of a rural world that is at once naive and electronic, like with computer games. This set stretches out in its context as a medium for communication, to which information concerning themes related to health food could be added in controlled fashion. The mural refers to politically engaged painting as well as aerial perspectives like in SimCity, spaces of representation and action in a visual context. The graphic finishing has an important role, giving the space a friendly, non-conventional feel.
FoodBALL is made with bio-construction.
The entrance has a map of the full menu with all the products for sale and the illustrations of each product done digitally by hand.
FoodBALL cooking is functionally anecdotal, since the basic gesture is the manual production of a stuffed rice ball. Thus there is no flexible culinary artefact that could be adapted to this action, consequentially causing continual friction between what could be offered by the artefacts of conventional cooking and the needs of contemporary cooking. It does not seek to be subject to tradition, but instead to explore out on the edge.
The consumption area is a zone with a stand or series of wide steps whose function and use is non-determined, proposing an ambiguous situation in a radical way. It is space that could be exterior but ends up being protected, or could be read as an unprotected interior space, being like the "in between" spaces that are re-created in traditional Japanese architecture, where one can imagine the desired situation, where you can be inside or outside, or inside and outside at the same time. In the case of FoodBALL, the street is extended into the interior of the space, giving it the characteristics of a shopping mall or theme park, a space with the characteristics of a street though it is inside, or just as well a place where you feel like you are outside even though you are inside. This effect pushes the idea of take-away to the fore, thus concentrating the shop's functions at the entrance counter, where you can make decisions and acquire the available goods.
As something that cannot be defined, the best way to define FoodBALL is as the Camper food shop. It is the place where Camper extends its spirit outwards with all the features that make it up.
Photo Inga Knölke 2004