Transparent Provisions

Isobel Parnell

Project description

Transparent Provisions explores the potential to leverage Big Tech delivery networks to help communities thrive, re-imagining commercial production typologies through a contemporary lens. 

This thesis investigates the paradoxical rise of food delivery apps alongside our increasing reliance on food banks. Food delivery services now rely heavily on dark kitchens – customerless spaces that serve exclusively by delivery sited in car parks, industrial estates or railway arches. 

The architectural proposal is sited in the Four Squares Estate, a 1970’s built red brick and concrete slab complex of 700 homes. The new spaces consolidate dark kitchens with a canteen and ancillary service functions. The design critiques the separation of uses and function in urban architectural forms. 

The higher goal is to give an architectural expression to attaining more equitable neighbourhood supply networks whilst simultaneously encouraging infrastructures of care and reducing loneliness, contrasting the anonymity of Big Tech within a commodified urban environment.

Site location

Isobel Parnell

External view

Isobel Parnell

Ground floor plan

Isobel Parnell

Physical working models

Since graduating from the Bartlett, Isobel has worked across a variety of spatial fields including set design, exhibition design, public sculpture and store interiors. She undertook her LSA practice placement at Skyroom developing housing for London’s key workers and previously worked with Unit 38 designing a temporary market as part of the successful Save Latin Village campaign. 

Isobel’s participation in community action groups motivated her to study Part 2 at the LSA. She spent much of the pandemic supporting the work of a Southwark-based food bank and community centre which has greatly informed her thesis proposal.