Edible Mapping, UK
Dr Mikey Tomkins, honorary research fellow at University of Brighton, works within the field of urban agriculture through academic research and artistic practises. Dr Tomkins has worked in Iraq and the US mapping and creating community gardens for refugees. He has also spent time training beekeepers and building over 50 apiaries across London.
Dr Mikey began his Edible Maps project in 2010 and has been developing it since across the UK and in Dallas, USA. The project involves walking routes through cities, with artists, architects and potential stakeholders in tow, to identify and map potential spaces for food production and then creating a map to highlight these areas and what they could be used for. The maps created are a composite illustration with hand drawn and digital elements and text to describe spaces and explain potential uses. Dr Tomkins maps not only indicate open free spaces and existing green spaces, but highlight rooftops and buildings with the potential to be used as farms.
Dr Tomkins’ aim with the project is to have tangible urban agricultural areas being developed as a result of his edible maps. In Newcastle, after creating an edible map of a Shieldfield, he worked with the support of Shieldfield Art Works to introduce wheat in seven locations around the neighbourhood which was eventually harvested for bread production. Dr Tomkins has created a total of 8 maps for cities spanning the UK and USA.
Another element of Dr Tomkins work is his costume creations. He states ‘in order to explore the imagined landscape of an edible city in more detail, I began to design and make a series of costumes around the concept of a near future vision of an everyday urban agricultural city’. The costumed entities are intended to help ‘celebrate and protect our urban food harvests’.
His Brighton Edible Map is being used within a seed project lead by Andre Viljoen to conceptualise a Brighton CPUL. His role within the project has helped a team of technical architects to develop an area of land as a 3D model in a virtual reality system. The process of mapping potential spaces for food production is an essential one for creating a CPUL.
For further information see the Dr Mikey Tomkins own website.
For information on the Brighton CPUL seed project see here.
For information on the Brighton edible map walk see our news post.
Image: Dr Mikey Tomkins combines hand drawing and digital drawing when creating his maps. (Source: Dr. Mikey Tomkins)
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