Tempo 2. Andante. Social body.

Scene 1: Health, safety, and welfare of the social body

Left: Bodega exterior and interior. Right: EBT (food stamps) available at the Brooklyn Greenmarket.

The health, safety, and welfare of the social body is dependent on the maintenance of cultural and institutional memory.

“I know students in the first grade, second grade, every year they come here until 5 grade and then they move to middle school...I see them only 5, then 3 years...and then they go to high school, different places. But they still live around here and still come here, so I know them. Some of them, they say “Hey, do you still remember?” they ask me. I say, “Of course I do.” I don’t know everyone by name, but I see, I know their faces.”
- 40th St Deli & Grill, Owner

Scene 2: Maintenance infrastucture

Left: The People's Bodega mobile supply network. Right: Protest against Brooklyn landlords evicting tenants.

The memory of a middle school is short—students leave after three years. Bodegas have the potential to maintain the institutional memory that middle schools cannot.

Scene 3: Bearing witness to the future

Waste material in the form of shipping pallets can be collected from the waterfront.

Local contractors specialize in a wide range of skills. Their expertise could be shared through networks of mutual aid.

Items purchased from bodegas surrounding Sunset Park Prep.

Bodegas are an infrastructure of care for students and the community at large, preserving cultural memory through food and language.

By amplifying bodega infrastructure, we can bear witness to futures imagined by students and build communal relationships that will grow over time.

One way to amplify bodegas:

Collect shipping pallets at the industrial waterfront.

First, unearth existing resources that have gone unnoticed—both material and capital.

Click here to see this investigative mapping project, where we tracked the capital available from unpaid DOB violations (for example, not having an annual boiler inspection) accrued annually at Sunset Park's waterfront.

Leverage the existing system of building violations to generate capital. Along the waterfront, city- and privately-owned properties collect quarterly and annual DOB violations with no apparent recourse. Having introduced DOB archives in Tempo 1, the community can unearth these violations and advocate for the dedication of this capital towards community infrastructure.

Instructional assembly video to create furniture from pallets.

The industrial activity at the waterfront also produces waste materials—particularly wood pallets. These can be collected and used as raw material at the architectural scale.

The modular furniture can stack in many ways to suit a variety of bodega needs.

Furniture designed from pallets can modulate with the changing needs of bodegas—from seasonal seating, to storage, to community fridges.

Rendering of bodega with its pallet furniture serving various purposes.

New exterior bodega space can connect to community gardens, introduce public fridges, and amplify the bodega as a site to participate in cultural and institutional memory.