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Academy of Hot Rocks

Through the study of Hawaii’s current and pre-colonial food systems, Academy of Hot Rocks examines the decentralized food network as a means to champion community through food education. The project focuses on the Imu, an underground earth oven native to Hawaii with its own expansive network of food, spirituality, and collective labor. This earth oven centered around slow cooking with hot basalt rocks, informs the basis of the material and tectonic language for the architecture. The Imu, much like the Ahupua’a system, relies on a network of exchanges, and the project proposes to expand this network at the urban scale. Food is a storytelling device to create agency, to connect us with people or distance ourselves from them. Food is pedagogical because of its embedded knowledge. The celebration of the Hawaiin Imu as a network of storytelling and exchange hopes to serve as one component in the restorative network laid out across other sites in this studio.