Brooklyn, NY, US


THE KILLING MACHINE: Urban Slaughterhouse

Today, we find ourselves faced with the reality of an uncertain future. The industrialization and globalization of our world has forged an attack on the security of a stable planet. The Killing Machine looks at this reality and proposes a shift in how we think about our relationship to the machine and other species. Without ignoring technology, in fact by continuing to accept it as a vital mechanism to contemporary living, the Killing Machine suggests the possibility of decreasing the domination of the anthropogenic agenda and reinterpreting the influence the machine and other species have on that agenda. Because of this shift in influence, the opportunity of “chance” becomes an added contributing mechanism. Less is predetermined, where typically the outcome favors the human and more is left to chance giving way to the possibility of the undetermined. This hints at a transformed dynamic between animals and humans all due to the redefined relationship the machine has to each. By reducing the domination of the purely human-benefited world, the outcome of influence on an instable future becomes less determined.



As this slaughterhouse is driven by the mechanization of the slaughtering process, the anthropogenic agenda of food-manufacturing is now less determined by the human. In the first stage of its entrance into the machine, the cow is corralled by the architecture of the lairage and its interaction with the human is almost non-existent. This affords the cow an opportunity to find escape from the process before entering the slaughter hall in order to return to grazing.



The Killing Machine explores the possibility of a team driven slaughter versus the conventional assembly line found in most manufacturing plants today. With team assembly as a conceptual driver, the building is designed to accommodate these teams as they complete the dismemberment of a set of cows, rather than a single individual performing the same mundane task repetitively. This allows for variability in the employees shifts, elevated mental health, and has proven to produce a better quality product at the end.



As the mechanization of the process is the grounding driver behind the design, the building is treated both globally and locally as a machine in order to achieve different layers of program. The movement innate in the slaughtering process initiates the movement of the building. Multiple configurations are achieved in order to optimize the connections made between the spaces of lairage, slaughter hall, rendering plant, packing hall, and delivery, thus reinterpreting the line of disassembly. This line is being broken and reattached based upon the trajectory necessary to complete a spatial connection.

The Killing Machine is not intended to be an alternative to contemporary urbanity. It instead suggests the dynamic potential found within spaces of cultural importance should the interpretation of their interior relationships and adjacencies be re-imagined. Furthermore, this project draws on potentials between urbanized systems of agriculture and the mechanization of those systems.

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Status: School Project
Location: São Paulo, BR
My Role: joint concept design, modeling and drawing
Additional Credits: Monica Wynn
Olivia Vien