GROUNDS FOR COMMUNITY: THE FUNCTION OF INDEPENDENT COFFEE SHOPS IN AN URBAN SPACE
Coffee shops have had a long-standing tradition of being spaces for gathering—bringing likeminded individuals together as a community under one beverage. While big names such as Starbucks come to mind immediately, my project focuses on independent, local coffee shops in several Philadelphia neighborhoods. I examine how these shops bring people together by providing a physical space to encounter others and experience what it means to be part of a community. Especially in a world where we are inundated with technology, the Internet, and digital social networks, public leisure spaces outside of work and home have dwindled in the urban environment. If spaces do not cater to the fast-paced lives we lead, they are often rendered useless. However, something as simple as an independent coffee shop can remedy this growing problem in our cities. By providing a physical sense of community, independent coffee shops serve as a reminder for us to not lose sight of these communal relationships and to actively pursue them outside of the digital realm. This project culminates in an installation piece within the gallery where I attempt to create a community around this simple beverage in a place that typically emphasizes individual looking.
SECTOR C: Art Practice and Technology
ADVISERS: Jamie Diamond (FNAR) | Liliane Weissberg (GRMN)