About the Competition
Farmers markets across the United States are popping up as fast as pop-up tents. In 2010, the U.S. Department of Agriculture put the number of markets at more than 6,100—a 16 percent increase over the 2009 count. Most of these markets feature delectable produce sold by friendly vendors under a hodgepodge of well-worn tents.
Chicago is a FOOD city. It has thousands of restaurants and a very active and influential “foodie” community. Mix in the growing “local” food movement, and you have created a very vibrant food culture in Chicago. Throughout the Spring, Summer and Fall, the streets are full of street festivals and farmer’s markets where local producers sell their harvest.
These markets occur all over, often in dense areas with little to no green space, where a neighborhood street is blocked off for an evening or a day, allowing local farmers to set up their wares under the cover of a bland, nondescript white vinyl pop up canopy.
This year’s design problem is to design AND build a better pop-up canopy.
Street fairs and farmer’s markets are full of the simple, generic 8’-0” x 8’-0” or 10’-0” x 10’-0” white canopies. The structures are light and portable, which also means that vendors have to get creative when they anchor them to the ground (no stakes allowed). And most vendors can’t afford a custom tent, so they are all white, with flimsy signage.