Sankofa Mobile Market
Sankofa Mobile Market is a dynamic mobile produce market which brings fresh produce to community members with limited mobility. The aim of the truck-based fruit and vegetable stand was to increase the market’s capacity to serve senior centers and health clinics around the city, promoting positive health outcomes and long-term community well-being. In Fall 2015, Small Center staff and 14 students from the Tulane School of Architecture worked with Sankofa CDC, a New Orleans based nonprofit, to design and build the Mobile Market.
The “site” of the design/build is a pickup truck, which presented some unique challenges that the students addressed with skill, thoughtfulness and creativity. The Mobile Market unfolds in an efficient and graceful way to provide shade, display information and produce, and creates a gathering space for community members.
The Mobile Market is an expanding display rack inside of a pick-up truck with attached custom bins, a sliding canopy capable of further enlargement, and a bed-slide that can store and hold ladders and produce. On the other side is a classroom complete with cabinets, a countertop, and even a chalkboard. The Mobile Market is able to expand to high demand or contract for small events or impromptu gatherings. The market has become a place for community members to learn about and purchase healthy food, as well as spark conversation and bring people together. The innovative design of the Mobile Market transforms the bed of a pick-up truck into an unfoldable marketplace, which makes it easier for Sankofa to sell and display produce. Aluminum was used in the structure and enclosure of the market – a product made of high recycled content which is itself also recyclable. In the addition, the lower weight of the aluminum allows the truck to traverse the city with less fuel consumption.