Date of Award

Spring 6-4-2022

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Architecture (MArch)



First Advisor

Anne Tate

Second Advisor

Laura Briggs


Hawai‘i is in a food crisis relying on 85-90% of food to be imported to the islands while 41% of its agricultural lands are unfarmed. My thesis focuses on O‘ahu's broken food system and restoring the community’s identity and relationship to their food and land. On an urban scale, the project maps out the agricultural lands of O‘ahu that are being underutilized and owned by large corporations. Then, the project zooms into a town as an example of how to reinterpret the land. The chosen site was a sugar plantation and is still currently owned by Castle and Cooke. Next, the site is reimagined through the lens of agroforestry and indigenous farming techniques to reconnect the community to the roots of Hawaiian culture and create sustainable farming practices. On site, an agricultural learning center is proposed as an extension to the local elementary school to promote a farm-to-school initiative and food security. The design blurs the boundaries between landscape and architecture and looks to a staple of indigenous Hawaiian structures that uses local building materials: the "hale." Ultimately, the systems of land, food, and building work together to support self sufficiency and sustainable methods, allowing the town to relate to the common saying aloha ‘ānia (love of the land).


View exhibition online: Melinda Groenewegen, Food for an Island

Included in

Architecture Commons



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