Monica Knoll

The Souper Site

It all begins with a soup van at a local street corner, a cup of warm soup, two pairs of hands and a shared moment. Social boundaries are dissolved, food is offered, people co-exist, interact, bond. In response, a framework is formed, a toolkit which understands that while human connection cannot be designed, space to encourage, to host and nurture can be. A community library in Collingwood becomes this facilitator, activated though open-programming, inviting active civic engagement. In doing so, it becomes an accessible space, a space that champions diversity and promotes equity, a space of agency and communal belonging. It questions if the confines of an interior can support such inclusive activity, if public social encounters can exist within institutional walls. Can design enhance empathy? The Souper Site is a site for being human.