Tutor: Emily Ballantyne-Brodie

Tuesday 5:30 – 8:30

Systems design allows designers to play a significant role in solving complex social, economic and ecological problems. Nourish Lab in semester 2 2018 will apply food systems design methodologies to the issues of peri-urban and urban agriculture.
Urban and peri-urban agriculture is expected to become increasingly important for social and environmental well-being, food security and nutrition of populations. It is predicted that peri-urban and urban agriculture will be key for growing fresh produce for growing urban populations. Urban and peri-urban agriculture tend to differ in their form and their purpose. “Urban” usually refers to small areas such as vertical farms, vacant plots, gardens, balconies and containers within cities for growing crops and raising livestock for currently only consumed by smaller scale markets. However, Food Innovation Australia (FIAL) research estimates that the global opportunities surrounding indoor urban agriculture are in the order of AU$185– AU$395 billion by 2025. Peri-urban refers to semi or fully commercial farms to grow vegetables and other horticulture which is in close proximity to the city.

“As the world urbanises and population grows to 10 billion it will be harder to meet society’s nutritional needs solely from traditional agricultural practices. Recognition of resource constraints and demand for improved local access to fresh food is driving innovation in urban agriculture with rapid commercialisation complemented by high levels of sophistication in techniques and technology. Closed-loop 24/7 indoor production models, vertical farming, integration of renewable energy, water efficiency and organic waste recycling, continuous monitoring of performance analytics across inputs, outputs, time, motion and quality, are fields in which Australian firms, (farms and communities can embrace) and commercialise and deploy unique solutions”.
Advanced Urban Agrifood, CRC Prospectus, 2018

This tutorial will help you develop a deeper understanding of the health, social and ecological implications of traditional the industrial food system. The class will introduce systems thinking theory and design methodologies explore industrial ecology creative interventions. A field visit will be undertaken to an exemplar Melbourne urban agriculture project will show experiments in practice.
The class encourages you to explore conscious food design interventions in your daily life or community. Furthermore, practical knowledge will be gained about ways to work with communities, councils, educational institutions and businesses so your design idea can be developed within the constraints and challenges of a real-world context. Skills gained will be group and individual work, creativity, researching system problems, visualising food system solutions, experimentation and creating a well-researched food design concept.