Exploring new food solutions in Sunshine and the Docklands

Last night the VEIL community held an intensive design workshop. The workshops aim was to explore some of the ‘new food solution’ ideas that the Hub has been investigating over the last couple of months.

New Food Solutions 2032 was the theme of the evening with the workshop specifically exploring how food might grow at the Docklands in 2032, and how extending schools into the community might prompt a more dynamic and localised food system. The intensive was a pre-cursor event for a workshop coming in November with our special guest Francois Jegou.

Here is an excerpt from the briefing document:

Government and local council saw potentials in revitalising the economy and building resilience (environmental, economic and social) by supporting local food systems. Following the successful example of domestic water tanks, used to take pressure off the public potable water supply, government, councils, and households found new local food solutions in the form of urban agriculture. Food production has moved into the urban fabric, with a more localised and distributed system for production and consumption. Different types of foods are grown in different parts of Melbourne. Localised trading and brokering takes place to support local consumption and production and ensure that households have access to diverse food types. Almost 30% of food consumed by households is produced within the Melbourne urban boundary (this percentage is much higher if peri-urban agriculture taken into account).

Today as we look around it is easy to take granted the value that urban agriculture has added to our aesthetic surroundings. It is easy to forget the extraordinary amount of innovation that has emerged from urban agriculture, and in particular the role the design industry played in this. Victorian designers saw that urban agriculture and the new localised food solutions were rich in design opportunities. Today the systems, products, services and structures that support urban agriculture have been enhanced through design.

Participants included: Mick Pearce, David Mayes, Kirsty Fletcher, John Sadar, Simon Drisler, Malte Wagenfeld, Steven Mushin, Graham Crist , Melanie Dodd, Craig Douglas, Kate Pears, Michael Trudgeon, Mark Richardson, Bonnie So, Kathleen Turner, Fiona Barker-Reid and VEIL staff members Prof Chris Ryan (VEIL), Dianne Moy, Ferne Edwards and Kirsten Larsen.

Solutions included Mick Pearce developing an innovative use for freight ships, the tankers becoming water storage and with potential growing / renewable space on top and some particularly innovative thinking on tidal power. Another group investigated the idea of incorporated residential and agriculture towers, bringing the village farm to a vertical village and a series of oversize planter boxes that rotated with the sun providing shade to the building. Other groups looked at distributed and flexible learning and how active communities might adopt and adapt our present education systems. One group devising a quarter school type system that squatted residential, commercial and community spaces even branching out to the backyards of houses.

Stay tuned for more of these ideas.