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Urban-Food Ecology

A systems understanding

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Exploration

​I took a deep-dive into the topics that were most relevant to the current food system and tried to get an overall understanding of the problems.

During this phase I did a PDC (Permaculture Design Course) and volunteered at a farm. I also carried out other primary and secondary research activities.

Permaculture Design Course and Volunteering at a Farm
Research Learnings
About Food

• The conventional food system is an extremely long global supply chain, pulled thinly across the globe. Any difficulty or disruption at any stage in the system could lead to the food not reaching the end consumer


• Problems in the food system span from environmental to social to ethical.


• In the conventional food system most of the stakeholders are unknown to the final consumer leading to lack in trust and transparency

Design Brief

Designing a better urban-food ecology using permaculture to strengthen the relationship between humans and nature.

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Mapping out

This is an important stage in any systems design project. In this stage you map out all the research for visualizing the data.

This step makes it easier to comprehend the problems in the system and help us find solutions.

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This chart visualizes the involvement of humans in their current food system.

The stakeholders are placed in rings around the human in the centre to represent immediate physical or mental proximity.

It helps us realize that even though our food comes from nature, we hardly ever trace it back to it in our day to day lives.

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This chart is a quick representation of the interrelationships of the domains of human, food and nature.

The ideal scenario for the three domains is to live in harmony, however, our current lifestyles are causing humans to get disconnected, the food system to get degraded and nature to get destroyed.

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Systemic Solutions

This step helped me reach solutions to the current urban-food problems. Looking at existing systems holistically and understanding the possibilities of change lead us to apt solutions in this stage.

Ideation and Idea grouping
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Ideas and implementation

Several ideas were designed and tested. Here is a mapping of all the ideas and how they could all fit under one umbrella of a food lab.

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This project was taken forward in multiple directions. Here are some of them:

Open IDEO FSGCL

With this project, I was chosen as a game changer to participate in a Global Cohort in the Food Systems Game Changers Lab.

Children's Growing Kit

I worked in collaboration with Active Hands - a company which makes hobby kits for children in order to design a kit which will teach them to grow their own food.

Business model

A business model to tackle the food problems and to get urban dwellers more involved into their food systems by means of permaculture was developed.

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