Discussion Questions : Food waste, intimacy and compost: The stirrings of a new ecology?


What research methods did Turner use? Why do you think she used these?

What are the aims of the paper?

What are ‘freegans’?

What do the terms ‘anthropocentrism’ and ‘anthropomorphism’ mean?

What might a reengagement with these senses and the development of a more careful and embodied relationship with our food represent?

What are the ‘The “vagabond” qualities of food’?

What is ‘the mesh’ and what are some examples of it?

What could a new ethics of waste look like?

What are three points that the research data reveals?


Assessments 2017


40% (Individual)

4 x blog posts, 400 words each + 2 comments on the posts of other students. These blog posts don’t have to be submitted in order, but you do need to tag them appropriately CATEGORY “PostA” “PostB” “PostC” or “PostD”.

Tag your article with as many appropriate and relevant keywords, such as “compost”, “service design”, “plastic”, “bacteria”, “stakeholders” etc. as you see fit.

All references and images must be hyperlinked to the source (if online) using in text referencing and also listed in full at the bottom of the post (as per standard academic practice). http://www.lib.uts.edu.au/help/referencing/harvard-uts-referencing-guide

Since your articles will be visible to the public upon submission, it would be best to write your post in a Word document first and have somebody proofread your writing before uploading. If you use a pseudonym, please let us know so we can find your work. Do NOT publish your student number.

Use of images:

  • Each post must have at least one accompanying image, which may be an illustration or drawing, collage or compilation of images, a single image from a referenced source, or a text quote graphic in jpeg format.
  • Keep image quality in mind – images should be a minimum of 600px wide, since the main column width is 656, except in the full-width template, where it’s 937.

Due: Completed posts are due June 19th at 9am. There are also interim due dates during session.

POST A: Conduct and draw a 1 day organic waste audit of all the ‘organic waste’ you produce over a 24 hour period – You may use images, text, photos etc. but you must use drawing of some kind. Also include your first attempt at an food waste audit – the canapé audit at the UTS book launch.

POST B: Reflection on your group’s caddie design and group charter for assessment 2a. How can different design disciplines contribute to organic waste solutions? Why is it important to include designers in the management of organic waste? What contribution does design make to thinking about systems? to changing systems? to inventing systems?

POST C: Reflect on data methods you have investigated and how they contribute to addressing your project brief.

POST D: Conduct a literature review of systems of organic waste management. What institutions and/or organisations are managing their organic waste locally/internationally? Include web links, how you found this information, why is it relevant? and include reports and good quality data. Include at least one more in-depth research on one of these systems.


A blog post has a title, an introduction, a structure, high quality images (credited and attributed), and references. It is well organized and visually appealing.

Each post needs to include 3 references. The quality of your references will be assessed.

See subject outline for assessment CRITERIA.


GROUP DESIGN: Waste Caddie (brief from EPA in week 2): 10% (Group Work)

This will be your first go at working in your interdisciplinary group. You will present a design. It could be a mock up, a video, a poster etc. Each group has 5-7 minutes to present.

You will present your design in class with your Group Charter in class. Include in your presentations:

  • a reflection on your group process
  • what each of you contributed
  • what you would do differently next time
  • an explanation of how your design fits into a broader system of waste management.


Design Project: 40% (Group Work)

For this project you will work in teams. Each team will consist of 4-5 UTS students.

You will generate your own brief in consultation with your teachers and address the brief with a collaborative design. There are 3 submission points:

  • To a panel of experts on Friday June 7th, 8 minute presentations.
  • You will also need to post your project to the class blog (1 post per group). This should be an abbreviated form of your presentation (600 words maximum), and posted under the category label “PROJECT”.

Your project will involve extensive research. Your research may include:

  • Observing, drawing, mapping, photographing, sound recording, inhabiting or any other method of discovering
  • Interviews with people, including students and staff
  • Investigation of original sources (such as design documentation, reviews, plans, oral histories, this may involve investigation in the library, archives or museums)
  • Investigation of secondary sources including websites, books, reports, catalogues and scholarly articles.
  • You should develop a strong and persuasive rationale for your design which will form part of your final verbal presentation.

ASSESSMENT 3: DUE JUNE 21, 2017 by email

Reflection 10% (Individual)

600 words

Write a cover letter for a job you REALLY want as a designer at the Environmental Protection Agency. Address it correctly.

Include the skills and competencies gained though your involvement in the Wealth From Waste studio. Include an anecdote about how you developed these (i.e. Where did it happen? who was involved? and what changed for you (if anything)?)

You might to want to refer to ‘transdisciplinary practice’,
‘interdisciplinary design’, ‘design research’, ‘systems thinking’ and
‘mapping’, ‘collaboration’, ‘planning and management of group process’ etc.
Give specific examples. Be professional. Email your letter to your studio leaders.


Week by Week Schedule

We meet on Wednesdays 3pm-6pm.

WK 1 (Mar 15)

1. Introduction to the studio.
2. Using the Class Blog.
4. Introduction to teams.

WK 2 (Mar 22)

1. Being in the canapé system – Book launch and food waste exercise
2. Defining ‘Organics’
3. Introduction to EPA competition (assessment 2a)


WK 3 (Mar 29)

1. How to Conduct a Waste Audit as a designer: Guest lecture by Lucas Ilhein
2. Feminist approaches to Ecology, Technology, Labour and Ecology (Alexandra Crosby)


WK 4 (Apr 5)

1. Expert Panel Discussion (New Room for this class: CB1.18.030)
2. Walk through UTS Organics system
3. Post A Due: One Day Waste Audit


WK 5 (Apr 12)

1. Systems thinking lecture and exercise (Dena Fam) (New Room : CB10.04.460)
2. Studio work


WK 6 (Apr 19) New Room:CB07.03.010D (Health Bld)

1. Caddie design and group charter presentation (assessment 2a)
2. Using critical thinking to write a design brief


  • Read Ulrich, W. (2000). Reflective practice in the civil society: the contribution of critically systemic thinking. Reflective Practice 1, no. 2: 247-268. Available at UTS library 
  • Browse Critical Thinking Heuristics

WK 7 (May 3) CB07.03.010D (Health Bld)

1. Lecture: Research Methods (Alexandra Crosby & Dena Fam)
2. The ‘Mapping Organics’ research methodology


  • Make a list of every research method you have used in your degree so far
  • Consider all your course subjects as well as Design Thinking, Researching Design History, Interdisciplinary Lab A
  • Start with www.utsdesignindex.com
  • Bring a draft of your groups design brief to class to check with Dena and Ali

WK 8 (May 9) CB07.03.010D (Health Bld)

Group presentations on Research methods and Post B is due today

  • Reflect on the research methods and how they will contribute to developing your design
  • Think about why you’ve chosen these research methods, why and how you’ve used them.


WK 9 (May 17) CB07.03.010D (Health Bld)

Framing the Organics project: Introduction to Planetary Boundaries & the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) (Katie Ross)





WK 10 (May 24)

Field Trip – Veolia tour


WK 11 (May 31) CB11.04.102 (Engineering Bld)

Studio week/consultations

WK 12 (Jun 7) CB07.03.010D (Health Bld)

Group Design presentations (assessment 2b)

WK A1 (Jun 19)

Research Portfolio/Blogposts due (assessment 1)

FINAL ASSESSMENT 3, reflection: DUE JUNE 21, 2017