Post B: Caddy / Reflection

The caddy project was a head-on approach to inter-disciplinary design, merging the skill sets and ways of thinking about problems across multiple design fields. It gave us the ability to view the issue with a much broader scope and understand the problems and challenged us as a group to come up with a transdisciplinary solution. Our group as whole meshed well, we all saw the problem in differing ways but were able to negotiate an outcome and distribution of work, that played to everyone’s strengths. Like Ulrich we were constantly challenged by the observations and perspectives from different disciplines, backgrounds and personal experiences with the system but this conflict led to a greater mutual understanding of the issue.

“The immediate goal of a CSH evaluation is to elaborate multiple perspectives on a given situation, but the broader aim is to share these perspectives and thereby cut down on actors ‘talking past’ each other by promoting mutual understanding.” (Ulrich, W.  Reflective Practice in the Civil Society: The contribution of critically systemic thinking, 2010)

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working with a real client was a great opportunity to understand the way other governing bodies framed the food waste problem. it brought forth the magnitude of differing prospectives surrounding the issue and the realization that there was no one solution but an undefined number of outcomes that could lead to a better more sustainable future. to fully understand the problem we had to think about the system in which waste management operated and determine wich subsystems were involved. this enabled us to gain an understanding of the viewpoints of different governing bodies and their motives.

Our team set a group charter and framework to work within focusing on design thinking rather than analytical or aesthetic approaches. the outline focused on clarity, simplicity, affordability and practicality. through these boundaries, we were able to negotiate through possible solutions and find what we felt best fit the solution. This transcended through our approach of the caddy and instructions focusing on small decisions that we felt would make a large impact. Such as the choice not to use color in our instructions sheet and testing the minimum amount of paper needed in the caddy liner to keep contamination at a minimum. We focused on the communications and readability of the information sheet keeping words to a minimum with easy to read infographics.

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Through working with governing agencies on such a project it becomes apparent that the small changes or adaptions in systems can create a larger social or political change in the way people think about an issue. using design thinking to enable a transdisciplinary solution we were able to chip at incredibly complex issue that spans a multitude of systems and subsystems that are constantly changing.

 

References

n.a. ‘Critical System Heuristics’, Critical System Heuristics | Better Evaluation, <http://www.betterevaluation.org/en/plan/approach/critical_system_heuristics&gt; Accessed 10 May 2017.

Ulrich, W. (2000). Reflective practice in the civil society: the contribution of critically systemic thinking. Reflective Practice 1, no. 2: 247-268.

 

 

One day waste audit

Firstly to gain a better understanding of my waste ill show you how we acquire our food in the first place. I share a house with 5 others, because of this we have shared food and individual food. Our shared food come weekly from Flemington markets as part of our local vegetable co-op this consists of a mixed seasonal fruit and vegetables. The other individual food comes from surrounding shops and supermarkets. This sums up the potential tactile waste, there is also the unseen waste and externalities such as the water used to wash & grow produce, fertilizers and carbon emissions in transportation, conversations, and ideas gained by sharing food and meals just to name a few.

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My food audit took place on Tuesday the 5 of April. This is an accurate snapshot of a typical day. The majority of the waste is either food scraps or recyclable packaging with only a small amount fit for garbage. this highlighted the potential for mass reduction of waste going to landfill, with more than fifty percent of our audited waste being organic. Sadly the Sydney city council is yet to support and provide an organic waste bin. it was only upon gathering and separating my organic waste from general waste that I realised how much of an impact organic waste could make on a large scale.

through our local vegetable co-op and our trips to Flemington markets, my housemates and I have started to gain a better understanding of the food we eat and of the “ecological mesh”  that we live within (Turner, 2014). this connection was made through the human relationships made with farmers at market stalls, and the tactility of feeling and smelling fruit or vegetables to see if there ripe. it is through such connections that I have started to understand the ecological mesh that encompasses us (Turner, 2014).

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Canape Audit

On Wednesday the 22nd of March as a class we attended a book launch and 20th Anniversary for the Institute of Sustainable Futures function. we were given the task to document and audit the function. The food and drinks served at the function were all vegan and presented to look like vegetables grown out of the ground. I think it’s important to note that this display was designed to inform the guests about vegan alternatives and connect the guests to the theme of organics which I feel it succeeded in, as most conversation surrounded the food the presentation of the food. Through the auditing process, it became transparent how much energy goes into a small function from the ingredients that came from across the state to transport, labor, waste and the transfer of information. I initially tried to weigh the positive effects such as information shared, conversations and experiences, the learning gained by the students and guests with the negative consumption, waste and carbon value. it quickly became apparent there was no way of measuring this.

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Unkown, 2016, ‘Waste Management – City of Sydney.’, Waste Management – City of Sydney, CorporateName: City of Sydney, Accessed 05 Apr. 2017.

Turner, B, 2014, ‘Food waste, initmacy and compast: the stirrings of a new ecology?’, Journal of media arts culture, vol 11, no 1, pp 1- 9