What Design Can Do Climate Action Challenge

What Design Can Do Climate Action Challenge

Merging product design and food education, our OPEN Kitchen concept for the What Design Can Do Climate Action Challenge seeks to combat overconsumption by securing positive food habits at home.

What Design Can Do Climate Challenge 2017 © Caroline Santos

The Climate Action Challenge from What Design Can Do (WDCD), in partnership with IKEA Foundation and Autodesk Foundation, is a design competition which invites members of the global creative community to submit innovative concepts to combat the impacts of climate change.

While there is a diverse range of submissions covering everything from AI and energy efficiency to floating houses and disaster management, our knowledge of food culture and our design thinking skills best place us to consider our food ecosystem, our roles as humans and how to adjust our relationships and habits for sustainable development.

Numerous factors contribute to destructive food relationships, generally from childhood and extending throughout adult life e.g. lack of food education for both children and adults, lack of product transparency, and increasingly crowded daily lives where convenience and overconsumption is an unavoidable temptation.

Whether young professional or financially-stretched family, lack of food education and the space/facilities to implement it affect lifelong wellbeing, resulting in obesity, malnutrition and impaired quality of life. But they also drastically affect the environment, with poor purchasing choices leading to overfarming and increased agricultural emissions, and ultimately, climate change. The World Health Organisation has stated that each overweight person causes an extra tonne of CO2 to be emitted every year.

Governments are considering funding cookery classes, schools are crying out for clarity, swathes of people lack nutritional knowledge, but are bombarded by conflicting information that paralyses their efforts. There’s a need for consistent, accessible food education, and the tools to easily implement it, to secure sustainable food systems.

EDUCATE > EQUIP > ENGAGE

Through our OPEN Kitchen platform, product design and community, we aim to connect design/manufacturing with food education, to empower people with resources and equipment which instil good habits in nutrition and food preservation. Stimulating connected conversations cross-sector – property development, social housing, local government and manufacturers, with nutritionists, home economists, growers and chefs – and re-establishing positive roles in our ecosystem.

Combining nutrition, provenance, community growing, budgeting and zero-waste, OPEN Kitchen aims to cut straight through the noise to establish life-long positive food practices at the heart of the home.

We'd love to tell you more about how we see things working, and welcome conversation from all sectors  - please get in touch by email or below if you'd like to chat.

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