Innovating agriculture

Photo credit: Maartje Strijbis

Photo credit: Maartje Strijbis

Growing cities are happening worldwide, and all are dealing with issues food security, environment and sustainability. By blending the innovative thinking of the design community with developments of the food and agricultural sectors, Agri meets Food is supporting the exchange of ideas, challenges and solutions that shape a sustainable future.

Ahead of their touchdown in South Africa for Department of Design, Agri meets Design tells us more about their project.

HOW CAN SOLUTIONS FOR FOOD AND AGRICULTURE BE APPLIED IN SOUTH AFRICA?

The Netherlands is a special Food and Agri country: highly productive, knowledge intensive and very innovative. Agri meets Design adds a new way of thinking and working to that, by bringing farmers and designers together.

Agri meets Design believes that designers can provide a new way of looking at the innovation challenges in the agricultural and horticultural sector. In the Netherlands, Agri meets Design has already seen some beautiful examples of new insights and collaborations.

This way of working can lead to breakthroughs and innovation in other countries that have both a thriving agricultural and design sector. This especially counts for South Africa, internationally renowned for its growing design community as well as being a powerful agricultural producer.

HOW CAN THE NETHERLANDS LEARN FROM CHALLENGES FACED IN SOUTH AFRICA?

There are many differences between the Netherlands and South Africa, like production and market circumstances. For the further development of efficient food chains, the highly productive and knowledge intensive Dutch agriculture can inform South Africa.

But there are also many similarities. Just like the Netherlands, South Africa is dealing with issues on food security, environment and sustainability. In South Africa, more and more people are living in the cities, requiring the provision of health, safety and food to the growing population.

This leads to designs tasks that are similar to the Dutch. Agri meets design wants to show which insights, work methods and solutions come out of the South African approach to these design tasks.

WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS AT DEPARTMENT OF DESIGN?

Agri meets Design will go on tour to the Western Cape during Department of Design, looking for talented designers and innovative farmers. During this tour Agri meets Design will look for agri issues and creative solutions in South Africa that will lead to five agenda points that will be taken back to the Netherlands.

Agri meets Design will also take five Dutch agenda points to South Africa to test, reflect on and to exchange. Agri meets Design will organise a FARM: LAB where farmers, local government, designers and NGO’s can co-design in Department of Design.

What happens in South Africa and how can we learn from it? Agri meets Design aims to trigger a movement and put the food issue on the agenda. At the same time, Agri meets Design wants to show what’s going on in the Netherlands, which issues we’re dealing with and look how to realise a cross pollination of ideas

Visit the FARM: LAB in Department of Design and experience the touch of design in agriculture.