The Australian Future Foods Lab is an artist collective that seeks to re-ignite tastebuds and the cultural imagination in support of emerging and sustainable food systems. The AFFL collective is made up of myself and Jodi Newcombe from Carbon Arts, indigenous artist Steaphan Paton and Round Angle Studio.
The vision is to collaborate with artists, scientists, chefs and the food industry to innovate, experiment and influence the food system.
We’ve got two events coming up next month. The first of these is the elixir bar where we’ll be serving up alcohols infused with native flavours. The second is the native botanicals dinner in which we’re working with byJoost chef Douglas McMaster to serve a five course performative dining experience in which we’ll be sharing the stories, science and culture behind the native plants we’ll be tasting. For both of these we’ll be collaborating with artist Janet Laurence alongside her exhibition The Alchemical Garden of Desire at McClelland Gallery
I (semi-)recently had an article with the above title published in Assemble Papers… it looks at what we can learn from ecosystems about building resilience into the form and function of our cities.
More than half the world’s population now lives in cities. Urbanisation has quickened dramatically in recent decades, with an estimated 1 million people moving to cities every week. Humanity is on the move and is now overwhelmingly urban. Cities have already shown their capacity to adapt and profoundly influence the shape of humanity. Now it’s up to us to influence the shape of our cities.
So this is where I’m about to start collating projects that inspire me from cities around the world. Projects about resilience building, community building, connecting to each other, connecting to place, making our cities sustainable, while embracing the grit and chaos that entice us to live in cities in the first place.
The sorts of projects that excite me, and so the sorts that I’ll be collecting here, are the ones that think beyond the individual and the government, focusing on the changes that can be made when individuals come together and work as a community to take the lead in building resilient cities.
This blog is partly to be the rebirth of a book manuscript that has been lying comatose in my computer for the last couple of years. I’ve finally accepted that I never actually wanted to write a book and am much more interested in collaborative work, so I’m just going to release the share-worthy bits here. But while I’m at it, I’m going to resume my e-tour of inspiring urban community projects because I did become addicted to that rush of excitement that came with each discovery of an inspiring urban community project.
I hope you find some of the projects as inspiring as I do.