How might we provide accessible, nutritional whole foods in urban food deserts?
The world's cities are rapidly growing. Nearly 90% of the population will live in urban areas by 2030. Half of the food in the USA goes to waste. Many people living in urban areas do not have easy access to nutritious whole foods, areas known as food deserts.
A view behind the inner-workings of the hydroponics system.
The project won first prize as a result of months of collaboration. The finalist presentations were judged by industry experts on sustainable business and design: Colin Webster, Ellen MacArthur Foundation; Gretchen Hooker, Biomimicry 3.8 Institute; Michael Werner, Haworth Inc.; Nathan Shedroff, California College of the Arts; and Ellen Satterlee, Wege Foundation.
Our transdisciplinary team members included Public Administration and Sustainability, Applied Economics and Urban Planning, Collaborative Design, Industrial Design, and Business majors. While the team took home the $15,000 first prize, the mentoring from the judges, the lasting inspiration and drive resulting from hard collaborative work, has forever shaped us.
“We were looking for a team that clearly worked well together [...] The winning team had to come up with something that checked boxes in the social side and the economic side and the environmental side.”
-Colin Webster, education program manager at the Ellen MacArthur Foundation
Grand Rapids Business Journal
Rapid Growth Media