We suffer from 'environmental generational amnesia’. Direct experiences of nature are increasingly scarce to new, urban dwelling generations which results in a disconnection from nature and a lack of understanding of where the food we consume daily comes from and what is necessary to produce it. Our food is reduced to a commodity. As such it is undervalued and underappreciated and therefore too easily disposed of. Worldwide we waste about 1,4 billion tons of food a year.
How can we learn to once again appreciate and cherish the food we consume?
Re-lationships creates a living entity inside our urban dwellings which lets children connect with nature through educational experiences. This modular microsystem enables the growing of edible plants, suitable storage and presentation of fruits and vegetables and finally the composting of inevitable waste, thus closing the natural cycle. What does nature want and need and how can this be achieved? Finding this balance has to be discovered through interaction, involvement and care. By doing so the unseen relationship between all livin beings is made visible and tangible again.
"There's a shifting baseline of what we consider the environment, and as that baseline becomes impoverished, we don't even see it. If we just try to teach people the importance of nature, that's no going to work. They have to interact with it."
- Peter Kahn, psychologist, University of Washington
‘As an industrial designer I am always looking for pragmatic and feasible solutions to everyday problems. I need to feel that my creations have a measurable impact and improve the status quo for the better. My objects tell a story which is communicated through their use. Therefore, designing a valuable interaction between the product and the user is of utmost importance to me. I see great value in designing for future generations as they have their whole life ahead of them and are the most open for a positive change. As a ‘grown up child’ myself, I cheris playfulness in objects and I am convinced that approaching large scale problems, such as food waste and environmental pollution, for example, is done more effectively by designing positive experiences with beneficial ‘side effects’, which are enjoyed intrinsically, rather than focusing on the negative consequences of our actions.’
Text: Arno Eiselt