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Free Content Evolution of the Docklands Food Hub: A Design-Led Innovation Approach to Food Sovereignty Through Local Food Systems

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Access to nutritious, safe and culturally appropriate food is a basic human right (Mechlem, 2004). Food sovereignty defines this right through the empowerment of the people to redefine food and agricultural systems, and through ecologically sustainable production methods. At the heart of the food sovereignty movement are the interests of producers, distributors and consumers, rather than the interests of markets and corporations, which dominate the current globalized food system (Hinrichs, 2003). Food sovereignty challenges designers to enable people to innovate the food system. We are yet to develop economically viable solutions for scaling projects and providing citizens, governments and business with tools to develop and promote projects to innovate food systems and promote food sovereignty (Meroni, 2011; Murray, Caulier-Grice and Mulgan, 2010). This article examines how a design-led approach to innovation can assist in the development of new business models and ventures for local food systems: this is presented through an emerging field of research ‘Design-Led Food Communities’. Design-Led Food Communities enables citizens, governments and business to innovate local food projects through the application of design. This article reports on the case study of the Docklands Food Hub Project in Melbourne, Australia. Preliminary findings demonstrate valued outcomes, but also a deficiency in the design process to generate food solutions collaboratively between government, business and citizens.
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Keywords: Design-Led Food Communities; Design-Led Innovation; creative communities; food sovereignty; social innovation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Queensland University of Technology

Publication date: March 1, 2015

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  • The Journal of Design, Business & Society is a double-blind peer reviewed scholarly journal that aims to publish high-quality academic papers that examine the role of design in business and/or society, case studies, design critiques, and book reviews of relevant literature. Our aim is to promote cross-disciplinary research in the field of design. Therefore, in addition to design papers we are also interested in receiving manuscripts on research about design that are coming from non-design areas, such as business, marketing, management, health, psychology, social sciences, environmental sciences, and others.
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