29th January, 2020.
Future Food System is an ambitious endeavour combining cuisine, architecture and commercial viability under the greater guise of eminent sustainability.
Dubbed the ‘poster boy of zero waste living’ by the New York Times, Joost Bakker
is once again setting out to prove that zero-waste homes and restaurants are not only possible but also a brilliant goal well worth indulging. Joining forces with chefs Jo Barrett
and Matt Stone
, the innovative trio combine staggering intellectual, creative and entrepreneurial ambitions for a sustainable future which they are channeling into a like-minded pursuit of crafting a zero-waste, self-sustaining residential environment. In just over 87sqm, a greenhouse with a footprint a portion of the size of the average Australian house has been conceived to prove that a building of its size can be purpose designed to cultivate a phenomenal quantity of fresh produce. Supported by a progressive set of scientific, agricultural, architectural and service systems, the project aims to set a precedent for living more considerately and enduringly – all within a densely urban context.
Located at Melbourne’s Fed Square, Future Food System is the 4th iteration of Joost’s Greenhouse concept that has been many years in the making. The project sets out to reinforce the zero-waste narrative so successfully achieved at previous greenhouse pop-ups, as well as Silo which holds the title of the first restaurant in the world to operate waste-free. Melbourne nurtured that project as well and this time round, with the assistance of a dedicated team and the backing of the City of Melbourne, Future Food System is poised to amplify a message and establish a legacy for the world to embrace.
The idea of a closed-loop, zero-waste economy has risen beyond ‘trend’ to be understood by most as a necessity. Reigning in the copious and terrifying quantity of waste generated every day by Australians has become a familiar concept that is slowly moving from theory to practice. Future Food System is one more chapter in a global saga that is yet to establish an ending.
In January 2021, Barrett and Stone finally moved into the model house of the future to put it through its paces. The glorified greenhouse does much more than grow its own food. Every element has been designed in partnership with Breathe Architecture to align with the notion of eradicating waste – down to the type of glue used and how energy is generated. A biodigestor makes methane from organic waste. Solar panels charge batteries and aquaponics support a microclimate for food production.
As an ecosystem that integrates humans, the Future Food System stands to prove its title over two months while Jo and Matt reside within it to see what can be achieved by a sustainable, largely self-sufficient household of the future. Living off what the house cultivates and hosting others so that they may do the same.
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