October 9-11, 2017

Co-designing Sustainable Food Systems

BARNRAISE
AT IIT INSTITUTE
OF DESIGN

ABOUT US

BarnRaise is an impact-driven conference that connects designers, community-based organizations, topic experts, and participants to promote greater impact in the Chicago community. Multi-disciplinary teams will work together to discover common ground, unlock values, systemically approach the challenge, prototype ideas, and envision sustainable solutions.

"You couldn’t place folks in the middle of a blighted neighborhood — without a strong family unit and without easy access to healthy food — and expect them to thrive. If you could create an environment in which people felt secure and healthy, though, you could provide the possibility of a better life."

Will Allen, urban farmer and author of The Good Food Revolution

THE CHALLENGE

How might we accelerate the transition towards a sustainable food system in Chicago?


This year’s BarnRaise challenge is co-designing sustainable food systems.
By understanding food waste as a critical path to reduce environmental impact and inefficient financial investments, as well as a means for promoting social innovation, BarnRaise will become a platform for imagining a sustainable future for Chicago food systems.

SCHEDULE

Over the course of two and a half days, participants work with community organizations and design firms to solve real social problems. Please view our daily itineraries for more information.

DAY 1

Keynote speakers present the challenge in the Chicago context. We work in groups to connect current local challenges to global impact to inform local actions, and close the evening with a key speaker and a panel discussion that inspire us to create sustainable solutions for food systems.

DAY 2

We start the day with a key speaker presenting the role of systems design in fostering sustainable solutions. Participants hear build a shared understanding about design, sustainable solutions, and food systems; and split into workshop teams to better tackle the system’s challenge and create sustainable solutions.

DAY 3

Teams refine their ideas, frame solutions, and make a plant to action. The conference ends with a public share-out and community fair, where teams showcase their proposals and invite others for the next steps.

SPEAKERS

Kristel Van Ael
Partner, Namahn

PANALISTS

Carter O’Brien
Sustainability Manager, Field Museum

Elizabeth Grasso-Kelley, Ph.D.
Research Scientist at IFSH, Illinois Tech

PARTNERS

News

A systemic problem requires a systemic solution

What is a food system?

A food system has been defined by the UN as a “system that embraces all the elements (environment, people, inputs, processes, infrastructure, institutions, markets, and trade) and activities that relate to the production, processing, distribution, and marketing, preparation, and consumption of food and the outputs of these activities, including socio-economic and environmental outcomes.”

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Introducing BarnRaise 2017

The task at hand

This year’s BarnRaise challenge is co-designing sustainable food systems. By understanding food waste as a critical path to reduce environmental impact and inefficient financial investments, as well as a means for promoting social innovation, BarnRaise will become a platform for imagining a sustainable future for Chicago food systems.

Read More

A brief history of BarnRaise

Over a decade ago, Institute of Design students created a platform to engage the broader design community. Their annual Design Research Conference (DRC) bought together professionals advancing the role of design research in innovation.

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GET IN TOUCH

Andre Nogueira
PhD, IIT Institute of Design

CONTACT

Raina Russ
MDM, IIT Institute of Design

CONTACT