‘We went in there as designers, I never saw this coming.’
Patrick Walker AKA Founder of Dust Collective joined forces with Laura Higham, the Veterinary Programme Manager at FAI Farms. Bringing together design and science has led to some happy serendipitous results for a combined vision on food sustainability.
Patrick’s studio, Dust, was born in an attic in Sheffield in 2000. In ten years Dust generated a portfolio of international arts, culture and life projects for high profile clients, but Patrick and other members of the collective always knew Dust could do more than just design.
‘A tipping point was realising how design can do more than just look pretty.’
Laura works with FAI Farms managing consultancy and research programmes with a number of high-profile food brands, driving sustainability in global food supply chains. FAI saw a need to pay more attention to food production and its impact. Dust’s work had often leant towards the subject of food, along with bringing people together to bring about change.
In 2013 Dust was approached by Benchmark, a company which does a lot of work surrounding the global supply chain of food. Dust created branding for their sustainability framework and then became part of Benchmark.
‘It’s important to join things up and interrupt.’
This work has inspired an insightful publication series created by Dust called ‘How Fine A Mess: A journal for chefs, brewers, artists, musicians and everyone who consumes the good stuff.’
‘This series of publications looks at art, science, food and future to publish a non-hairy shirt version of sustainable food production.’
The publication draws on the rich landscape of the city’s diverse communities to share ideas around sustainable living and the future of food. With tips on how you, as consumers, can help to improve the current food production situation. Bringing the science to the people through the beauty of design.
Going into the future, we need to combine more areas of expertise such as design and food science. To break out of our normal perspectives, focus and experiences. To allow serendipity and it’s accidental ability to play an important part in creating real change.
The term ‘serendipity’ was coined in 1754 by the aristocrat Harace Walpole. While reading a Persian fairytale called ‘The Three Princes of Serendip’ he wrote to a friend to share his realisation. ‘The princes were always making discoveries, by accident and sagacity, of things they were not in quest of.’
When you hear stories about serendipity, they have an undertone of delight, pleasure, and sometimes profound transformation. These unforeseen, joyful accidents are often the opportunities we seek and cherish — and above all, they’re moments that we don’t forget.