It is a difficult word to define, let alone execute with change-making results. It requires intent, insight, attention to detail. It asks for deeper thought around functionality, necessity, purpose and accessibility. Design has the power to change the way we interact with the world.
With this year’s Grant for Change we asked you to share your designs, but first, we negotiated the criteria. We asked for designs that instigate positive change. We asked for designs that address the world’s greatest challenges, and challenge assumptions about the way even the most basic things are done. We asked for design that is replicable, creative, compelling and effective.
After six weeks of open nominations, 124 nominees, an exciting voting period, support from hundreds of communities, interviews with our ten finalists, and much deliberation, we are excited to announce our second annual $10,000 Grant for Change Grantees:
Congratulations to Curt Ellis and Ian Cheney and their project Truck Farm.
Grandpa’s old pickup truck, turned mobile garden, has turned heads from Northern Massachusetts to Washington DC, and with it comes a humorous and edgy spin to the conversation around food.
It has inspired the creation of over 60 (and counting) food gardens in new and unusual places. Its course has been recorded with pictures and sound, culminating in a documentary film that is now rolling its way into the film festival circuit.
On the ground, the truck itself instigates awareness, offering a tangible, and remarkably simple, example of design as a tool for positive change; when the farm moves, it reminds us that we do not need a static plot of land to grow our own food.
Curt and Ian are fired up for the next steps of the Truck Farm movement. Their goals include a movie-screen attachment, to make the mobile farm a portable theatre; a series of contests focused on who can grow a garden in the craziest place; a succession of portable events, to gain traction with schools, through youth programs and innovative curriculum; and a (wish list) meeting with the CEOs of the Big Three automakers to see if any of them are interested in bringing a mass-production Truck Farm to market. In their own words:
“Urban agriculture is taking root in Detroit now, with vacant lots being planted in crops and commercially-viable farms sprouting up on 8 Mile Road. So why not take a bit of inspiration from that, and build a line of cars with room for a seedling or two? It sounds ridiculous, and is, but wouldn’t it be fun?”
Take a closer look – and see what we’re so excited about – here. We look forward to the upcoming year of storytelling, mobile farm movements and the urban agriculture conversation. We hope you will join the discussion.