For the Kenyan designer Stephanie Nyairo and her two German design colleagues Madita Morgenstern-Antao and Philip Kohlbecher, technology appears above all as an efficient tool for connecting people, simplifying living conditions and eliminating existing problems.
Looking at the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, the three designers‘ approach was essentially about making an effective contribution to the implementation of the goals 1) no poverty and 2) no hunger.
In line with the motto Helping people to help themselves, the team looked for deficiencies in food production that could be solved by a technical solution enabling many people to achieve lasting and effective self-sufficiency.
The three designers found the perfect environment for their mission in the sector of mushroom farming. The successful establishment of a mushroom farm is especially guaranteed if the cultivation conditions can be controlled and regulated. The modular sensor kit ZINIA designed by the team satisfies exactly these needs.
ZINIA measures humidity, temperature, CO2 content and light intensity in real time and thereby takes over the task of a whole series of previously more complex and expensive measuring devices.
Originally, the term ZINIA comes from Swahili and refers to a large plate of food placed in the centre of the table, from which all family members usually serve themselves. In this case, ZINIA mainly supports small and independent mushroom farmers to produce more efficiently and to produce more food for more people.
In order to make ZINIA perfectly usable under almost all conditions and by as many people as possible, the three designers decided to offer their sensor kit in three different forms: As a do-it-yourself construction manual, as a 3D print model, and as a finished product.
The presentation of the ZINIA project was recorded at the »Ideas Crossing Borders« conference in Berlin. The final presentations of the other two teams of the Design Networking Hub, HOUSING and MOBILITY, are also available on YouTube.
Funded by the German Federal Foreign Office, the Design Networking Hub was established in May 2021 and is a knowledge and networking platform for designers, architects and creative professionals to support international cooperation projects in the field of design.
An integral part of the Design Networking Hub is the exchange of ideas on an equal footing, as all participants should learn from each other and grow together. In order to make the information offered on the platform as user-oriented as possible, a pilot group of five German and five Kenyan designers and architects was put together to work in small teams through the entire process of a bilateral cooperation. In the areas of mobility, housing and digitalisation, they are developing new product and business ideas or non-profit concepts.
German Design Museum Foundation
The German Design Museum Foundation was founded in 2011 on the initiative of the German Design Council and is based in Frankfurt am Main. Since its foundation the GDMF has firmly established itself in the German foundation landscape and established itself as a multi-voiced and non-profit institution for the overall design spectrum with nationwide funding projects. The purpose of the Foundation is to promote and communicate design to a broad public as a significant component of applied art and everyday culture. Since its foundation and with the support of committed cooperation partners, the German Design Museum Foundation has organised numerous projects in the form of workshops, summer academies, exhibitions, publications and the development of a digital museum.
German Design Council
The German Design Council was founded in 1953 by the Federation of German Industries and leading companies on the initiative of the German Bundestag. More than 350 renowned companies from various industries support the German Design Council in implementing design as an economic and cultural factor. Outstanding designers as well as up-and-coming young designers are also supported. The German Design Council strengthens the general public's understanding of design beyond Germany and acts as an international interface.
Design Kenya Society
Based in Nairobi, the Design Kenya Society brings together Kenyan designers, design students and design businesses with the aim of strengthening the design and creative sector in Kenya and promoting excellence in African design.
German Design Museum Foundation
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Telephone +49 69 24 74 48 638
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