Joost Bakker is a zero-waste advocate with over 25 years in testing zero-waste building and living.
Future Food System is his zero waste home, built in Federation Square, Melbourne.
This is Part 1 of my conversation with Joost Bakker about Future Food System, its design, detailing and construction, and so much more!
Learn more here …
Hello! This is Episode 266, and in it, I’m so SO so looking forward to bringing you my amazing guest, Joost Bakker.
In this and the next episode, Joost generously shares with us his zero waste approach to his projects and work, and in particular, his latest project: Future Food System.
Future Food System was built as a temporary home in Melbourne’s Federation Square, with the goal of “reimagining the home as an ecosystem that provides shelter, energy and nourishment for its inhabitants.”
And as with well-functioning ecosystems, Future Food System was fully self-sufficient: producing its own energy, water and food, and managing, recycling and utilising its own waste, all within an urban environment on a very compact and well-designed, 2 bedroom, 89m2 footprint.
Joost shared the journey of construction openly, and once the building was completed, Chefs Matt Stone and Jo Barrett lived on site. And once COVID restrictions eased, they held tours and served meals to guests in an intimate setting.
The project was an amazing demonstration of what is possible in residential living and lifestyle with the Future Food System approach.
I can’t wait to share this conversation with you, as you’ll hear more about Joost’s work, his philosophies and views, and his incredible wealth of knowledge about how we can build and live differently, that’s been established over decades of creativity, research, experimentation, testing and validation.
Now, let’s dive in!
Before we jump into the conversation, let me share with you some background info about Joost Bakker.
Known as “the Zero Waste Kid” in the New York Times, I’ve heard Joost describe himself as a florist and an artist. In fact, that’s where his career began.
Born in Holland, he emigrated to Australia with his family when he was 9 years old. His father was a fourth-generation tulip farmer, and Joost’s childhood was spent in, around and of nature, as his family settled in Monbulk, about 45 mins east of Melbourne, near the Dandenong Ranges.
Joost started his own floristry business in the 1990’s, and quickly became known for his artistry with unexpected objects, plants and flowers. To this day, he still does incredible installations for renowned restaurants and events such as the David Jones Spring Flower Show in October 2022.
However, it’s not his floristry that many know him for. Joost is also described as a restauranteur, builder, innovator, visionary, disruptor, eco-warrior and environmental activist, and his work over his 25+ year career extends to other projects such as his own home and other residential projects, and his award-winning, pop-up, waste-free Greenhouse Restaurants and Silo Cafes in locations such as in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth.
Most recently, after 5 years of planning, Joost brought another Greenhouse to life, known as Future Food System. On its website, it’s described as “a self sustaining, zero waste, productive house that demonstrates the potential of our homes to provide shelter, produce food and generate energy.”
Built as a temporary project in Federation Square, Melbourne, this compact 2 bedroom home across 3 floors in an 89m2 footprint, explored the possibilities of creating a home where all materials are recyclable or biodegradable at their end of life, and the home fully supported a waste-free lifestyle, with all energy and food produced on site as well.
Now … I have a graphic stuck on the noticeboard beside my desk that says “Don’t say ‘no’, say ‘how’”.
Having watched Joost’s work for many years now, and now having had the privilege of interviewing him, I feel like Joost takes this even further. It’s like “Don’t say ‘no’, and don’t say ‘how’ … let’s just say ‘yes’, and we’ll figure the rest out. Who’s with me?”.
Through Future Food System, Joost asks us to “imagine solving the world’s biggest problems simply by changing the way we live”.
I really hope you enjoy learning more about how Joost, and the other incredible people involved in bringing Future Food System to life, have explored and demonstrated what’s possible when we rethink how we can create the spaces and places we live in everyday: our homes.
LISTEN TO THE EPISODE NOW.
Future Food System Resources:
Joost Bakker >>> Instagram
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