Vienna Design Week Urban Food Design Prize 2020


2020 was the third year in which VIENNA DESIGN WEEK and the Vienna Business Agency investigated the groundbreaking area of Urban Food & Design. This time, the focuses were new approaches to living together in the city and the potential of the local in an environment that continues to be shaped by the reality of global markets. The New Local was the slogan that inspired the creative minds in and around the Festival Headquarters in the Amtshaus Theresienbadgasse to illustrate how the production, distribution, and consumption of food could also be organized to be brutally local in the period both during and after COVID-19. The calls of the previous two editions had addressed new sources of food, consumption patterns, and forms of delivery. The five projects selected in 2020 were devoted to subjects such as the sharing economy, the circular economy, and social participation.

In spring 2020, the VIENNA DESIGN WEEK and the Vienna Business Agency had issued a challenge on the subject of Urban Food & Design. The five best concepts amongst all those submitted were selected by an expert jury and presented during the festival in the Festival Headquarters in the Amtshaus Theresienbadgasse.

Jury members: Elisabeth Noever-Ginthör and Alice Jacubasch (Vienna Business Agency), Kathrina Dankl (Studio Dankl), Jonathan Lutter (KLK), and Lilli Hollein and Julia Schanderl

Luckily, the TeleAgriCulture project won one of the 6 prizes on offer, under the theme of The New Local.


What’s that fish doing in the exhibition? That is what some visitors may have thought upon discovering an aquarium in the URBAN FOOD & DESIGN section in the Festival Headquarters. This was part of a home aquaponics construction kit, which combines the breeding of fish in aquaculture and the cultivation of crops through hydroculture. The system was overseen by the artist and designer Julian Stadon, who offered festival visitors a hands-on demonstration of how a closed loop system works. In addition to this, he also took over the festival’s own pop-up kitchen in the courtyard from off plate for a whole afternoon. He took this opportunity to show how to correctly kill and prepare tilapia as well as to present further regional and homemade ingredients from his own garden.

The exhibited Aquaponics Kit was part of the initiative TeleAgriCulture, an open community project that brings together artists, designers, farmers, and DIY enthusiasts. In addition to providing information about and opportunities to exchange ideas on the issue of sustainable urban food production (“Put the culture back into agriculture!”), the crowd- and cloud-based platform also offers individualized sensing kits with accompanying apps for home use.




As part of this exhibition I was asked to collaborate with the Off Plate culinary collective to design a Covid-friendly (remember it was 2020!) communal feel meal, using all the crops I grew that summer. The concept was instead of farm to table it was table to farm and I manages to make a dinner for over 60 people with all ingredients grown or sourced within 2 kms of my tiny house at the farm where I was living at the time. 

As part of the dinner, I held a preparation workshop where I showed participants how to best kill a tilapia fish, over and over again as I harvested 50 of them earlier that morning and brought them direct from my home aquaponics system to the Meidling Vienna Design Week kitchen. The menu included freshly grown steamed ginger-chili tilapia in corn husks, soya-soaked Hokkaido pumpkin with sunflower seeds, potato wedges with cayenne pepper and cricket salt, pickled zucchini, and Asian vegetables, a massive tomato salsa salad, together with a range of homemade spicy sauces. 

I also sold out of the every bottle I brought to sell including the hot sauce, the hot hot sauce, the horseradish oil, pestos, tomato sugo, even the blutwurst and sheeps liver pate  jars sold out! 
Julian will speak about circular agriculture and all that aquaponics has to offer.