Leveling the Field: Biodesigns Towards Food Security for Female Farmers

Student | Carlisle Roveto
Faculty | Alison Irvine, Tetsu Ohara
School of Continuing and Professional Studies, Sustainability Certificate

This project proposes two methods of sustainable design to address food spoilage that hinders the progress of female farmers in Ansongo, Mali. 

Biomimetic design elements are employed to create storage conditions that are cold and humid while promoting passive air conditions and indirect light. Biosensors are suggested as an early warning system to detect specific Volatile Organic Constituents (VOCs) that are released from damaged potatoes.

Two methods of design are proposed to address food spoilage. Biosensors can be installed in crates to detect certain VOCs.  A red light and sound will alert the farmer to rot, saving the surrounding crates. The second design shows which biomimetic strategies could enhance food storage to create more favorable conditions.
Photo from National Geographic article detailing the hardships of female farmers worldwide. The method of storage inspired this project.
Close up of the common bacteria responsible for rot and the effects on local potato strain. 
Past methods of storage that were studied and built upon. There are already many clever examples of storage that use passive cooling.
3D model made by Muh_Afif on fivr. This was a good opportunity to communicate design ideas and an exciting step towards being able to test the design.