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Current projects

Image by Mike Cox

Food Innovation Districts

Food Innovation Districts are central to IRDI’s regional cooperative-innovation strategy – designed to facilitate the emergence of a bioregional economy across the southeast. The creation of innovation districts is a recent trend in urban planning that has emerged as a new model to stimulate economic growth in cities across the globe. Building from this successful strategy, IRDI is linking emerging innovation district strategies to regenerative development models that build restorative linkages between rural and urban settings.

There has been a clear effort over the last 10-15 years to grow North Carolina’s economy through the development of innovation districts. Today, innovation districts are present throughout the state, and North Carolina ranked 16th in a 2016 Bloomberg Index of most innovative states. While these districts promote collaboration within a wide-range of industries—local factors frequently determine these industries—the biotech and environmental sciences industries are well represented and promoted in most districts.

*IRDI believes that North Carolina communities will make the choice to develop Food Innovation Districts and retain the investment within local economies, creating good paying jobs and increasing the local tax base. Diverse participation in the development of Food Innovation Districts will stimulate vital economic growth and improve social conditions including health, wealth, and wellbeing.

Click Here to support The Food Innovation District project

Image by Mike Cox

A Living Lab for Winston Salem

IRDI is partnering with The Living Architecture Systems Group (LASG) and Philip Beesley Studio Inc. to bring an immersive environment to Winston Salem, North Carolina. This project sets the stage for co-building a city-wide Living Lab initiative in collaboration with UNCA’s Media + Emerging Technology Lab (METL).

In the first phase of this project, a next-generation architectural canopy will be installed inside historic Hotel Indigo as a part of Winston Salem’s emerging Food Innovation District. This physical installation will be accompanied by a publication containing enriched digital online content.

Click Here to support the Living Lab for Winston Salem Project

Image by Mike Cox

Happy Hill Gardens Open Documentary Project

The Happy Hill Gardens Open Documentary Project is a film project that will tell a story connecting restorative justice, regenerative agriculture and co-creative urban design. The documentary will show where our food comes from, the hands involved in planting and harvesting it, the businesses that use the food, what happens to the food waste, and how that waste is diverted from the landfill back into our community gardens.

Co-creation of the Open-Document art project includes:

An oral history archive featuring interviews with older generations past and present from the Happy Hill Community.
- A storytelling workshop that will empower youth and communities to tell their own stories.
- Development of a unique, augmented integrate where customers at select restaurants across the city can explore the complete story of their plate from soil, to farmer, to compost and back to the soil.

Click Here to support the Happy Hill Gardens Open Documentary Project

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