Coffee and cafes or coffee houses, have been a central part of Melbourne culture since the street stalls of the late 1800’s, to the hipster hole-in-the-wall venues of today. Individual cafes have come and gone, and the sector itself has stood the test of time. Yet their sustainable future may be questionable when considering packaging, food waste, disposable cups, ethically sourced food and milk, Fairtrade, organic, unsustainable staff management, and other issues. Each cup holds a threat, and a challenge.

The studio explored Melbourne’s cafe culture and the interconnectedness of the food system and waste cycles generated by dining experiences. After researching the multifaceted nature of a sustainable cafe system and related human behaviour, the students focussed on systems-based solutions to the complex challenge of creating or closing the cafe recycling loop.

Dianne McGrath

Illiyanna Ibrahim