The 2023 Sir Misha Black Award for Innovation in Design Education to be given to Haleh Moravej of Manchester Metropolitan University for her sustainable design-led approach to creation and delivery of nutritious food known as MetMUnch.

The 1851 Royal Commission and the Sir Misha Black Awards Committee have announced that the 2023 Award for Innovation in Design Education is to be given to Ms Haleh Moravej of Manchester Metropolitan University for the creation and establishment of her globally recognised, award-winning, student-led MetMUnch programme.

The Award will be presented at a ceremony to be held at 6pm on Thursday 16th of November, 2023 at Imperial College, London. The Award was inaugurated in 1998 to ‘recognise those who, by contributing to the theory and or practice of Design Education in the United Kingdom and who, through innovation and vision, have ensured the education of designers has been measurably improved and the profile of design education enhanced’.

In 2011 MetMUnch, led by Haleh Moravej, brought Nutritional Science out of the lecture theatre and to the public. It’s central premise was to demonstrate how design led techniques, combined with the keen creative minds of students and graduates could make healthy foods more appealing and accessible, first to students and then to the wider public.

Sustainability is the underpinning ethos for every aspect of MetMUnch, working with
diverse professionals nationally and internationally to design sustainable food systems from food production, distribution and creating consumer awareness. Consumers are empowered to develop healthy eating habits through informative, fun, packaging and labelling. What might be considered ‘food waste’ such as coffee grounds are used by students to grow mushrooms and food is preserved through fermenting.

Large scale public health and science engagement events are promoted. One such, included the creation, design and building of a kitchen in collaboration with external partners made entirely from recyclable cardboard.

MetMUnch is a creative programme of engagement and empowerment which has been reaching across all areas of the university as it sits simultaneously within and outside core disciplines. It is innovative and inspirational.

Mary Mullin, Chairman of the Sir Misha Black Awards Committee, commented:
“There is nothing more central to the health and wellbeing of a nation than proper nutrition. However, the cost to the planet of food production and delivery over the last seventy or so years is only now being recognised. The cost in financial and physical terms of the consumption of ultra processed foods is also lately being acknowledged. A design-led education programme to create awareness, develop solutions and demonstrate how this disastrous spiral can be halted, and turned around, through the marriage of science, system design and delivery deserves recognition by which it is hoped it will be widely copied and applied.”

Ms Moravej commented:
“I am sincerely grateful for being honoured with the Sir MishaBlack Award for Innovation in Design Education.

It is not often that an entrepreneurial nutritionist, passionate about climate emergencyreceives such recognition and it highlights the significant impact that design can have in our world.

Furthermore the Award confirms the effectiveness of creative collaboration across different
disciplines in addressing complex societal challenges.

I feel humble, following in the footsteps of legendary visionaries and genuine change
makers who have previously received the Award. It is an excellent source of motivation for
me at a pivotal moment in my career to strive further and explore new horizons in design
education, specifically in sustainability, social entrepreneurship and nutrition.”