Food Design thinking can be incorporated into everyday eating, in fact, you can do it!.
Start with curiosity, let’s look at an apple.
How does an apple feel?, its weight, the texture of the apple skin. Take a big sniff, how does it smell? ( hint..it will always be more than just apple). Now bite into the apple, does it crunch, does it almost fizz on your tongue, is it juicy?. Close your eyes, are you transported to a memory of a place, a time, or something you have tasted in the past?. Your senses are now activated.
Is there anything or anyone you are reminded of, a flavour that might pair with the apple?, A texture you may want to explore, a memory you may want to express?. Can you change the scale, create a story, try a new technique or an old one?. It is time to get curious and play.
Creativity is how you elevate a meal from just something you have to cook to something that feels more joyful.
Food Design is not always complex, sometimes it is the simplicity of ingredients, the skill of resourcefulness, or sharing food with loved ones.
At it’s most basic, food is essential to all human life, we cannot survive without it. Whether we eat for pleasure or to fuel our bodies, whether we love food or couldn’t care less about taste or look, regardless of being a clean eater or a junk food gorger, we all consume food.
On another level, food is an intrinsic part of our cultures, customs and rituals. I think most people are aware via American TV shows of the restorative qualities of a Jewish Mother’s Chicken Noodle Soup, or the role of Birthday Cake in celebrations. I am sure you can think of you own rituals which have food as an central part. This interaction with food keeps cultures, communities together.
On yet another level, Food as a commodity has been created through systems that favour a single outcome. The first big outcome I can think of is, deforestation of the Amazon due to palm kernel oil being a commercially desirable additive to human and animal food . It is this system of one track (usually profit driven) thinking which has led to global problems which affect us all; agriculture, landscape, health issues, politics and power.
We use Food Design thinking as a map to navigate the areas between problems and solutions. Everything is laid out, you see the terrain of the problem, the oceans of solutions, the scary “here be dragons” uncharted areas.
In a world full of Specialists, a food designer is a Generalist, we love theintersections of improbable things. We connect things, ideas, people, we question the status quo, shake up perspectives and look at new ways to express ideas. Food designers connect the Specialists, connect the ideas … we approach food with the perspective of creativity.
By using a Design thinking methodology we can tease out and unravel tiny personal food dilemmas or great big food problems, shedding light on the individual threads of a issue which enable us to find solutions. Click on the link below to see how Marathon organisers are doing away with thousands of single use plastic bottles.
In the increasingly complex world that we live in, we need Food Design to help simplify all things food related, so that we can get on with finding solutions to personal, local and global issues. Food Design = Problem solving.
When you ask most people this question they will answer with a variation on “is it putting unusual combinations of food together?”. I always get a momentary vision of the inventive Letitia Cropley from The Vicar of Dibly with her celebration Chocolate Cake when I hear that.
If you do a Google search of the question ” what is food design?” you get an answer like this, “a process of design studies and research that generates new products related to food”. But that seems too academic or commercially driven and especially removed from food as a essential part of life.
Food is fundamental to life, every person has a connection to food that is personal and unique to them, we all have to eat!. Food is also a commodity in the world, where there is an undeniable link between food and agriculture, health, landscape, science, aesthetics, memory, culture, rituals. which means every human is connected to food in a global way as well as a personal way.
But my personal take on Food Design is that there is a hybridity to it. It is formed at the intersections of disparate personal and global systems, the grey areas that are neither one thing or another. It is a connecting practice, joining reality and thought.