Friday, July 30, 2010

Core Value for the narrative

Review 2

Friday 30th July
Panel: Arathi, Geetu & Nupur

  • CHOOSE YOUR FINAL PRODUCT/OUTCOME: Due to the time constraint I have been asked to make a decision of whether I want to design a series of interactive sessions through which children learn about food sustainability- and then test what works and what doesn’t; OR design a book, and through the means of a strong character (an Eco Gastronaut), narrative and activities introduce the concept of food sustainability and inspire children to become Eco Gastronauts. I think I’ll go with the book because 1) like Arathi pointed out it will be a nice summation to your years of specialising in VC 2) I really want to explore my skills at creating a character, narrative and illustration style that show how living a sustainable lifestyle is fun and easy to do, and inspires children and their parents to follow suit!

Nupur: Can you still implement the initial idea of a shopping bag that has information about Food Sustainability?
  • Possibly create a “kit” that has the book about Eco Gastronauts as the main product, and complementary/supplementary products- like a Gastronaut shopping bag that reminds you about how you choose to buy your food, and an apron that has food safety instructions printed on it for as reminders for when you cook, and a table mat for when you share a meal with people. Products also work as mediums to promote and spread the message of food sustainability. They also compel you to want to do the activities of the Eco Gastronaut.

Geetu: while introducing the idea of Food Sustainability, can you figure out an obtuse way of doing it. Don’t just go to the core- sustainability- can you find more subtle methods that bring about the ideas of sustainability. E.g.: to make kids accept Gay people you introduce a Gay friend/character in a group of friends in sitcoms, or introduce a character who doesn’t drink at a party and drives home the rest to discourage teenagers from drinking and driving. Also the example of Nestle introducing coffee flavoured desserts for children so that they grow up liking the taste of coffee- to increase coffee sales in a country where tea drinkers reigned supreme.
Also what is the meta reason for sustainability? Can you try and find out the reasons beyond the apparent; the origin for the desire for sustainability- is it evolutionary?
It can help you come up with a different angle to pose your narrative that is beyond the obvious, and make it more interesting/compelling.

Arathi: you have a lot of ideas, it’s time you focus on one and try to tie in the rest with that one core idea you want to introduce.

Nupur: children’s books that have strong primary characters- series “Horrible Henry”. 
Looking at various types of children’s books that look at  a variety of methods to make a narrative more fun, exciting, compelling- illustration, interactivity, character building. Even if they are not about food they can help you think of “obtuse angles” to introduce food sustainability to kids.

  • Zero in on a central idea and weave a narrative around it that introduces the different ideas of food sustainability.
  • Build a strong character who will lead the narrative.
  • Illustration style that makes the story visually gripping.
  • Format of the book- pop ups, flaps, putt outs... how can you create layers of information. 

Thursday, July 29, 2010


“To restrict yourself to eating locally is an interesting exercise,” she said. “It’s consciousness raising to see what you’d be living on, but I don’t think of it as a necessary or practical solution of our globalized food system. I am not opposed to any importation, but what we can grow locally we should grow locally."

-Ms. Prentice, a pragmatic Locavore

If It’s Fresh and Local, Is It Always Greener?

Researchers at the University of California, Davis, have been challenging assumptions about the carbon footprint of local foods versus those that are transported long distances.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


“Design activism builds on what already exists, on real life processes from greening neighbourhoods, to transforming communities through participatory design action; rather than by advocating grandiose schemes which is the tendency of the urban planning process.”
-Guy Julier / Leeds Metropolitan University

Sustainable Everday

“Sustainability is a societal journey, brought about by acquiring new awareness and perceptions, by generating new solutions, activating new behavioural patterns, and hence cultural change.”

-Ezio Manzini

Debora Solomon

Debra Solomon is an Amsterdam based artist, chef and designer who comes originally from California. Solomon, who once worked at Amsterdam’s famous Supper Club, teaches at the Dutch Art Institute, in the Netherlands. A member of the slow-food movement, Solomon has recently led food-related design workshops in China and India.
Her work involves food, food culture, food as culture, and the cultures that grow our food. It can be viewed on culiblog

Eddible Estates

There is a lawn and garden revolution currently taking place in the heartland. “Garden," as we know it, typically conjures up images of a private, enclosed space - a protected visual oasis - a patch worked quilt of cultivated herbs and seasonal vegetables. “Lawn”, for most, has less romantic connotations, though its origins, “laund”, suggests a wide open plain or ploughed meadow, which over time became ye olde word, “mawan”, or the verb, “mow”, as we know it today. 

Garden or lawn need not equal mow, though.

The green-thumbed architect, Fritz Haeg, might finally have a solution for our fixation with the lawn as ego and suburbia as a vapid showcase for increasingly archaic landscaping strategies coupled with the weekly Olympic mowing events.

Edible Estates
 is a project that re evaluates the concept of personal turf- the suburban lawn, and makes it into a publicly viewed space for food production plan.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Inspiration: JAMIE OLIVER


“I love bread-and-butter pudding. I love its layers of sweet, quivering custard, juicy raisins, golden crust. I love the way it sings quietly in the oven; the way it wobbles on the spoon.
You can’t smell a hug. You can’t hear a cuddle. But if you could, I reckon it would smell and sound of warm bread-and-butter pudding.”
-Nigel Slater

Friday, July 23, 2010

Review 1

Nupur & Arathi

·         Research topics and methods should be more focused. E.g.: You can look into traditional Indian food habits like eating seasonal foods, and how those beliefs can be made relevant in today’s day and age.
·         Have visual cues to better explain your ideas and process. E.g.: sketches of possible product ideas, photographs of research, etc.
·         Try and be more specific with what you want to design for your final product/outcome.
Ideas / Suggestions:
·         When thinking of possibilities for final products keep in mind that the message of food choices and sustainability should be made very velar and direct. Awareness about right food choices should be the immediate communication of your products.
·         Keep in mind that food just by itself is a sustainable product as it is completely consumable.


Reworked Project AIM/OBJECTIVE/GOAL:
Inspire children to become Eco Gastronauts by means of a narrative and design products that supplement the narrative. The objective of the products will be to allow the user to experience the interactions in the narrative in life.

Who is an Eco Gastronaut?
The term Gastronaut has been coined by the Latin word gastro- meaning stomach and the Greek word naut which means sailor. It refers to a person who explores and enjoys the world of food the way an Astronaut explores space. Coincidently, the first Gastronaut was astronaut Patrick Baudry who in 1985 treated his fellow crew members aboard U.S. space shuttle Discovery to some delicious French food since he wasn’t happy with the regular food served to them in space!
An Eco Gastronaut is a person who not only explores food, is an adventurous eater, and fantastic Chef, but makes sure that their food choices don’t harm the planet.
Eco Gastronauts believe that the food we eat should be produced in ways that don’t harm the planet, and that farmers who grow our food are appreciated and supported by us. They believe that people should be adventurous tasters and learn to cook, so that they can feed themselves and their family and friends delicious fresh food.

·         Be more sensitive about the rhetoric of your definition. Try and exclude words like choice, should, appreciate, etc as it makes preachy and moralistic. Focus and emphasize words like adventure, delicious, wholesome. This shouldn’t become about enforcing guilt.
·         You can also think about including the idea of food that’s not just about aesthetic and delicious taste. This is about the overall impact of food.
·         Also while thinking of products to go with the narrative keep in mind that the form and design doesn’t lose the context of the project. They shouldn’t become superficial.
·         Make a list of all the ideas about the process of food that you want to introduce to help bring in focus and clarity.
·         Look up books by Time life called Adventures of the Micronaut and Roberta’s clock.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Product Inspiration

Being a co-producer can be made stylish and fun with the right accessories such as the State by Food Tote Bag.

The organic cotton bag by Melangerie features each state and the unique food item that rep re sents it—a per fect tote for the farmer’s market.