Category Archives: profound thoughts

Grad Salon

Tomorrow is an opportunity to gain valuable insights and commentary from fellow SCAD graduate students and faculty. The concept behind ‘Grad Salon’ was introduce a few years ago by an eager group of Design Management students who wanted feedback from outside their departments. Within the Design Management (DMGT) department, we have very diverse backgrounds and skill sets: from business administration, anthropology, french horn performance, broadcast and communication, jewelry design, toy design, interior design, and the list continues. However, other majors within the school do not often have the opportunity to interact with individuals with such distinctness. Hence the reason Grad Salon was developed. It’s hosted by different departments twice per quarter, and tomorrow it’s my turn to shine. Having changed the format slightly to accommodate for increasing student participation, I will be presenting 3 times to smaller groups in a more intimate and environment-rich setting. I hope to uncover some ideas that lead to the disconnect between perception and intention when it comes to Slow Food. If you’re from Savannah, please join me and my fellow colleagues tomorrow at Smithfield Cottage. For my mobile readers, I will post the presentation later this week. As always, bring on the feedback!

Reflections on progress

The subsequent paragraphs written by Jean-Louis Flandrin explain precisely the need for alternative food networks and validate the potential impact of Slow Food on our industrialized landscape.

“The undeniable advances in agriculture have brought problems along with benefits. The exodus from the countryside has left today’s farmers in possession of much larger farms than in the past. They obtain much better yields from the soil with less effort, thanks to mechanization, artificial fertilizers, and new species, yet they suffer from crises of overproduction, and [are] burdened by enormous debt.

Strangely enough, neither farmers nor farm organizations seem inclined to question the wisdom of the continual improvements in yields that have led to the present situation of chronic oversupply and attempts to limit production by leaving some land unplanted. Nor do they seem to worry that steadily falling agricultural prices (coupled with the fact that the demand for food cannot increase indefinitely) have decreased the share of the average family budget spent on food.

For consumers the benefits of agricultural progress are no less ambiguous. Not only has the environment been seriously polluted by modern fertilizers and intensive farming methods, but the decrease in food prices has been accompanied by a decrease in quality. Fruits look impeccable to the naked eye because they are free from damage by insects or disease, yet they may be tainted by invisible pesticides. Harvested while still immature, they lack fragrance and flavor…Gourmets will often travel long distances to buy [produce and meat] from specialty farmers. Is this progress?”

What a great question to end on.

a modest practice in farming

 

Taste: a noble sense

So close to finishing Food: a culinary history from antiquity to the present! And I’m really glad I was able to keep my eyes open long enough to catch the significant passage that highlights the importance of taste. For your reading pleasure, I will share with you this excerpt from the great Saint Jerome of the seventeenth century:

” ‘Taste is not the noblest of the senses, but it is the most necessary. Without taste, man cannot live for long, but he can live without the other senses.’ Although we value taste today, we see it as less important to survival than sight or hearing. Even in the culinary realm, we rely on sight to read food labels, indications of safety and freshness, and so on. We no longer rely on taste to decide what might be harmful to our health, and nutritionists no longer advise us to heed our taste in deciding what to eat.”

Pretty amazing that this was written in the late 1600s, and yet like so many other historical events, still holds true in present day.

a clean plate relies on taste

 

 

change happens…

“Change happens in ideas or culture first, [which] then changes your cuisine (that is what you do to food between farm gate and plate), and then changes in trade and farming follow.” – Rachel Laudan, courtesy of GOOD’s Food for Thinkers dialogue.

 

redefining the problem space

it’s a new year, which inevitably means a new resolution. first and foremost, my new year’s resolution is to curate the perfect thesis topic; it should encompass passion, proactivity, problem solving, and public debate. it should be humane, just, sensitive, and engaging, yet should answer the obvious question, “what makes this a design management problem?” in order to fulfill my master’s degree requirements. after just recently digesting all the commentary from december’s glass house conversation on food issues and public funding for food design r&d hosted by @nicola twilley: food editor, GOOD author, and co-founder of #foodprint_project, i created the following probing and possible thesis statements. thank you to all the wonderful participates for their thought-provoking responses. comments welcome 🙂 1.examining food cultures to improve nutrition education in elementary schools 2. the act of social commentary through the consumption of food design 3. investigating the relationship between “food design” and spatial experience 4. designing spatial experience to counter issues of food insecurity 5. embracing obesity challenges through intentional spatial experience and eating design 6. investigating the impact of food cultures on spatial organization 7. food as a subject to define and organize spatial relationships: experiments in how we experience food spatially 8. investigating small scale urban farming as a catalyst for larger, systemic food design r&d.

our relationship with food

“Everyone has a relationship with food, whether they like it or not. think if you enjoy your food and actually pay attention to it, then that’s the first step in having a healthy relationship with it.” Sam Bompas, food design, co-owner of Bompas & Parr, London.

amit sharing his indian food traditions in senones, france

 

culture is the integration of art and lfie

After a visit to the Vitra Design Museum, this profound statement caught my eye.

“It would be a pity if art was only to be found in museums and the private possessions of a few people. In the end, culture stands for the integration of art and life.” – Isamu Noguchi


 

when finals week has you down

Motto for finals week: “keep calm and carry on” – that and copious amounts of caffeine. Thanks to Bri for my daily reminder 🙂

the food culture revolution

I think the food culture revolution is perhaps the most transformative force in America today. Forget Tea Parties and check out the farmers markets. The message is outstanding — grow good things locally, eat seasonally, cut energy, be sustainable. This way of living is moving out from food into the wider American culture, up from the bottom, out of sight from the politicians.”

– Bruce Nussbaum: The Essential Optimism of Design

(Source: fastcodesign.com)

 

eating is pleasure

“Eating with the fullest pleasure – pleasure, that is, that does not depend on ignorance – is perhaps the profoundest enactment of our connection with the world. In this pleasure we experience and celebrate our dependence and our gratitude, for we are living from mystery, from creatures we did not make and power we cannot comprehend.”

WENDELL BERRY