Food Design is anything that improves our relationship to food: be it better agriculture, shopping, cooking or eating together.
Food Design isn't just a product or a process, it is also as an attitude, a way of being in the world, something we all embody since we make food choices everyday, relate to food in many ways, and are literally composed of food.
We are eaters, thinkers, makers, cookers, artists, scientists, academics, chefs, designers, community organizers, educators, farmers, families (and more) who are interested in exploring how food can transform lives.
We believe in the power of community and want to build a diverse cohort of support for the understanding, development and dissemination of Food Design across multiple disciplines, industries and walks of life. Our goal is to build new ideas, promote resources, encourage dialogue, identify opportunities and give visibility to the field of Food Design.
Drafted by Pedro Reissig September 21, 2014. NYC
We are exploring what is the best format for this initiative (should this be a society, network, or other form of organization). This will have implications including how it is funded, run and positioned. Since this can take some time to figure out, we are launching as an open platform and will see how to best define ourselves as experience and feedback occurs.
In this first stage we are self-financing the design and maintenance of a website, but will need to develop some kind of funding for the future.
It is understandable that those participating on this initiative so far are mainly NY based since we are working in face-to-face situations, but we want to quickly move towards a decentralized mode. But in this sense we also look at the positive implications of being NY based; maximum cultural diversity, a major center of gastronomical innovations, high awareness of food related issues.
1. The function and purpose of the Fdna is to bring together like-minded people in pursuit of our mission statement. It is a network of people and entities that can connect freely through real life as well as virtual means.
2. Our understanding of Food Design includes any action that can improve our relationship with food individually or collectively. These actions can relate to the design of food products, materials, practices, environments, systems, processes and experiences. We offer this working definition as a point of departure, not arrival. We think it is essential to offer useful and motivating definitions since our goal is to open up the discussion, and not offer schematic or reductionist definitions.
3. Food Design is an emerging field. We recognize the creation of the International Food Design Society (IFDS) and the “First International Conference on Designing Food and Designing for Food”, which took place in 2012 at London Metropolitan University, as significant milestones for the discipline.
4. This new field is mainly oriented to designers (in the widest sense of the word) and open to all activity which can benefit from its reach, including practitioners, researchers, scholars, scientists, engineers, technologists, nutritionists, producers, entrepreneurs, cooks, chefs, artists, curators and inventors from both the public and private spheres. This speaks to the multifaceted nature of Food Design and the diverse range of stakeholders involved.
5. North America is considered a diverse territory with developed business and entrepreneurial spirit and skills applicable for Food Design. It is also an important food-producing region with significant influence in trends, standards and practices at a global scale. When referring to North America we do not include Mexico since it is already a member of the Latin American Food Design Network (redLaFD), but Canada is included.
6. Food Design is transdisciplinary in essence, comprising knowledge, experience and visions from complementary fields, including:
• Food Sciences: e.g., technology, engineering, chemistry, nutrition.
• Food Services: e.g., culinary arts, hospitality, gastronomy.
• Food Studies: e.g., sociology, anthropology, geography, psychology.
7. We think of Food Design not just as an emerging transdiscipline, but also as an attitude, as a way of being in the world, something we all embody since we make food choices everyday, we relate to food in many ways, and we are literally composed of food. This implies relevant and unique conditions, also having ethical implications.
8. Food Design implies Food Designers as practitioners. In this sense we distinguish three distinct yet converging realms of praxis relating to Food Design:
Strategy: as when research based and aligned with design thinking.
9. We propose developing a specific format for promoting Food Design in different areas of life, based on our idea of CTA (Cook, Talk, Act). This format can be applied to a wide range of situations, from smaller community-based events to larger institutional venues. CTA can become a strategic tool for taking Fdna’s goals to meaningful and concrete transformations in our food lives.
1. We create space for the gestation of actions, ideas, discussions and proposals in relation to Food Design.
2. We promote the resources of design for the improvement of food and its universe of products and processes.
3. We encourage dialogue between the different actors and sectors that have an impact on our relationship with food, including designers, scientists, technologists, engineers, nutritionists, cooks, chefs, artists, entrepreneurs, cultural managers, producers, and consumers.
4. We seek out and identify opportunities that are not being served satisfactorily in relation to food.
5. We create an integrated, unbiased way of thinking to improve our relationship with food for as many people as possible.
The FDNA is committed to becoming a point of reference in the field of Food Design in North America, providing visibility to North American initiatives, and integrating this emerging transdiscipline to related disciplinary interests pertaining to food and design in this and other regions of the world, thereby contributing to education in Food Design.
1. We value contributions to food related issues in all its dimensions and manifestations.
2. We believe in creating benefits for the largest number of people regarding health and well-being (personal and social) in their relationship with food. This involves improving access to healthy, delicious and enjoyable food, compatible with their needs and context (social and economic), integrating local knowledge and cultural values about and around food.
3. We recognize the importance of not causing damage to persons and/or to the environment with our actions, while maintaining a balance between needs and resources in a just and sustainable way.
It is an organization open to any physical person or entity related or interested in its subject matter. A coordinating group will be formed in a way and date as yet to be defined, whose mission is to ensure the growth and health of the organization with its objectives. It is not yet clear what powers the coordinating group has, nor how it is constituted, instrumented, increased or renewed, but we propose to resolve these issues during the term of the next two years, with the possibility of extending it an additional year to observe, act and refine based off our learning, with revision of this document in Fall 2015.
Points to be resolved in this next step of growth include the administration of physical and virtual platform. This initiative will remain temporarily in horizontal operation with the figure of Coordinator occupied by Emilie Baltz, and the headquarters is temporarly NYC, where this first cycle of events took place. The founding members will work as an advisory board and the coordinator will consider all opinions and recomendations and act on good faith. This network is considered similar in spirit and objectives to the IFDS (International Food Design Society, www. ifooddesign.org) and redLaFD (red Latinoamerican de Food Design, www.lafooddesign.org) making the three organizations related but autonamous.
Pedro Reissig is by training an artist and architect, with a PhD in Design. His work explores the relationship between form and structure within a paradigm called “techno-morphology”, and it is from this platform that the companies; Vacavaliente, Nudo Design, Novamaterial and Foodmorphology Lab were born from. His career integrates the rigor of academic research and education with design practice, frequently publishing in specialized as well as cultural media. His designs have received international recognition with presence in over 30 countries, ranging from the MoMA Store to the Mori Art Museum in Tokyo. Pedro’s work in Food Design includes the startup Foodmorphology Lab based in Argentina/Uruguay, the founding of the Latin American Food Design Network as well as Fdna, its North American counterpart, and finally pulling it all together onto the educational platform FDxE. His activity in higher education is always part-time, including The New School in NYC, Universidad de Buenos Aires and Di Tella in Argentina as well as Universidad de la Republica in Montevideo.
Anita Cooney is dean of the School of Design at Pratt Institute. Previously, she was the chair of the interior design department at Pratt. She is also a professor, having taught in the School of Architecture at Pratt as well as in the interior design department. An architect, designer, and artist based in New York City, she is the principal of acoo design. She is also a board member of DesignInquiry, an transdiciplinary educational organization devoted to researching design issues in intensive team-based gatherings. At DesignInquiry, meals are not just sustenance and celebration; they are part of the work.
Associate Professor and Director of Food Studies Initiatives
The New School, New York City
Fabio Parasecoli is Associate Professor and Coordinator of Food Studies at the New School in New York City. His research explores the intersections among food, popular culture, and politics, particularly in food design. He studied East Asian cultures and political science in Rome, Naples and Beijing. After covering Middle and Far Eastern political issues, he wrote for many years as the U.S. correspondent for Gambero Rosso, Italy’s authoritative food and wine magazine. Recent books include Bite me! Food in Popular Culture (2008), the six-volume Cultural History of Food (2012, co-edited with Peter Scholliers), and Al Dente: A History of Food in Italy (2014, translated into Italian in 2015). He is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post.
Adam Brent (b. 1973, Queens, NY) creates sculptural installations that combine architectural and organic elements to explore issues of nature, reflection, interiors and structure. He received his BFA from the Maryland Institute, College of Art in 1995 and his MFA in sculpture from Parsons School of Design in 2001. His work has been exhibited at such notable museums, institutions and galleries as The Islip Art Museum, The Bronx Museum for Contemporary Art, The Aldrich Museum For Contemporary Art, El Museo Del Barrio, The Mattatuck Museum, The New Museum’s Festival of Ideas, Aljira Center for Contemporary Art, Artists Space New Haven, Auxiliary Projects, Apex Art, Margaret Thatcher Projects, Gathering of The Tribes, Wave Hill, BRIC Rotunda, Momenta Gallery, The Bronx River Art Center, The New York Department of Transportation’s Urban Art Program, The New York Public Library, and The 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale, US pavilion. Brent will have public works exhibited in Wave Hill, Volta Art Fair, and a solo show at Slag Gallery 2016. Additionally, he has attended notable residences such as Artists In the Marketplace at the Bronx Museum, Emerge at the Aljira Center for Contemporary Arts in Newark NJ and the DNA artist residency in Provincetown, MA. Brent is also a principle-founding member of the BroLab Collective. BroLab had its first major solo exhibition at Freight + Volume Gallery in New York in early 2014 and recently completed an ambitious out door sculpture for Baltimore’s Artscape 2015. Their first book of collaborative work was published in the spring of 2013 by Seton Hall University. Brent has received grants from The Greater New York Arts Development Fund as administered through the Brooklyn Arts Council and the New York Foundation for Contemporary Art and recently received grants from the Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, Newark Arts Council, and the Puffin Foundation. His individual and collective work has received critical attention from the Village Voice, L Magazine, The NY Press, Art Critical, The New York Daily News, Architect Magazine, Architizer, Artsy, Art Observed, and the New York Times. Brent also sits on the New York City Department of Transportation’s Art Advisory Committee, and currently serves as Program Director; The BFA in Integrated Design at Parsons School For Design. He represented as solo artist by Slag Gallery, NY and as BroLab by Freight and Volume Gallery, NY.
Andrea Lipps joined Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum in 2008 and is an Assistant Curator focused on international contemporary design. Lipps is co-curating, with Ellen Lupton, Beauty—Cooper Hewitt Design Triennial, opening February 2016. She has contributed to numerous books and exhibitions, includingDesign with the Other 90%: CITIES (2011), Why Design Now?: National Design Triennial (2010), and Design for the Other 90% (2007). In 2015, she was a Mobius Fellow in Helsinki, Finland. Lipps publishes articles in leading design magazines, serves on international juries, and lectures in the MA program at Parsons/Cooper Hewitt and the MFA program at the School of Visual Arts. She holds a master’s degree in History of Decorative Arts and Design from Parsons/Cooper Hewitt (2008), and a bachelor’s degree in French, Sociology, and Women’s Studies from the University of Michigan (2000).
Stefani Bardin explores the influences of corporate culture and industrial food production on our food system and the environment. She works with neuroscientists, biologists, engineers and gastroenterologists to ground her research in the scientific world. These investigations take the form of single and multi-channel videos, immersive and interactive installations and tools for measuring and/or mediating these influences. She recently completed a residency at the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP) at NYU where she continues to teach classes in Food + Technology + Science + Design. She also teaches in Food Studies at the New School and in the School of Design Strategies at Parsons.
Jennifer Scanlan is a New York-based independent curator focusing on contemporary art and design. She was most recently the co-curator of Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft and Design, Midcentury and Today, organized by the Museum of Arts and Design in New York City, and teaches at Parsons, the New School for Design.
Prior to working independently, from 2001 to 2013 she was Associate Curator at the Museum of Arts and Design, where she organized a number of exhibitions, including Crafting Modernism: Midcentury American Art and Design. Scanlan has lectured internationally, including at the 2010 Conference of the International Committee of Design History and Design Studies in Brussels, Belgium; Taiwan Craft Research and Development Institute in Taichung, Taiwan; the 2007 Adornment Magazine conference at the Fashion Institute of Technology, New York; and the 2005 Glass Art Society Conference in Adelaide, Australia. She has also taught at Courtauld Institute of Art Summer School in London, England, and in the Historic Preservation Program at Drew University in Madison, New Jersey. She has a BA in art history and Italian from Vassar College, Poughkeepsie, New York, and an MA in the history of decorative arts, design, and culture from the Bard Graduate Center, New York, New York.
Michael Adé Elégbèdé
Michael Adé Elégbèdé is a creative chef with a focus in Innovative Nigerian cuisine; exploring the gastronomical possibilities of Nigerian ingredients in pertinence with its cultures and traditions. Born in Nigeria, Michael instinctually learnt its cuisines from his mother and grandmother who were both chefs and operated restaurants in Nigeria and Chicago, then he proceeded to acquire a classical French training from The Culinary Institute of America. His multicultural culinary background and experience in highly regarded restaurants including New York’s Eleven Madison Park and Nomad has influenced his unique approach to cooking. His affinity for art and design has led him to collaborative projects with The New School, Pratt, as well as a founding member of the Food Design Network America.
Peter is the Executive Director of the Museum of Food and Drink (MOFAD), New York City’s first food museum. MOFAD recently opened its first brick-and-mortar space with the acclaimed exhibition, Flavor: Making It and Faking It. Described by The New York Times as “not just hands-on, but tongue-on and nostrils-on,” Flavor explores the fascinating story of how the flavor industry transformed food over the last 150 years. Peter has worked as a hunger policy advocate, public health educator, and international litigator, and he was the founding director of L’Art de Vivre, a community art center in Cameroon. He holds a BA from Brown University, a JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Master’s degrees from both Sciences Po and the Sorbonne in Paris, as well as an amateur certificate in French Culinary Technique from the French Culinary Institute.
Emilie Baltz is an artist, designer and educator whose work uses food as a means of revealing new possibilities in the world aroudn us. She has omnivorously trained in diverse mediums of storytelling, from Modern Dance to Screenwriting, Photography and Industrial Design. She holds a B.A. in Film Studies from Vassar College and an M.I.D from Pratt Institute.
Baltz is based in New York City and is part of the founding faculty of the School of Visual Arts Products of Design program as well as the founder of the Food Design Studio at Pratt Institute. Her work has been commissioned by EMPAC (Experimental Media and Performing Arts Center), The Vitra Design Museum, The Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, New Media Scotland, Trienal of Portugal, Eyebeam, New Zealand Food Institute, Yale University and The Museum of Art and Design. She is the former Creative Director of the Museum of Sex, New York, and has collaborated with Chefs Albert Adria, Alain Passard, Celler de Can Roca, artist David Byrne, Droog Design, Cheval Blanc and Limoges Porcelain. Her corporate clients include LVMH, Microsoft, AOL, Ebay, F&W Media, Bombay Sapphire, Ketel One, Dupont, Panasonic and PUMA.
Emilie is the author of the award-winning “L.O.V.E FOODBOOK“, recipient of Best First Cookbook in the World at the Prix Gourmand held annually in the Louvre, Paris; as well as the nationally featured cookbook, “Junk Foodie: 51 Delicious Recipes for the Lowbrow Gourmand“. She lectures internationally on the transformational power of food experience in the lives of creators and consumers. Her speaking engagements include appearances at TEDx, PSFK Conference, Ignite Conference, Creative Mornings, TODAY Show, NBC, Wall Street Journal, D-CRIT and more.
Claire works as food design researcher and design educator. She looks to the concept of sitopia because it serves so well as a touchstone for developing a general common direction during collaborative design work with experts from many fields of research and practice — the word sitopia literally means ‘food+place” and was forged by Carolyn Steel from Ancient Greek roots, which Steel discusses in her book, Hungry City: How Food Shapes Our Lives. Claire earned her Masters degree from the Design Studies program at Central St Martins in London and then went on to teach in that program and work for the UK’s Design Council before returning to New York. Currently, Claire is co-teaching a course for the fourth consecutive fall semester with landscape architect Kate Bakewell for the MFA Products of Design program at SVA in New York City . The course is titled Designing for Sustainability & Resilience and through it they offer a process for exploration into the opportunities at the nexus of food and human life. In their class this semester, they are exploring two complementary subjects: Cuba, a country which is on the brink of great change and the unknown consequences of that change, and the emerging re-appreciation of food-as-medicine happening in the medical world and in many people’s everyday lives here.
LinYee Yuan is the founder and editor of the food design website MOLD. When she isn’t traveling for work and pleasure, you can find her slinging brisket sandwiches with Lonestar Empire at the Brooklyn Flea.