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MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries:
An action research project:

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How can discursive food design ignite cross-disciplinary creative collaborations by creating resonance from the common experience in the post-pandemic?

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This action research study is about exploring the use of discursive edible design in connecting creative practitioners to audiences across a variety of disciplines in the context of the post-pandemic. In this context, individuals have been disconnected from each other physically and emotionally for a period and have been reconnecting after the COVID-19 isolation.

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A research project by Cindy Ho Yee CHAN in 2021

Index: 

0. Welcome!

Thank you for coming to this place where I update my journey of Deep Food. 

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This page also serves as a learning journal of my study at MA Applied Imagination in the Creative Industries at Saint Martins, UAL. 

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I will be writing on the latest update on Deep Food's intervention at the same time as taking the above course. 

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The site will be posted in chronicle order, as such the latest update at the bottom. 

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Thank you in advance for your reading. 

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Cheers,

Cindy 

Cofounder at Deep Food 

13th May 2021 

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1. The Late Kick off 

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Dear Deep Food,

 

I mark this date as the beginning of the Deep Food project at my Master of Arts study, hoping that I was able to begin this any earlier. 

 

As a beginning, I have the following ideas and plans that I am going to list as a brain dump:

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1. I need to consolidate a project rationale along the line of the interventions Deep Food has taken and will continue to take.

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2. As candid as I can be, the project is clearly about Depth (of information/ knowledge) and Food (and the edibles), as such, Deep Food, a topic that I have been exploring with my partner since 2018. 

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3. Some resources I already have on my hand:

-previous effort on the project

- a media interview response that I have written and captured Deep Food's Ideas. 

- Deep Food's previous interventions (reviews and reflections needed)

-some stakeholders contact I have accumulated from Deep Food's previous work

-an invitation from a media platform to write blog posts on design

-some good comments from my mentors and tutors (consolidation and reflection needed)

-previous research work on the philosophers' buns projects (not launched yet)

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The next steps:

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0.Write and reflect on the context of my situation and project development 

1. Draft the WWHWI (what why how what if ) today 

2. Gather a reference bibliography 

3. Stakeholder mapping and establishing contacts 

4. Draft learning agreements 

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In best companion,

Cindy 

Cofounder at Deep Food 

13th May 2021 

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2. The Prologue

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Dear Deep Food,

 

I am writing to reflect on the context of my situation and project development. 

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Please find my previous presentation on the project - the change I want to see as above. 

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Context:

1. I have been working with the name of Deep Food since 2018, Deep Food has 12 projects launched so far. 

2. All past and current projects Deep Food are either a collaboration or a commission, that is, Deep Food never has a self-initiated project. 

3. I would like the MA AI project to be the first Deep Food self-initiative to deep dive into what means by Deep Food. 

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Comments from Unit 1 tutor George:

1. I need to identify the stakeholders of the project and listing out some possibility 

2. Since the combination of depth and food is new and abstract, I need to give example to picture what means by Deep Food. 

3. I need to identify any existing interventions that are in the same direction. 

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Reflection and the next move:

1. Steer the project away from news food to purely Deep Food 

2. Compile a report on current "Deep Food" practice and list stakeholder 

3. Define Deep Food more concisely. 

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Best,

Cindy 

Cofounder at Deep Food 

13th May 2021 

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3. WHAT : Deep Food 

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Dear Deep Food,

 

I am writing to consolidate the "What" for Deep Food for the "What Why How What If" task. 

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Ever since humans began to eat and cook, food played an important role in human civilization. Food provides us with our necessary nutrition; we live on food; we hunt for food; we forage for food. It's not too exaggerated to say that food plays a role in our society and culture: food is around our religions, that food and eating are related to many of our rituals and beliefs; food is around our connectedness to nature: eating is literally how nature and our human body becomes one. Food is as political: that human civilizations proceed through food trading and the fight over resources.  Food is around even in gender issues, which is to hunt? Who is to forage? This question was almost the first gender-related question answered by our ancestor, which is fundamentally a gender-related question displayed through food and eating.

 

In short, food is almost inevitable in every sector of human living and being, and it has been playing a crucial role. As much as we humans still enjoy and rely on food, we hope the importance of food will only be explored in wider breadth and depth. 

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Seeing food as a medium is nothing new: from the first standing man started to have food intake to the extreme delicacy in haute cuisine that displayed culture, taste and class. The question is: how can we consciously take food for thought as a medium: appreciating that food is such a special medium that should be able to go beyond itself as some mere nutritious substance?  In Deep Food, we believe that the power of food as a medium can go beyond its taste, convenience, its origin and can be expanded consciously to the level of content and culture: that when we decide to eat, the question can go beyond: how fast is it? How tasty is it? How nutritious is it? How fair-traded is it? How authentic is it? We believe that it can be developed towards this question: How Deep is it? In terms of content and culture. 

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It could be best to illustrate that through an example of our project. Taking our project: Stone of Origin, as one example, it is a project that designed sandstone-sculpted tableware combined with dishes to create a set of fictional ancient creatures. The project aims to provoke its audience to perceive our everyday intake as food and an ancient creature that has taken millions of years to come to our table, as long as the atomic formation of stones. When our audience sees the food and tableware sculptures as creatures, they start imagining how these creatures have lived, how it would behave, how it evolves and how it is related to us and the world. Through that, we hope people would have a second thought about food origin, not only in the scope of food production or environmental point of views, but in terms of a more macroscopic view of the formation of any matter in our material world, and to appreciate and treasure food in this cosmic perspective. (image as above)

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In short: Food is a common language. Food is in our everyday life. Food as a language can spread messages and ideas towards eating. Food, as our everyday life, penetrate messages into our daily practice of consumption and intake. A marriage of food and message creates value for the social, environmental and economic aspect. Deep Food would like to explore this marriage by developing our knowledge of food and design.

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To put it simply, the definition of Deep Food can be concluded in the 6 x 6 model I created earlier for Deep Food's practice: 

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Deep Food is, therefore: Food that provides value on up to the above 6 aspects, through up to 6 layers of discursive means an edible experience.  

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Best,

Cindy 

Cofounder at Deep Food 

13th May 2021 

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4. Why-Deep Food

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Dear Deep Food,

 

I am writing to consolidate the "Why" for Deep Food for the "What Why How What If" task.

 

Please find images of previous Deep Food interventions as above. 

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Context:

1. I am a graduate of Bachelor of Product Design 

2. I work with my partner Heinrik on Deep Food, who is also a product designer. 

3. Heinrik and I are making a living from Deep Food. 

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Why Deep Food is important and meaningful to me:

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Both our co-founders came from a background of design, in particular, product design, in which we have both worked for various brands in product and industrial design. With such a background we constantly apply our expertise in manipulating 3-dimensional medium into food. Both of us have an interest in expressing our ideas through discursive design, however, we found that there is little room to realize this passion given the high economic and environmental cost of developing industrial products. Meanwhile, Food is also in some sense a 3-dimensional medium, of course, on top of that it has one more dimension: taste, and comparatively the environmental cost of manipulating food as a medium is much lighter than that of mass-produced industrial design. As such, we experimented to apply our knowledge on product and 3-dimensional design into the field of food and edible experiences, and since then we have been fascinated by its possibility and versatility. As a tangible and edible medium, we have been finding food a very friendly medium in a sense that many people can easily find their association with food, as such through that we can communicate with them our messages through our designed edible experience. 

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Best,

Cindy 

Cofounder at Deep Food 

13th May 2021 

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5. Deep Food?

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Dear Deep Food and its fellow tutors,

 

I am writing to consolidate my research question for the "What Why How What If" task.

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I have the following ideas to draft my research question:

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1. How can we consolidate knowledge on using edible experience as a discursive medium for creating immersive information transfer via food and eating in a more systematic way?

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2. How can we develop knowledge on deep food (the medium) for deep food (the experience) via deep food(the practice). 

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3. How can we communicate via eating experience for immersive information transfer and dialogue by experimental practice on food experience. 

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I would like to gather some comments and feedback here to further polish the question. 

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For fun, above are images of previous Deep Food concept ideas (not launched nor realised). 

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Best,

Cindy 

Cofounder at Deep Food 

13th May 2021 

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6. Deep Food's Readings

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