Learning outcomes of the course unit
In this class, students will:
Become familiar with the emerging transdiscipline of food design as a strategy for innovation in the food system territory.
Develop strategic design thinking skills including conceptual mapping and project design.
Feel the impact design can have on concrete situations and conditions they encounter on a daily basis in regards to food, helping them develop a professional profile of a Food Leader.
Course contents summary
This course is designed in general terms to be a point of reference for people interested in design thinking as a tool for innovation in the food ecosystem. In the context of the Master's track for Food Systems and Gastronomy, the course is formatted for students without a design background. Food Design is offered as the course framework, understood as a systemic and emerging trans-discipline concerned with deliberate actions which can improve our relationship with food in a variety of ways, scales and instances. These actions can focus on the design of the edible product or material, as well as context, including territory, environment, experience, process, systems and practices.
The course is meant to empower students with the impact that design can have so as to foster new Food Leaders, who are aware, knowledgeable and willing to meet the challenges our current foodscape proposes. The course is based on the development of group food design projects, whose scope is kept close to familiar and immediate issues that students can identify with, related to their surrounding environment and territory, thus engaging them with food design issues through a learning process based on firsthand experience. Research, prototyping and fieldwork (when possible due to pandemic safety) are an essential part of the project development. Bibliography is used to further class discussion and provide points of reference, but since this is a concentrated course and done online, reading is kept to a minimum. Photography is also used as a tool for observation, as are conceptual mappings.
The topics covered in the course concern the following aspects:
• The emerging transdiscipline of food design as a strategy for innovation in the food system territory.
• Strategic design thinking skills including conceptual mapping and project design.
• “Welcome to Food Design: a primer”, Pedro Reissig (first published 2015 FADU, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina ISBN: 978-9974-8575-4-4) in pdf file online
• “Food Design: a visual atlas”, Pedro Reissig (first published 2014 FADU, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina ISBN: 978-9974-91-745-3) in pdf file online
• "Towards a Food Ecosystem". Chapter from Book: "Food Design: towards sustainable innovation". Reissig, P and Lebendiker, A. (Spanish Edition 2019 financed by BID for the Ministerio de Ciencia y Tecnología, Argentina ISBN: 978-987-86-2327-6) in pdf file online
Study visits (if possible)
Assessment methods and criteria
The final grade is based on following guidelines:
15%: Participation in online class discussions - students are expected to be responsible and active participants in building the class spirit and sense of online community. This implies taking an active interest and participation in class discussions and dynamics commenting and interacting with the rest of the students.
25% Pop-Up Projects- these include the different exercises which are spread out throughout the course; intraview, food hack, photography, case study, food souvenir.
60% Food Design Project (process and final presentation)- this is the main activity which organizes the class structure. Based on groups of 3-4 participants, students identify and propose a project which they develop throughout the semester. The final presentation is designed as a specific learning activity, not as a test. The final project presentation format will be clearly explained so as to be able to compile a resource document showing the class results in a comprehensive and visually motivating manner, allowing future classes to build on previous student experiences. Clarity, Coherence and Concise are the criteria, Creativity is the spirit!
The activities will take place in streaming through the use of the Teams and Elly platforms. Lessons will be recorded for any asynchronous use. Lessons will be held in both synchronous (via Teams) and asynchronous mode (uploaded on the Elly page of the course). During the lessons in synchronous mode (direct), mainly frontal moments will alternate with interactive moments with the students. To promote active participation in the course, various individual and small group activities will be proposed, through the use of the resources available in Elly, such as discussion forums and logbooks