The world is at its most schizophrenic state right now. Since the industrial revolution we have been striving for affordable food: food for the masses. Food has never been so diverse, productive and profitable, and at the same time so exclusive as today. However, there are many questionable effects in the present food chain. We produce large quantities, but to what expense? Monocultures, intensive agriculture and animal husbandry become standards. Today the biggest challenges are food waste, food security and food for the poor. One third of food produced worldwide is wasted. If we could find a solution to prevent food waste, we could theoretically end world hunger.
Food is one of the most important resources: we need food to survive. Food waste is not just unacceptable, it clearly shows how our culture functions. How economic principles are valued over ethical consequences. No matter how much resources like land, water or manpower are wasted. The social and ecological impact are enormous; involving poverty, devastation and high prices in other parts of the world. At the same time, food and food culture has never been so exclusive and trendy as today.
How can we apply design to think about this phenomenon and raise awareness on this contradictory issue? The workshop focuses on the question of food addressing human behaviour, traditions, economic and cultural aspects of food production and consumption. We will use the city of Hong Kong to feed our brain and our stomach.
The Master of Arts in Design has been hosting the International Design Workshop in Hong Kong since 2014. The aim is to offer the Master students the opportunity of exploring a current topic in an interdisciplinary and unfamiliar environment with experts from different professional backgrounds. This setting allows the students to experience new challenges and develop distinctive strategies related to design practice, design research and the arts.
The workshop took place from September 16–28, 2018.