The Governor of Sogn og Fjordane County, the Arts Council Norway, Institut Francais Norway, Institut Francais France, French Embassy in Norway.
Consider food as a commodity with short & precious time when 35% of the food produced worldwide goes to the trash is a hot topic… The design used in the sense of the project becomes political. – Marc BrÃˆtillot
Activitist Food Design – There is no waste, in fact, look back at how nature recycles… – Alok Nandi
This kind of project questions the link between design and politics. – Caroline Champion
Ambitious and clever, it can be implemented quickly and can quickly meet an audience and make life easier. – Alexandre Gauthier
PRECIOUS FOOD is an experimental program that relocates the meaning of design in a mutated social environment: the project is about creating awareness about our (complex) relation to food and its status: up to 35% of world produced food is wasted. In collaboration with knowledge and creative fields, art, science, sociology, material innovation and industrial sustainability the Ideal Lab' PRECIOUS FOOD’s goal is to define future needs, provide human results and prospective scenarios through products and processes, ready to be produced and used. Selected designers, chefs, industrials, farmers and researchers are invited to exchange visions, thoughts and co-produce meaningful projects.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
Every day our civilization increases its records of production, but also its wasting. While we produce too much, the “Southern Countries” are in food insufficiency. Each culture has its own food habits, food resources and usages. For theses reasons we do not manage food in the same way. In this context history plays an important role because it explains these habits and usages of cultures.
The globalisation of food management world wide has created enormous gaps between energy supplied to produce and end results as food is going through all the supply chains.
With the Precious Food program, we wish to make a precise statement of food management from production and distribution to the supplying chain. The goal is to come up with alternative scenarios, generating tangible new solutions following new social behaviours to reduce the impact of our growing food need without taking away the pleasant experience of our daily food consumption.
How could we eat better and healthier, for us and for the planet we extract these treasures from?
Personalities from all around Europe with complementary backgrounds investigated the fact that humanity has this very relevant problem to solve towards our food consumption and its delicate management on earth. They collaborated not only to generate relevant interrogations, but also to come up with tangible new solutions, systems and creations that tell our desire to change to a large audience.3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
Precious Food main goal has been to identify, densify and communicate a tangible empathy towards food and to a very broad audience, from professionals to private citizens (kids, teenagers, adults, elders with worksops and co created dinners). One of the main playful conclusion of Precious Food is an interactive software using intelligent phones and an avant garde process developed by Volumique (see http://www.volumique.com/en/ and “pirat game” which is the technology our Precious Food map is built on). This application has been co-created with the contribution of the regional farmers association and the result is on process to be tested by several professional networks for feedback. The goal is again to emulate more interests about food, about “precious food”, and empathize the fact that it is easy to find it nowadays. After, to add value to food, as Marc Bretillot told us during one of his workshop at Transplant: “you just need to cook”.4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
The participant (or Agents) group is chosen by the council and is invited to take part in the project.
Precious Food worked through three Scenarios federating Agents process: in “Grow, Transform, Eat”, Transplant and the Agents set their focus on local knowledge and knowledge transfer within the main theme Precious Food. While working on various projects in each scenario, at least one or more projects focus on local structures and necessities.
The focus allow all participants from outside Norway to get an impression on local customs and increase the dialogue around food amongst participants. This dialogue along with the exchange process develop the impulses and knowledge further in both ways.
The Precious Food Agents had produced a series of products/processes answering to the themed problematics. An interactive mapping system has been designed and prototyped with the proactive contribution of local citizens, farmers, networks, institutions, and international sustainable innovators and designers. Added to the different events (such as art exhibitions, gatherings, dinners, workshops, performances where most of the time the public took part) a social awareness has been empathized and shared, from school students to elders. Larger ambitions have been proposed to large food industrials; nevertheless, it seems the impact of more local and targeted initiatives registered in interconnected networks are much more valuable and efficient. This food, culinary awareness is definitely shared by individuals and not by collective: it is a sensorial and intime experience. So the reenchantment process had to be operated at that level. From the bottom to the top.6. How is your project positioned on a cultural level? Or, are there elements that show a blending of cultures or is it monocultural?
Precious Food is obviously a blend of culture at the thinking phase: all actors that created Precious Food program are international and that offer a neutral reflexion at the investigation phase, with an embedded collective and federating interest for food. Its effects though are definitivly local oriented and will always be. The scalability of its tools (as such as the Precious Food Map) is universal as the topic of wasted food and empathizing access to local precious food.7. Does your project have nutritional elements? If so, are these elements available and affordable on a global or local level?
Precious Food Map is a tool that delivers a gameplay to find “Precious Food” in your surrounding. It is designed to become the platform that will allow farmers to travel less and inform more about their productions to their local customers, visitors. It also includes a database of local recipes, transmitting the real treasures of food added values: its manipulation. So the famous elder recipe of this pane cake, or the steamed fish of that a grand mother will be saved forever through a video or text. The value of avoiding waste of food will also be transmitted through a serie of easy going collective and open source food courses with all public age (youth, adults, elders); as John Thackara told to Precious Food teams: “the success lays in the numbers of local engaged citizens.”