Re-thinking Food's Future

Feature Story

Design can bring new perspectives on what we have and what we repeatedly do, making the unconscious assumptions and actions visible, opening them up to scrutiny, and then to improvement. And, our collectively created and shared food system certainly needs some upgrading. As Marije Vogelzang reminds us, food is ultimately about people, and design is the tool by which we can alter our understanding and behaviours. By actively making our relationship with food a more conscious one it can enable us to celebrate food, and use it as a means to ritualize our life so we can find meaning and connection. However, such a formidable task as changing food culture is much easier to take on when it comes with a garnish of creative flair.

While there are many takeaways to be had from the stories for this issue's theme, the most important may be that incorporating food into your design practice is easy, accessible, meaningful, and fun! It is an emerging design field that is full of opportunities and potential collaborators, and is relatively easy to stake out an area of contribution and make an impact. However, such a low barrier to entry does not diminish the importance of working in this field, as every one of us relies on food, and the more nutritious and sustainably produced it is the better for all concerned. To echo Jozef Youssef's lament about our current situation, food doesn't have to be a source of worry and conflict, it can, and should, be one of the greatest joys we have in our lives, and the bonus is we get to experience it every day.