Food+Code=?

A new MA Design Products course for the Royal College of Art



Is it possible to design creative digital solutions for key issues in food  production, consumption, and security? Eating  effects every area of our lives - yet the system is hitting its limits. Research Councils UK found that in 2016, 800 million people around the world still do not have adequate access to safe, nutritious food in their communities.

As design practitioners, the RCA's Rob Philips and I believed opportunities existed for creative, hands-on approaches at the MA Design Products level that could bring about change. I assisted Rob in convening Food:Code as a new project course, the first of its kind, at the Royal College of Art in autumn of 2016.

In collaboration with various companies working in food innovation like Microsoft Research, Tescos and Growing Underground, the course took an overtly hands-on and experiential approach to the topic of food futures through a series exploratory industry field trips, group work and 1:1 critiques.

By Term 2, our group of (extremely talented!) MA students had each prototyped their own unique design solution based to merge culture and technology in a novel way, from a new vision for a value grocery store line to an augmented reality food-masking visor to biodegradable algae tupperware.