Food & Code

MA design course for the RCA

The consumption of food affects every area of our lives - and as the catastrophies of climate change continue to build, global food systems are inreasingly hitting their limits. Research Councils UK has found that 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 that opportunities existed for innovative design-based solutions to key global issues concerning food production, consumption, and security, so to explore the many possibilities we co-created the course ‘Food & Code’ for the Royal College of Art MA in Product Design for the 2016 season. In collaboration with groups working on food innovation from Microsoft Research and Tescos to Growing Underground, the course took an experiential approach to the topic of food futures through a series exploratory industry field trips, group projects and 1:1 design critiques. Student projects ranged from a new vision for a value grocery store line and augmented reality food visors for post-meat futures to biodegradable algae tupperware.