Food & Code

MA Design Products course, RCA

The consumption of food affects every area of our lives - and yet as the climate catastrophy continues, global food systems are 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 we co-created the course ‘Food & Code’ for the Royal College of Art in autumn 2016. In collaboration with groups working on food innovation from Microsoft Research to 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 outputs ranged from a new vision for a value grocery store line and augmented reality food-masking visors to biodegradable algae tupperware.