INVESTIGATORS: LOUISE ST. PIERRE AND ALL THE STUDENTS IN THE ECOTANK CORE STUDIO; VILLAGE VANCOUVER
COLLABORATORS: ROSS MOSTER AND THE VILLAGE VANCOUVER TRANSITION COMMUNITY
STUDENTS: FALL 2015 ECOTANK CORE DESIGN STUDIO, EMILY CARR
This project investigated how artifacts invoke social innovation by the behaviours they suggest. How can design support collaborative cooking through artifacts? How can design support and deepen social relationships?
Intentional communities often share the work and pleasure of cooking. Above is the kitchen for shared work at the San Francisco Zen Centre. Rural/farm communities have historically cooked collaboratively. Families will occasionally cook together, especially for traditional meals.
Context: The hearth was once the centre for cooking and conversation, but has all but disappeared in contemporary urban homes. Some kitchens are not even designed for cooking, but rather for heating packaged food.
The design process began with immersion experiences. Students were challenged to cook meals together and document their learning through extensive protocols.
Students discovered that cooking together created deep bonds quickly in the semester. They bonded through shared work, and told each other unexpected stories about their lives.
The Pit Project is designed to rely on more than one person to do the cooking: an imposed collaboration.
Other projects addressed the need for adaptable workspaces in small kitchens; surfaces that provided an invitation for people to work together.
The Uncontained project suggests that thinking differently about tools. Playing while cooking is a route to collaboration.
This project also lead to some unexpected learning through the design process. Many of the students learned about their cultural history and deepened relationships with family. Discussing how her father taught her to make Northern Chinese dumplings (jiâozi) one student said, “There is no recipe, just a tradition passed down. I was glad to experience how to make a dish that is very family centred and based on working together.”