INVESTIGATORS: Amanda huynh AND THE STUDENTS IN THE ECOTANK CORE design STUDIO
COLLABORATORS: ROSS MOSTER AND THE VILLAGE VANCOUVER TRANSITION COMMUNITY Eldergreens project
STUDENTS: FALL 2016 ECOTANK CORE DESIGN STUDIO, EMILY CARR university
ElderGreens is a project by Village Vancouver that has identified seniors (defined as 50+) in our community who wish to share their knowledge around gardening and food. Their focus is on intergenerational exchange through a series of events and workshops throughout the City of Vancouver. Vancouver is a relatively young city that is enriched by the cultures that are brought together within it.
Over generations, families have gradually adapted their cultural foods to the local produce and offerings. How have the seniors participating in the ElderGreens project seen traditional recipes change? Food is a necessity, a communication tool and a relational object.
This project investigated how we can use food design to bridge the gaps between cultures and generations. How can we design an experience that celebrates local food while highlighting cultural and historical significance?
Working with Village Vancouver’s ElderGreens Project, each small group of 4-5 students paired with one member of the senior core group and learned about their history, historical and/or cultural differences, and identified a foods that played a significant role in the seniors’ culture.
From those foods and stories, they designed a tablescape (utensils, serving ware, drink vessels, dishes) to convey a story of origin and importance and how they all connect to the food story of Vancouver.
This could include conveying non-food aspects of the culture that they wished to represent. They considered how the eating experience could connect the participant in the meal with the history of their member of ElderGreens.
- Final table should include place settings for six dinner participants.
- Dimensions: 180cm x 90cm
- No digital components.
At the final presentation, the ElderGreens seniors were invited and the students organized a small potluck of food related to their projects. Each group designed and fabricated one place setting from their meal and all four were displayed together on one table. These artifacts gave a real tactility to their stories and research findings.
The students really wanted to honour their seniors and this showed through their final designs. The seniors were overwhelmed with the projects that they expected would simply reflect them superficially – like their favourite colours.