Saturday, 30 January 2010

mmm... PieLab

Pie Lab consists of a group of designers who wanted to get together and talk about design and interact with the public in their pop up shop in Greensboro, Atlanta. Their goal is to bring for social change to their local area by working on community projects.

"Pie Lab, they said, isn't really about pie: It's about using design for social good. Pie is just what gets the ideas in the door."

chocolate festival in China

Here's a video from the BBC news site.

Thursday, 28 January 2010

sketchbook scans

More evidence towards me needing to buy a new scanner.

trying to think

I've been working at the Parlour over the last few days so haven't had much time to think. I did however start reading this book during my lunch break, Living an Eating by Mark Pawson and Annie Bell. I think this one is well worth a read in future as it has not only very tasty recipes but advice on how to cook, what foods to buy, how to organise a kitchen, generally a nice pragmatic approach to food and cooking with beautiful photography.

mnice graphics

Mouse Graphics packaging.

Tuesday, 26 January 2010

thinking and burning toast

Mahala has been experimenting with beetroot printing, now I'm trying painting onto toast. It's done by painting water onto the bread before toasting so I'll find out how it turns out in a few minutes.

We're playing around with ideas just now, so it's hard to come up with something concrete. But we last spoke about packaging...though the branding side isn't what we're going to look at we're thinking more about they way it's presented, they way it looks and what you can do with food as a thing to eat and to explore. I'm kind of thinking back about how the kids in the study (mentioned previously) have grown up, conditioned to think that fast-food packaging and branding makes something tastier but why not just make the food itself more visually appealing and enjoy the natural colours and textures of food.

Oh damn. While I was writing this the toast burned and that was my last slice of bread. I'm going to try this again tomorrow morning. In that case, here's some scans from my sketchbook.

Monday, 25 January 2010


Edible gold leaf, what's in it? Apparently it's real 23 karat gold, amazing. It has medicinal qualities, used in traditional Chinese and India remedies, helps with calming skin conditions, increase circulation and lifting depression. An all round good egg, if you can afford to eat it.

The gherkins are coloured using food colouring powder which contain a nice mix of E number, pretty sure they're not going to heal anyone. but I like the idea of a sparkly pink pickle.

edible pom-poms

A couple of experiments into pom-pom making with strawberrry laces.

Friday, 22 January 2010

Food and Branding

Here's some facts from a study that was conducted on kids about the effects of branded food.

"Young Children Prefer the Taste of Branded Fast Foods"

A new US study suggests that preschool children prefer the taste of fast food and drinks from McDonald's branded packages to the same food and drinks from unbranded packages.

The incentive for the study is explained in the paper's introduction which describes how food marketing that targets children is widespread:

"The food and beverage industries spend more than 10 billion dollars per year to market to children in the United States," wrote the authors.

By the time they are two years old children may already have beliefs about certain brands, and by the age of 6 they can recognize brands and say which products they belong to.

Thomas N Robinson of the Stanford University School of Medicine in California, and colleagues carried out the study where 63 preschool children aged between 3 and 5 tasted 5 pairs of packages of the same McDonald's food and drinks. One of the pair in each case bore the McDonald's brand, while the other was unbranded, in plain packages. Altogether the children performed over 300 tasting comparisons.

  • Futher analysis showed that 4 out of 5 times, children preferred the taste of food and drink that they thought was from McDonald's.
  • Preschool children who had more TV sets in their homes, and children who ate McDonald's foods more frequently were also more likely to prefer McDonald's branded food and drink to the identical unbranded items.
This article was found on Medical News Today.

It's quite sad to think how we are are indoctrinated from an early age, where our minds are conditioned to associate branding and visuals with taste, a flavour or good feeling. It's something I've never thought about it much, but even the idea that a meal is named "Happy". If kids can grow up to accept stories about talking snakes, it's no surprise they can be indoctrinated to believe that certain branded foods taste good.

In 90's it was all about the brands on the clothes we wear but now branding has kind of become more subtle yet it's permeating our lives to an unavoidable extent. It's not just effecting what logos we want to have on our t shirts, of how we like others to see ourselves in terms of fashion. It's not just about wealth/status anymore. It's more subtle than that. It's not just a manufactured ideology people buy into, it's an entire culture they're born into.

Sorry for the ranting nature of this post, it's coming from my train of thought.

shortbread buttons

I found this recipe for shortbread buttons on the Design is Mine blog, I wonder if you could actually use them for buttons and nibble them off when you want to open your coat.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Beetroot Printing

So sort of like potato prints, but just a different vegetable- good to mix it up every now and again. Also you don't have to worry about indecision about what colour ink too use......nice and easy to cut, but a bit smudgy on fabric. Need more exploration.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Edible/ Wearable

Edible/ Wearable

Things you can eat, things you can wear and things that do both.

We're using this blog to document ourexplorations, stories and discoveries of food communication and eating behaviours. On March the 13th &14th 2010 we will be taking part in The Maker Faire Newcastle, where we will hosting an interactive tasting and making stand and exhibition. We will work with the public to create wearable items inspired by edible objects. Modifying cutlery and food related paraphernalia to enhance and subvert eating experiences, and encourage curiosity with consumables.