International Design Open Call Projects – The Food Project
There is an ancient Chinese saying that is “eat but finely ground grain and finely chopped meat.”As times shift and technology evolves, food now plays a very different role in our daily life than it did in the past.
By embedding design thinking and involving citizens in the design process,the World Design Capital (WDC) Taipei 2016 calls for proposals for collaborative projects. The proposed projects should be collaborations between local and international teams to resolve Taipei’s various urban issues with innovative and practical designs.
One of them is”The Food Project”. The goal of “snack internationalization” means transforming night market snacks and improving school lunch and box lunch recipes. It also means triggering ideas from crowds about how to rethink food’s ingredients, tastes, presentation, packaging and relation with the environment. British food performance group Bompas & Parr is invited among others. Designer Alice Wang and British Council Taiwan are going to use Designer’s expertise in interaction design to trigger thinking about positives and negatives.
Here, we will not discuss the developmental history of food, nor will we dwell in the sense of taste. Through the importance of food in modern life and using a design perspective, we will open up a horizon never explored before, enticing the viewers to redefine their knowledge of food and gain brand new realizations.
2016/07/16 《Bompas & Parr-Sausage Social》
2016/07/29-07/31 《Martí Guixé-FlashPoint Pie》
Street food — unique foods characterized by local qualities — is the result of life merged with culture. These street foods are made from locally sourced ingredients that are convenient to eat and easy to carry around. They come in small portions and are very affordable. All these qualities constitute the local characteristics of familiar street foods that make those living or traveling abroad recall them so fondly. In the Qing Dynasty novel, Flowers in the Mirror, the author mentioned, “after a few rounds of drinks, small bowls and dishes of food were presented to the table — in the south they we called ‘street food,’ while in the north they were known as ‘stir-fried snacks.’ ” There is no tracing the exact provenance of the term street food, but in the bountiful island of Taiwan, the term has taken on a uniquely amiable flavor and has rightly become one of Taiwan’s most considerable cultural assets.
In recent years, Taiwanese street food has become an international synonym for the nation itself. The street food at night market is often on a visitor’s must-see-list. Yet we wonder how foreign travelers decipher this unique cultural quality from their perspective.
For this event we invited the celebrated British food artists Bompas & Parr, as well as Spanish designer Martí Guixé to design a food-related performance in the Taiwan Design Museum that is titled “Street Food Evolution.” Although the title is referred to as an evolution, it is actually approached from the perspective of contemporary food art. With their different cultural backgrounds, these participants will find a shared passion and inspiration in Taiwanese and British cuisine. Moreover, they aim to create a new narrative with the people’s unique food culture on a different level. We hope that, from the unlimited forms of food presentation, the viewer can experience the encounter of cultures with dissimilar perspectives and investigate the endless possibilities of street food in the future.
2016/07/7 12:00-14:00《Bompas & Parr-Taste of Colour》
2016/07/17 14:00-16:00 《Biteology’s special event》
In the earlier years of Taiwan, travelers spent lengthy hours on trains; thus, a culture of selling bento boxes on railway platforms formed so as to satiate their hunger. Bento boxes of different areas were characterized by their unique local dishes, which formed a map of bento menus, carrying Taiwanese people’s fond memories of these delicious meals in boxes. One explanation of the provenance of the term “bento” is that it was a colloquial word that meant “appropriate” and “convenient “during the Southern Song Dynasty. The term was later introduced to Japan and made its way back to China, becoming the general term for convenient meals in a box. Nowadays, bentos are a common lunch option for Taiwanese people. However, our tastes buds are growing accustomed, even numb, to the taste of bento boxes. Our demand for nutrients is gradually being reconnected with the nearly lost memory of gourmet food, catalyzing this Bento Redo Project.
To pour new life in the Bento Redo Project, we invited Bompas & Parr (who were named one of “the 15 people who will define the future of arts in Britain” by the Independent) and Biteology, a restaurant that started out by redesigning take-out boxes. With bento boxes as their inspiration, they will embark on the path of experimentation and integrate the inspiring anti-leftovers movement that took place in recent years, all in the hopes of finding new impact and stimulation in Taiwan’s bento culture. At the same time, they also aim to inspire the viewer to think more deeply about their meals and perceive their food in a more sensitive manner.