Food is not only necessary for everyone to sustain life, but also an important medium that connects people, people and nature. Because food is so universal and everyday, we tend to overlook its enormous impact on human culture, economy and ecology. In his 2020 speech "The State of Our Planet," UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres made it clear that the food system is one of the main reasons why we cannot live within earth's ecological boundaries. At a time when global food security and ecological crises are major challenges facing humanity, it is imperative to develop young people's thinking and innovative capacity for future sustainable food systems.
With food as the thread, this course aims to guide students through interdisciplinary research to understand how food connects human activities and ecosystems, individual experience and collective culture, economic systems and climate crisis, and other fields to shape the landscape of today's world. Research topics include: food and the body, culture and identity, food systems and ecology, food and cities, and design empowerment. Research ranges from molecular synthesis techniques at the XS scale to planetary food strategies at the XL scale. On this basis, each student is required to start from a food issue, critically think about and show the current food landscape, and use this as a fulcrum to leverage the future vision.
The course takes the form of lectures, design workshops and thematic seminars, three times a week for eight weeks. The curriculum design takes students as the main body, and strives to create a more real interaction with the real world to build a knowledge innovation community. At the beginning of the course, students are invited to ask five questions about food, based on their own experience, and use them as a starting point for an eight-week exploration. Combined with the research direction of the student project, the course invited more than ten guests from different fields to share and communicate, including Marije Vogelzang, a food designer from The Netherlands Eindhoven Design Institute, Wang Hongyue, a senior project specialist from THE World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), Zhao Yulin, an artist group, and a consultant at the forefront of the new protein industry.
The first four weeks are cognitive modules: The first theme "Food and body", based on life experience, inspires students to think about the "nature" of food, leads to the evolution history of human food, helps students to establish the coordinate system of time dimension, and more dialectically understand today's food system. The second theme "Food, Culture and identity" discusses the interaction between food and culture in different regions from the spatial dimension. For example, taking McDonald's as a case study to observe the important role of food in the process of globalization. The third theme, "Food systems and Ecology", starts from the macro concept of "planetary boundaries" to help students build up the concept of planetary scale ecology and reflect the important impact of food systems on climate change with statistical data. Next, "Sustainable Food System Change" will start with specific practical cases and lead students to analyze how to bring about practical change by focusing on practical issues through multiple means in the context of grand ecological issues.
On the cognitive basis of the first four weeks, the two topics of the last four weeks are mainly applied. "Food and City" introduces basic concepts and typical cases related to food in urban development, and leads students to research and make a food map of Beijing Huajiadi Community by taking the surrounding communities of the school as the research object. In this way, the originally abstract knowledge can be visualized and connected with the real world. "Design Empowerment" invites Marije Vogelzang, a food design designer, to share how she has built sensory experience and emotional connection with the public through food in her more than 20 years of projects, providing a new perspective for the curation and expression of students' personal projects.
Details of the course
2.Student Research Results
Part 1： Food and Everything
Each student chooses a food he/she is interested in as the starting point of the research, and expresses his/her association with the food in the form of words and images. Collect as much information as possible about the food and raw materials and calculate the nutritional content. Students learn about the evolution of human food, gain a basic knowledge of nutrition, and understand the relationship between food and culture.
Part 2：The city of food
A "food map" is a spatial distribution of food sources. To some extent, the construction of "food map" can reflect the overall situation of the types of "food sources" in the community, as well as the number of various "food sources" in the community, service radius, and the relationship with other facilities in the community.
Huajiadi Food Map
The students were divided into three groups to conduct research in Huajiadi from the perspectives of food source, residents sampling interview, food system staff interview and pedestrian network. Based on the above investigation contents, the influence of the outer points of the region on the interior, the influence of school boundary management on the food accessibility of people inside and outside the region, and the influence of takeout and Taobao shopping on the food accessibility are considered.
4 Student works
The Journey of Palm Oil
牟英洁 Mu Yingjie
Starting from the ecological background, I studied the reasons for the disappearance of forests with high conservation value and the deterioration of climate in tropical areas. Through the study of ecological spatiotemporal map, we found that the root cause is the continuous expansion of palm oil plantations, and then discussed its sustainability.
According to the RSPO (sustainable roundtable) certification process, I can find global trade transportation of various stakeholders participate in palm oil (including oil palm growers, palm oil processing/investors and traders, consumer goods manufacturers, bank, retailers, environmental ngos, social ngos) supply, participation way, basic process, certificate transaction system, And tracing palm oil's actual participation in global trade. Based on this, I give corresponding method guidance for the sustainable development of palm oil. Based on each link of the flow chart system, I give practical guidance and solutions. It is hoped that more people will learn about sustainable palm oil and join in. The guiding approach I have designed is to intervene from the very beginning, to give strategies that hope to include more markets, new players, growers and smallholders, and to assess medium and long-term results, with the ultimate goal of green inclusive growth and building resilient and healthy landscape communities that make sustainable palm oil the norm. This set of guiding principles is the foundation for sustainable palm oil and is driving a revolution in sustainable palm oil. Finally, BASED on the current situation of the environment, I proposed solutions for biodiversity and new plantation models, including the following four possibilities: First, reduce the use of herbicides, increase biodiversity, and retain epiphytes such as ferns and dwarf plants; The second is to establish a "corridor bridge" zone between palm oil plantations; The third is the mixed plantation in cooperation with the zoo and the National Forest Conservation Park; The fourth is the combination of palm oil wastewater sedimentation ponds and bird habitats. In the end, the complete guidebook is in the form of a newspaper, hoping to be released from all levels of society in a more civilian way to guide people to read and use.
Climate Cookbook: A Guide to hidden Hunger
赵恒阅 Zhao Hengyue
How to better recognize the truth? Has our past hunger or right to eat been hijacked by capital and the media? After the release of the first version of the Dietary guidelines in the United States, every aspect of the dietary system in the American society was affected by the guidelines, and it also guided the release of dietary guidelines in other countries. However, why did the obesity rate begin to rise after the release of the dietary guidelines? Is the scientific nature of the guidelines questionable? Does mainstream discourse no longer have a transcendent status? Is there another hidden truth behind the mainstream discourse? In the face of such situation can we build a framework based on agent network tool, all the related elements (decentralized individual and group also includes nonhuman objects connected, building into a new understanding of tools and visualization for the invisible factors, to better perceive information under the influence of different climatic conditions, hidden hunger.
Endless Nature: Designing for diversity
黎超群 Li Chaoqun
In August 2021, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its Sixth Assessment Report. According to the report, it is an indisputable fact that the warmest 50 years since 2000 have seen more disasters and ecological crises caused by global warming. In such an increasingly uncertain climate of change, the conservation of genetic resources may be a key component in coping with sustainability, resilience and adaptability in production systems. They support the ability of crops, livestock, aquatic life and trees to withstand all kinds of harsh conditions. The work seeks to create an ever-changing digital reflection of living systems through the relationship between botany, computational power and imagination and their connections to threatened ecosystems. The learning samples are taken from plant museums and food institutions all over the Internet, and the new plant model after variation is generated by deep calculation of the computational model. And using ML (OpenAI) technology to generate database and database for AI similarity recognition and filtering. Finally, a new imagination collides with the wondrous mixture of computational power and plant life.
ALGAE+ : ALGAE as a means of alleviating hunger
檀松冶 Tan Songzhi
Is our current food system perfect? What causes world hunger? With the world in the midst of a "hunger pandemic," where conflict, coronavirus and the climate crisis threaten to plunge millions into starvation, hunger is increasingly what we should be talking about. How can we find a way to alleviate regional hunger and how can we increase regional resilience to hunger? ALGAE+ is an attempt to alleviate acute hunger events caused by climate, conflict and natural disasters and improve the resilience of the region to cope with acute hunger events by using ALGAE as a nutritional supplement and combining with local food. ALGAE+ covers the entire process from the occurrence of starvation, to how to match ALGAE species, how to infiltrate into the region, how to cultivate and export ALGAE continuously, and finally how to integrate ALGAE into daily diet. At present, experiments and attempts have been completed in key steps.
Junk food reinvention
柳思缘 Liu Siyuan
Reuse of kitchen waste is increasingly becoming a necessary option for human green life. In the whole chain of food production, transportation, consumption and reuse, from consumption to kitchen waste disposal, there will be serious resource waste, environmental pollution and greenhouse gas emissions. Food waste is responsible for about 8-10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. According to the research report "Review of low-carbon management of Kitchen waste in the whole life cycle" released by greenpeace on July 19, 2021, kitchen waste accounts for about 50% of urban household waste in China. For a long time, although the proportion of kitchen waste treated by landfill decreased year by year, there is still a long way to go to achieve the goal of low-carbon and sustainable development. Therefore, how to reduce food waste and properly dispose of food waste is becoming a common global challenge.
How to extend the life cycle of kitchen waste so that it can give full play to its value in a longer duration is the focus and entry point of this project. The project follows the design concept of recycling, by recording the total amount and type of kitchen waste discarded by an average family of three in a week, to establish a characteristic database for food waste and kitchen waste management. Further, experiments are used to explore the possibility of homemade bioplastics in the future, so as to make the sustainable treatment of kitchen waste more detailed and specific.
On the whole, reducing food waste and kitchen waste generated by front-end household sources, while effectively classifying waste and recycling resources, is more conducive to greenhouse gas emission reduction and environmental benefits. Therefore, the project provides consumers with an operation manual for the whole process of waste treatment to guide and help families reduce resource waste. It will show how much fruit and vegetables are being thrown away relative to their own waste, as well as provide families with recipes and a guide to bioplastics in home-made kitchen waste.
Food fabric guide
啸宇 Xiao Yu
Sugar may be the first commodity controlled by the state in history. At the same time, sugar presents different social attributes in different historical stages. Like tea and coffee, sugar became an integral part of the colonial economy in the era of great navigation. Until today, we can still see that sugar production was affected by that era. At the same time, as an indispensable necessity of life, sugar is one of the strategic reserve materials of various countries, which also leads to the fact that the production and consumption of sugar are not simply equivalent to other goods on the shelf. Behind it, it can reflect the national economic level, public health, cultural concepts, and even national relations and political interests. Therefore, I made an interrelated balance, and the top of the balance is a gold brick made of sugar. Everything about sugar is related to a large number of social factors, interacting and influencing each other. The state of the balance is compared with the current situation of the sugar industry.
Sugar can bring more than 600 billion calories to human beings every year, while a heavy manual worker needs about 1.2 million calories a year. As a nutritional supplement, sugar has made an indelible contribution to human survival, but at the same time, it is fragile, abused, utilized and embezzled, resulting in a series of social problems. So I made a gold brick made of sugar at the top. It indicates the heat generated by sugar in 2020. All factors may affect its distribution, production, sustainability and other issues. I chose six items from the perspective of health, safety, production, environment, politics, trade and equity. Each other and sugar are connected by a line. These factors rise and fall one after another, just like today's sugar industry. The safety and sustainability of sugar food production and processing in the future is not overnight, but more like a system engineering that affects the whole body.
刘铭 Liu Ming
In the rich wasteland, I try to focus on the underlying logic of the whole food system, and try to make people more clearly understand and understand the food system as a "system" through combing and transformation. My work began with thinking about the food system based on the industrial system. I started with "will the food in the future no longer come from organic nature in large quantities", deepened the excavation of this problem and transformed it into "where does the food come from and go?" Such a problem. Behind this problem is actually about the system and construction of food. Therefore, I imagine whether we can design a game to simulate and experience different food systems. I generalize the human living space model into a model diverging from the center, and the complex traffic is summarized as crossing the boundary between each region. I transform and abstract "time" into each round of players. At the same time, I simplify and transform some of the main nutrients people need into a form that can be quantified by the game. On the whole, I guide players to play the game from two perspectives: one is the macro perspective overlooking from the sky, and the other is the micro perspective based on the player's personal spectrum and role. On the macro level, I use the overall proposition of balancing economy and pollution to stimulate players' thinking, and configure each player with the important and basic problem of "food and clothing" as the background of the whole game. Players not only need to ensure food and clothing in daily life, but also as the builder of food system, they should establish a feasible food system. I designed their attributes in the game with reference to the sources of food production and the real impact of food in real life, and added climate disasters and science and technology on the basis of pursuing more restoration. Of course, my bigger idea is that this work can not only make people gain popular science about food, but also recognize and experience the existence of food as a system. It can also simulate or establish a pre model of the results of local food systems for objects such as governments and enterprises under the condition of more accuracy or customization.
Fabric culinary art
吕思缇 Lv Siti
Emissions from food alone could deplete all our budgets at 1.5 ° C or 2 ° C - but we have a range of opportunities to avoid this. After reading the literature on the concept of critical point in the food system, the concept of positive critical point is introduced - "reducing the damage caused by climate change by increasing social elasticity through mitigation or adaptation." As an agent, we can solve the problem of kitchen waste and provide the basic ability of the agent. After a lot of research and comparative analysis, the focus is on the problem of "color leakage", and explore how human desire to classify nature into different, definable and quantifiable components ignores the essence of nature. In this case, nature affects our predetermined and artificial perception of the world color scheme. As a metaphorical hint, it will be introduced into the fabric guide as a natural pigment to solve the problem of dyeing waste in the textile industry. I visualized the research process, collected kitchen waste and discounted fruits and vegetables, and personally cooked and made fabrics in the kitchen. After the preliminary experiment of more than 20 kinds of materials, the viewer was brought into the situation by making guide books: starting with natural pigment and seeking alternative plant and animal fibers, the "spinning" and "weaving" of food fabric were studied, which provided a new and convenient possibility of local materials for fabric users, It also provides a new way to alleviate the ecological crisis (rainforest crisis, soil crisis and greenhouse gas emission) brought by the garment and textile industry chain.