Meaningful Food Experiences – Food Design Lab

On August 20th 2020, Johanne Ib graduated from the MA Design for People Program with the project “Meaningful food experiences – Food Design Lab”. A laboratory created together with the students and staff at Kunsthøjskolen Holbæk. In this Food Design Lab they investigated potential future scenarios through collaborations and knowledge production based on design experiments with participants, using both participatory design and performance theory. 

Johanne researched what makes a meaningful food experience and what potential does food experiences have for social interaction, furthermore what design suggestions can be used to support a meaningful food experience.

Through her project Johanne discovered that meaningful food experience in relation to social interaction has the potential for the participants to give and receive care, that they can listen and be listened to, that food experience can strengthen community and form the basis for friendships.

Furthermore, the design concept “A recipe for eating together” a concept created as part of the project, has proven to be useful for the creation and as a conversation tool of meaningful food experiences; pinpointing the importance of senses, presence, care and time together when eating; both on a large scale in the hospitality industry and on a smaller scale around the dinner table.

Studies show that community is an essential part of the Danish food culture. But our food culture is under pressure, more and more people are eating alone and many feel lonely around the dinner table. With the concept “A recipe for eating together” Johanne wants to contribute to the development of our food culture and explore the potential of food experiences.

Johanne has over the last years, with different approaches and perspectives, worked with the theme of food and everything connected with it, based on a conceptual point of view and with a focus on how to support interaction between people.

Food and eating design are in some ways still a new field on the Danish design scene. But food is one of the biggest industries in the world and we need to rethink the status quo. Johanne therefore believe that many set realities in it soon will change. Food design is her specialization and she intent to see food and eating as social glue.

Want to know more?

Access video using the link to the online graduation show here:

And you can visit her webpage: or instagram: johanneib.

About Eva Brandt

Eva Brandt is Professor in Social Design at Design School Kolding since May 2019. Eva is scientific leader of the Lab for Social Design. The main part of her research is about how designers can stage open design processes (design labs based on participatory design/codesign) with many participants who both can inquire into existing practices and explore possible futures in common. She also contributes to theorizing about experimental design research driven by programs and experiments. She has been contributing to several books such as Design Spaces (IT Press, 2005), Rehearsing the Future (The Danish Design School Press, 2010), XLAB (The Danish Design School Press, 2011), Facilitating Change – Using Interactive Methods in Organizations, Communities and Networks (Polyteknisk Forlag, 2011), and Routledge International Handbook of Participatory Design (Routledge, 2013). Practice Based Design Reseach (2017). Ledelse og samskabelse i den offentlige sektor (2018). Eva has been chairing the Nordic Design Research Conference in 2013, and are chairing the Nordes 2021 too.
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