I've been working on a project about the complexities and complications of the recent farm-to-table movement. I get it, it's a counterculture to the over-processed crap we've been consuming for decades along with the innate disconnect to an apple growing on a tree. But, most of our origin-based understanding only links back to the farm. So, I began to question, "What comes before the farm?" and a fascinating story of heritage and selection revealed themselves.
Ironically, humans have altered the origins of our foods for centuries. Part of what I had to figure out was the way we have cultivated these plants to fit our needs and how to communicate these complicated techniques in a friendly manner. I did not instantly land on dishware, instead focusing on a tablecloth or placemat. The goal was to connect with diners where they were and find a way that allowed for personal exploration in developing hierarchies.
Click through to the powerpoint to see the original ideations of this project.
The idea of the project was to combine the overlapping narratives of breeding methods, an obsession with our food's heritage and the judgement of certain companies who use these methods for good and bad. In the prototype that you see below, I used the tomato as a baseline, since the story is rich in context since humans, both mega-companies and small farmers, have altered the varies breeds of this crop. The year the varietal arrived on the scene can be found on the bottom of the plate.
I'm hoping diners will enjoy gorgeous dishware that sparks a conversation around the table.
For the next phase of this project, I'll be looking to add a more cohesive "map" to show the ways that the altered crops are related. Still brainstorming about the best way to do this while incorporating it into a larger project.
Lots to go, but plenty done and discovered.