This article is looking back on the whole fourth year and critically reflecting on my progress towards a finished honours project.
Life before 4th year
Food has had a big influence on me since 2010. I started experimenting with various diets and became quite interested in nutrition, and what to eat. I brought this interest to Scotland, with very different culture about food. Being a sensitive and empathic person, the effect of this difference on locals had struck me, and made me question – can this be better? I felt that there are lot of people who don’t feel good because of what and how they eat.
To transform my feelings and observations into something meaningful, which positively affects the status quo, I brought 3 project proposals to the table in September.
First was a quite product-design brief – vending machine concept, which would offer a meal cooked in the machine itself. Imagine somebody in the cold Scottish weather in the middle of the night – low on energy, frostbitten and desperate. Approaching a vending machine, which will cook a fresh porridge for him for £2.
I loved this concept, but gave it up since it would require myself to learn way too much different skills and feels too risky and complex.
Second was a social kind of platform, which would bring people from local neighbourhoods together. This was inspired by chatting to few people like Jana Raabensteinová. Somebody would decide to organise a food-based event, invite others, cook something specific and people would share it. This project would have a great power to integrate people into the local communities by using food as the vehicle.
Third idea was to develop a service that creates recipes on-the-fly, based on your current ingredients that you have home. This idea emerged based on lot of conversations and observations I had before.
I liked each of these concepts but didn’t seem to stick to any fully. After a great conversation with my brother who has a passionate relationship with cooking & food, the direction went right into the kitchen – I decided to make an app that enhances the experience of cooking.
Since that decision, I traveled a long and amazing journey. Full of random observations, occasions that helped me refocus on what am I doing. One objective of that journey was to learn something new. Looking back, I would say that was definitely illustrating and animating – a skill that I’d wish to nurture more in the future. I am also happy for not being too technical and achieving a good balance of People : Design : Technology ratio in my project. When announcing my concept in the concept presentation, that ratio was 40:20:40. Looking on the result right now, I’d say it fits the project well.
When considering the research phase, observations were very useful practise, as they brought lot of invaluable insights directly in front of my eyes.
I also have to mention the most important thing about my project. I really care about what am I doing, I care about food, nutrition and I want people to enjoy it, stay healthy and I want to enable them to be that way. Recognising this some time ago helped me to be more confident in every single decision I took. Self-reflection and questioning one’s values is very important to me and I am happy that I know why I started doing my project in the first place.
It has been a great journey since September, full of pleasant afternoons in our studio with great classmates. Feeding back to each other, playing guitar and even having a dinner in studio few times. Lot of my classmates are attached to their projects and it can be felt that these projects are the extension of who they are. These kind of projects and attitude is respected from me very often, and I hope my project has a similar role. It’s like another layer of onion skin that I took off me to get closer to my great purpose in life 🙂
Article photo by Nikola Linhart