Teaching and Learning about food in the future: ICT, Innovative Food Systems, Social Entrepreneurship and Interaction Design.

Your Name and Title: Sonia Massari, PhD

School or Organization Name: Gustolab Institute and University of Illinois Urbana Champaign Rome Center

Co-Presenter Name(s):

Area of the World from Which You Will Present: Italy

Language in Which You Will Present: Italian

Target Audience(s): Teacher, Instructors, Professors, Curriculum Designer

Short Session Description (one line):This proposal proposes the inclusion of Design (and Interaction Design in particular) in nascent academic Food Studies curricula

Full Session Description (as long as you would like):
Today, developments in food technology do not regard so much the nutritional properties of produce as the experiential significances it is capable of conveying, as an instrument. Design research has shifted the focus of investigation in the direction of experiential planning and not only as far as usability is concerned. The ubiquitous and pervasive effect of technology has made the interfaces of food instruments increasingly less visible. Even where the introduction of ICT has become consolidated, that is in the context of food research, selection and transformation, a number of unsolved problems and questions (tensions) continue to exist. In the past, it was the custom and practice handed down from generation to generation (recycling, choice of crops - associated with orographic and climatic conditions - resource management as well as storage, preservation and cooking of foodstuffs) which passed on food-related knowledge and values.
The new digital and web techniques have entered every level of the food chain: from the producer to the final consumer. Today, it is the arduous task of the new technology to pass on knowledge and practices, mediating stories and experiences. The transfer of knowledge and know-how requires the active participation of the social actors who become a part of systems increasingly characterised by co- production, where the link between raw material and food-related cultural experience is strong .
Many studies have been done regarding the use of technology itself and its processes. However, there is much less work regarding how technology affects the end user, the consumer.

This proposal proposes the inclusion of Design (and Interaction Design in particular) in nascent academic Food Studies curricula. The growing impact of digital technology upon food-related activities and the need to develop increasingly complex local and global webs, will require ‘future nutrition experts, to possess greater analytical, and, more important, planning skills. People are characterised and defined more and more in terms of their needs, wishes and the value systems they have acquired through the instruments of cultural mediation, knowledge and know-how.
 Human Computer Interaction (HCI) seems to be the most suitable way of keeping this in mind and of exalting positive human experience and creating new ones.
The introduction of Interaction Design into academic Food Studies programmes, would add an element of complexity and scientific collaboration to the milieus of food and technologies studies very seldom found to date.

Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session: www.gustolab.com

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