Cranbrook Academy of Art
A poetic object that expresses the fascinating relation between food and time.
The title of the project is: Competition and Relic, which is a fossil-like clay utensil. Users could put their dishes and fruit into the holes of utensil. This work is comprised of the clay and various fruits and vegetables.2. The Brief: Summarize the problem you set out to solve. What was the context for the project, and what was the challenge posed to you?
I am trying to find out the fragile and dark side of food that is usually ignored by food designers. Competition and Relic, which reflects a competed relationship of food. The whole piece is showing a process that food and food, food and clay absorb water mutually rather than one moment to show a product about food. Specifically, I wonder whether fruits and vegetables would compete (absorb water from each other, or air, or the container) mutually when they are put in the clay and getting rotted. Simultaneously, the rotting process of food did offer a great challenge that it is difficult to control the speed of water absorbing of food and clay. Accordingly in this piece, before food rotted, the cracks had already appeared on the drying clay, which need to pay much more time to take care of the whole project.3. The Intent: What point of view did you bring to the project, and were there additional criteria that you added to the brief?
I would like to ask a question about the people’s relationship with each other through this work. How do human beings survive on this planet? How do we compete and co-exist together. I chose food as a perfect media, since every kind of fruit or vegetable could be on behalf of a person. From the whole process that the food rotted in the clay, we can comprehend how people struggle in the society. Even though the result is all food died and we just have a “relic” to commemorate this clay battle of food. Analogically, if people consume the limited resources on the earth out of control, what shall we leave for our kids’ kids?4. The Process: Describe the rigor that informed your project. (Research, ethnography, subject matter experts, materials exploration, technology, iteration, testing, etc., as applicable.) What stakeholder interests did you consider? (Audience, business, organization, labor, manufacturing, distribution, etc., as applicable)
According to the special property of clay, the texture of food could be recorded after they had been got out of the drying clay. Consequently, my work is about phenomenology. Accurately, from the final pure clay piece, users can clearly see the detail texture of orange, apple, onion, and garlic, etc. The empty holes created with the molding method successfully proved that the food were once stored in the clay. The users will easily notice the details in the negative space (the holes) of the utensil (the clay). They, however, cannot immediately recognize what the textures were. Nevertheless, after observing cautiously, the user can find out the most intriguing part of this piece that all the nuance texture of food in the holes of clay did reflect how the clay utensil was made. At the same time, the texture evoked people’s curiosity that the scene of food and clay competing and co-exist earlier. While people start to use the utensil, they can put other fruits and vegetables in the holes, which will create new scenery of clay and food. To sum up, this project is talking about Aging and time.5. The Value: How does your project earn its keep in the world? What is its value? What is its impact? (Social, educational, economic, paradigm-shifting, sustainable, environmental, cultural, gladdening, etc.)
Food is my pen and paint to praise and criticize the world I have seen, the life we have been through. Food could reveal the relationship between the environmental issues and human beings. In Competition and Relic, I intend to use clay to support the fruit and vegetables, while I notice that food and food, food and clay plunder water mutually. Finally, all food died, only remains the battle relic (the clay with the negative space of food and the texture trace). I would like to show the human’s greed for money and resources is our ruin. I express the cuteness of nature accompanying with the aging and cruelty of life. Actually, sustainability needs our passion and the pursuit of beautiful life and our contemplation of people’s cruel behavior. Consequently, we need to ask ourselves what shall we leave for our kids’ kids, a green flourish realm, a miserable wasteland, or something else?6. Did the context of your project change throughout its development? If so, how did your understanding of the project change?
Different kind of food could stand for different nations as well. In this piece, food compete mutually for water just like different countries’ government fight against with each other for gas, oil and so on. However, in human’s society, except all this material resource, what sort of cultural resource shall we share? How do we coexist together on this blue planet? Whether could people live in “one world”? After all, no matter which country people are from, we are men. We eat food. We love food. Eating is our instinct. We are different, while we are alike. We are one.span class="question">7. Does your project have nutritional elements? If so, are these elements available and affordable on a global or local level?
People could display their food into the holes of the utensil. They can enjoy the delicious food full of nutrition.