FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
DESIGNING FOR CRITICAL REFLECTION ON FOOD PRACTICES
DIS 2012 | Newcastle, UK | June 11, 2012
- Jaz Hee-jeong Choi, Queensland University of Technology, Brisbane QLD 4059, Australia, email@example.com
- Rob Comber, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE17RU, UK, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Conor Linehan, University of Lincoln, Lincoln, LN6 7TS, UK, email@example.com
- John McCarthy University College Cork, Cork, Ireland, John.firstname.lastname@example.org
This workshop is a continuation and extension to the successful past workshops including 2011 Communities and Technologies Food(ing): Between Human-Computer and Human-Food-Experience; 2009 ; OZCHI workshop, Hungry 24/7? HCI Design for Sustainable Food Culture and Sustainable Interaction with Food, Technology, and the City , and Food and Interaction Design: Designing for Food in Everyday Life . The workshop addresses the opportunities and challenges for the design of digital interactive systems that engage individuals in critical reflection on their everyday food practices – including designing for engagement in more environmentally aware, socially inclusive, and healthier behaviour. These three themes represent the focus of much recent HCI work related to food. The proposed workshop aims to further the conversation on these themes through understanding specifically how the process of critical reflection can be encouraged by interactive technology. While the focus will be on food as an application area, the intention is to also explore, more generally, how the process of critical reflection can be facilitated through interactive technology. The workshop will include a design session, where participants will be asked to respond to the challenging local issue of alcohol and fast food consumption, to create innovative design solutions that facilitate people’s engagement in critical reflection on their food consumption, ultimately leading to broader socio-cultural transformation of Newcastle-upon-Tyne’s foodscape. The workshop will provide a unique forum to discuss existing theoretical and pragmatic approaches, and to envision novel ways to design technology that encourages sustained critical reflection.
With increasing demands on our time, everyday behaviours such as food purchasing, preparation, and consumption have become habitual and unconscious. Indeed, modern food values are focused on convenience and effortlessness, overshadowing other values such as environmental sustainability, health and pleasure. The rethinking of how we approach everyday food behaviours appears to be a particularly timely concern. In response, this workshop addresses the opportunities and challenges for the design of digital interactive systems to engage individuals in critical reflection on food practices.
We highlight three key issues to be addressed:
- critical reflection,
- food practices, and
Critical reflection is ‘the kind of thinking that consists of turning a subject over in the mind and giving it serious and consecutive consideration’ . It has been a fundamental concept in domains such as education and psychology for addressing diverse epistemological issues. As a learning and development process, it functions as an effective conduit between knowledge and practice by providing a means to question and challenge existing socio-political and psycho-cultural ideologies [17, 18] in more adaptive, ethical, and viable ways [6, 14]. When applied to food practices, critical reflection brings to the fore the assumptions, conventions and habits that are formed through the socio-cultural production of food values and practices.
Critical reflection is positioned not only as a means to better understand the cultures of food practice, but also the cultures of HCI practice [cf. 21]. Engaging in critical reflective practice is essential to the dynamic and changing field of HCI, and particularly to those activities occurring in the wild. Yet, the concept remains rather ‘fuzzy’ , and research surrounding it remain in infancy . Food practices occur across work, home, and leisure spaces, are ubiquitous and mobile. Thus they draw attention to the limits of HCI practice in sensing, augmenting, supporting and engaging. Human-food interaction pushes the boundaries of HCI research and invites new insight on traditional practices. We therefore call for reflections on HCI practice in light of food research.
Food practices encapsulate the broad spectrum of food production, transport, purchasing, preparation, consumption among others. These practices are of particular interest to those concerned with issues of health [cf. 15, 16] and sustainability [cf. 3, 12], though the reach of food related research in HCI is continually growing. In particular, there is a growing interest in the design of technologies to support positive food practices . That is, there is an increasing need to address food not only as a ‘problem’ area, where individuals have insufficient knowledge, inadequate nutrition, or inappropriate environmental behaviours. Critical reflection on food practices opens the possibility to examine how we conceptualise food practices to redress the imbalance towards positive, playful food practices that support issues of health and sustainability through long-term engagement.
Engagement: In ‘Democracy and Education,’ Dewey makes a notable distinction between an activity and experience: ‘Experience as trying involves change, but change is meaningless transition unless it is consciously connected with the return wave of consequences which flow from it. When an activity is continued into the undergoing of consequences, when the change made by action is reflected back into a change made in us, the mere flux is loaded with significance. We learn something’ . As with Gordon , we associate activity and experience with participation and engagement, respectively. We define engagement as a voluntary and sustained participation – not always with a clear purpose – through which transformations occur. Interactive networked systems provide a flexible space where open, collaborative, and self-learning can take place. They provide nascent opportunities for various types of engagement towards meaningful transformations. The beneficial effects of using online social media such as blogs and forums have been widely reported – that they promote dialogic and reflective teaching and learning practices [1, 2, 13, 19]. Thus such systems offer much potential for evoking behavioural change, particularly as information and communication technologies become increasingly embedded in everyday lives of many people around the world.
This workshop brings together insights across disciplines to explore the emerging opportunities and challenges for designing digital interactive systems to engage people in critical reflection towards positive changes in their everyday practices in the domain of food – designing for engagement in more environmentally aware, socially inclusive, and healthier food practices through critical reflection. The workshop will provide a unique forum to discuss existing theoretical and pragmatic approaches and envision novel ways to design for engagement in sustained critical reflection.
Workshop Format & Participation
We want to actively engage and acknowledge the social, cultural, and urban landscape of Newcastle-upon-Tyne (hereafter Newcastle) in conducting this workshop. The participants will have opportunities to present their work or cases of their interest, and participate in a series of collective workshop discussions and design activities. The design activity will explore local food practices in Newcastle, particularly those associated with Newcastle’s vibrant and renowned nightlife. Newcastle’s nightlife has been voted one of the UK’s top tourist attractions by several well-known travel guides including the ‘Rough Guides to Britain,’ and attracts large crowds throughout the year, particularly at weekends. These crowds typically consume excessive amounts of alcohol and fast foods, and produce large quantities of food and packaging waste. Participants will be asked to respond to this challenging scenario, and create innovative design solutions that facilitate people’s engagement in critical reflection on their food consumption, ultimately leading to broader socio-cultural transformation of Newcastle’s foodscape. The workshop will be scheduled as following:
09.00 – 09.30 Introductions
09.30 – 11.00 Presentations and Discussions
11.00 – 11.30 Coffee
11.30 – 13.00 Presentations and Discussions
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch
14.00 – 15.30 Group Design Activities
15.30 – 16.00 Coffee
16.00 – 17.30 Design Presentations and Conclusions
Discussion in the workshop will form the basis for a position paper addressing the emerging opportunities and challenges for supporting critical reflection through interactive technologies. The most compelling research and insight presented at the workshop will be selected for a special section in ACM Interactions (http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=J373).
Interested participants should submit position papers to Jaz Hee-jeong Choi (h.choi [at] qut.edu.au, outlining their work, brief biographies, and what they would like to gain from the workshop. Submissions should be no longer than 2 pages, in PDF Format, and styled using the DIS paper format. Participants will be selected based on their expertise and to ensure overall disciplinary and geo-cultural diversity.
Deadline for submissions: Now Closed
The Wireless Kitchen
Maria Androulaki (University of Edinburgh, Scotland)
Developing a Tool to Facilitate Reflection on Long-term Dietary Balance
Christopher Borrowdale, Jamie Mahoney, Shaun Lawson, Conor Linehan (University of Lincoln, UK)
Towards Interactive Recipe Instructions
Lucy Buykx (University of York, UK)
Designing a Food ‘Qualculator’
Adrian K. Clear (Lancaster University, UK)
FoodMood: Measuring Global Food Sentiment One Tweet At A Time
Natalie Dixon, Ekaterina Yudin, Bruno Jakic, Mark Mooij (Affect Lab, The Netherlands)
WantEat: an app for supporting sustainable gastronomy
Rossana Simeoni, Alessandro Marcengo Telecom (Italia Research and Prototyping, Italy)
Luca Console, Amon Rapp (Università di Torino, Italy)
Piercarlo Grimaldi, Franco Fassio (Università di Scienze gastronomiche, Italy)
Fabio Torta (SlowFood, Italy)
“But I don’t trust my friends” Ecofriends – an application for reflective grocery shopping
Jakob Tholander, Anna Ståhl, Elsa Kosmack Vaara (Stockholm University, Sweden)
I Ate That?: Self-Reflection on Everyday Food Practices Through Image Sharing
Sanne Verbaan (The Hague University, The Netherlands)
Jaz Hee-jeong Choi (Queensland University of Technology, Australia)
Shaun Lawson University of Lincoln, UK)
Jaz Hee-jeong Choi is an ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellow (Industry) in the Urban Informatics Research Lab, at the Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation, Queensland University of Technology. Her research interests are in playful technology, particularly the ways in which various forms of playful interaction are designed, developed, and integrated in different cultural contexts. She has developed a new conceptual approach to urban sustainability that recognises ‘play’ as the core of transformative interactions in cities as ubiquitous technosocial networks. Her current research explores designing and developing playful ubiquitous technologies to cultivate sustainable food culture in urban environments. She has collaborated with leading international researchers and published in books and journals across various disciplines. Her website is at www.nicemustard.com
Rob Comber is a Marie Curie Experienced Researcher at Culture Lab, Newcastle University. His research applies his background in Social Psychology to the interactions between people and technology, with a focus on the use of online social media for relationships building and behaviour change. His current research, in collaboration with Philips Research Eindhoven, examines the practices of households around meal planning, shopping and meal preparation in the North East of England. He collaborates on projects exploring diverse food-related practices, such as nutritional monitoring in hospitals, food waste, and dinner parties.
Conor Linehan is a Lecturer at the Lincoln Social Computing Research Centre. His research focuses on applying evidence-based applied psychology processes to the design of interactive interventions for education and behaviour change. He is involved in ongoing research into using social media as a basis for sustaining engagement with behavioural interventions targeted at dietary behaviour, energy consumption and mental health.
John McCarthy is a Senior Lecturer in Applied Psychology at University College Cork, Ireland, where he leads the People and Technology Research Group (http://patlab.ucc.ie). His research is concerned with understanding people’s experience with emerging digital and social media, and with using that knowledge to inform design of usable and enriching technologies. He has published theoretical and applied work on people’s experiences with technology and emerging digital media.
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