[The future of food] Stanford D School’s research on culinary experience and case studies

Now, many of you might be familiar with the phrase “design thinking”, although it is often criticized for being used for commercial and promotional purposes nowadays, losing its essence of the effective problem solving method that designers apply. However, many popular methods nowadays like ‘Hackerton’, ‘Sprint’, ‘Lean’ and ‘Agile’ share the same basics with design thinking: prototyping and iteration.
Fortunately, I had an opportunity to attend a lecture conducted by a professor of food innovation division, Dr. Soh Kim from Stanford D school (where the origin of the word begun). See the origin of design thinking below from Wikipedia, if you’re interested.

Origin of Design thinking

The notion of design as a “way of thinking” in the sciences can be traced to Herbert A. Simon‘s 1969 book The Sciences of the Artificial, and in design engineering to Robert McKim’s 1973 book Experiences in Visual Thinking. Peter Rowe’s 1987 book Design Thinking, which described methods and approaches used by architects and urban planners, was a significant early usage of the term in the design research literature. Rolf Faste expanded on McKim’s work at Stanford University in the 1980s and 1990s, teaching “design thinking as a method of creative action.”Design thinking was adapted for business purposes by Faste’s Stanford colleague David M. Kelley, who founded IDEO in 1991. Richard Buchanan‘s 1992 article “Wicked Problems in Design Thinking” expressed a broader view of design thinking as addressing intractable human concerns through design.

Well, I was surprised that Stanford D school teaches some projects regarding food industry. The lecture of Prof. Kim was about co-creation of culinary experience in open innovation ecosystems and case studies of state-of-the-art in the food industry, which was the most interesting subject during the lecture to know about new movements.

  • Impossible food : Impossible food now serves burgers made only out of plant-based ingredients. The famous Korean-American chef, David Chang, serves this impossible burger at his restaurant.03_homepage_ourmission_2
  • Chef Watson :Surprisingly, D school tests recipes of Chef Watson. How artificial intelligence will evolve is the hottest subject on the table, and I hope D school could help Chef Watson evolve faster as I don’t want to fail the recipe testing anymore 😦
  • The world renowned Chef, Jamie Oliver conducts a hands-on cooking program at Stanford. Well, it was very interesting news, and I hope there will be synergy with Jamie Oliver and the smartest students in the world at Stanford.tk-slideshow02
  • Food Hackerton : D school food division leads Food Hackerton, solving problems in food industry by using design thinking methods. The next Hackerton will be held in mid December in Barcelona.

As I stated on my D-lab page, cooking is an experience involving every sense. The process of creating recipes and cooking by a professional chef is very similar to how designers find solutions. It was interesting that D school uses a design thinking approach to the food industry and famous chefs like Ferran Adria run design thinking schools in Spain.


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