above: birth life death - Nick Rebstadt <> below: raw - Emma Xiao




ross mcleod and astrid huwald


The LIFECYCLE studio explored ideas of time, action, moment and ritual in concert with the issues of sustainability that surround food production and consumption. Over the course of the semester the students developed an approach to the design of a food outlet that would provide a dining experience that would promote a positive exchange of goods and services. Initially students embarked on a meticulous recording of the activities, products and situations by which they undertake the act of eating. This involved identifying the type of food (and how it was classified), the quantity of food, how far they travelled to get the food, the packaging involved, whether they cooked it or not, who they ate it with, where they ate it, the method of waste disposal after the meal and how much time was spent in preparation and consumption. With this information the students were asked to devise a graphical technique to display this information which combined both physical evidence with data and statistics.

The next exercise involved the appropriation of the visual language of Nouvelle Cuisine and its integration of food type, presentation, eating utensils, environment and sensorial experience in order to create an installation of a place setting for a meal. This place setting was to be a provocative statement about the nature of food production and consumption which addressed issues of growth, harvesting, processing, packaging, shipping, retailing, buying, cooking, serving, eating, disposal and recycling. Each student focused on a particular food type and sought to expose the issues related to that food in a thought provoking manner. This was achieved through the design of the food, the plates and bowls it rested upon, the utensils used in its consumption and menu used to describe it. The individual place settings were then assembled as a ‘food for thought’ dinner party installation. The investigations into personal eating habits, the uncovering of issues surrounding the sustainable production and consumption of food and the appreciation of the rituals that we enact in eating and drinking established a sensibility that was then brought into an interior design brief.

The Sustenance project asked for proposals for the design of a food outlet that married sustainable food issues with ideas of retailing culture and consumerism. Sustenance was seen as a powerful word that not only described the essential role of food in our lives but also related to ideas of health, maintenance and livelihood. The concept for the café was to bring together the convenience of urban ‘fast food’ with issues of the development of sustainable systems and cycles in the way that the food is grown, sourced prepared, served, disposed of and recycled. Students carefully decided upon what type of food that their small cafe would sell, and researched the issues behind that food. From there they developed a design scheme that could accommodate the preparation, presentation, selling and eating of the food. The design of the café was meant to feed both our stomachs and minds, raising awareness of the environmental and social implications of our consumption while delighting our senses.



above: rizmo - Nake Kamarungsee <> below: the steam room - Natasha Varei