Food for Thought: Designing for Critical Reflection on Food Practices

I am involved in organising what promises to be a really fascinating and thought-provoking workshop as part of the ACM conference on Designing Interactive Systems (DIS) 2012. If you are interested in the design of technology to provoke critical thought about the healthiness, sustainability and social inclusiveness of the food we consume, you should think about coming along. Of particular interest to the LiSC group, the Newcastle “foodscape” (i.e., pints of brown ale, curry, kebabs) will serve as a use case for exploratory design tasks.

Details are below:

Newcastle, UK

June 11, 2012

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.

Interested participants should submit position papers to Jaz Hee-jeong Choi (h.choi [at], 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: March 16, 2012

Notification of acceptance: April 16, 2012

Workshop: June 11, 2012

We look forward to hearing from you!

Jaz, Rob, Conor, and John

Workshop Organisers

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