What do we eat today? What are the materials, processes, systems, tools and interfaces, but also the ideas, traditions, histories and rituals involved in the production and consumption of food in industrialised countries? And how have all those aspects been designed not just to efficiently feed everyone, every day, but also to preserve, celebrate and even create local, regional, national and transnational cultures?

The one-week Semi-industrial workshop we conducted at the Istituto Europeo di Design Madrid aimed to look at how design shapes what, why, when and how we eat, but also how it is also shaped by “external forces” such as science, culture, trends, value – and profit.

We worked with the students from the Master of European Design Labs and the Master of Product Design Labs, which come from all over Spain and countries such as Venezuela, Taiwan, Chile, Sweden, Mexico, Lebanon and Indonesia. As such, each of them had lots to say about their own local traditions, eating habits, ingredients, products and cultures.

After many thoughtful observations, opinionated discussions and visits (with a critical eye) to local markets, together we came up with a global menu of redesigned food.