Transformation through human connection
A design research project by Station
The energy I get from this creative work is paramount to how I live my life. Without that,
I don’t know, there’s no way. This industry is way too hard to go to work and not have that creative rush and the senseof discovery, like the sense of achievement when you think, “Oh I’m actually shaping some- thing new here, together and as a team.”
Rene Redzepi — A tour of the new Noma with René Redzepi, Gourmet Traveller
THE CONTEXT IN WHICH WE ARE OPERATING
Station was founded in 2011 when we took our first step towards building a life of intention and blending the work we wanted to do with the values we believed in for ourselves and our growing family. Nick committed to his passion for education and became Assistant Professor of Design at Boston University and Amanda left her job as a scientist and partnered with Nick on building out the studio’s client portfolio and raising their two (soon to be 3) children. Station was established to use design as a way not only to help clients share their story, but use the process itself as a collaborative experience—learning and building together.
As a continued part of our development, we are shaping a research project as part of our studio practice and a university sabbatical that Nick has been awarded for 2019.
WHERE WE CURRENTLY STAND
Design is, by default, about solving problems. Traditional design practices engage in a creative process of thinking that is naturally cross disciplinary—drawing from any and all fields, perspectives and experiences as a way to arrive at a successful solution.
In the spirit with which we are committed to working, this project looks to create the conditions for a shared experience between designers and master craftspeople from various fields. We intend to establish a new approach to the way in which we work and solve problems, by drawing parallels among people working at the forefront of professions that create and shape human connections and experiences. These are people who are blind to the scope and limits of industries and as a result are the voices changing the world—innovating in their own practice and actively crossing traditional boundaries.
We began by asking the question “why is being a chef and the profession of feeding people important?” as an analogue to the power and influence of communication and why being a designer is important. We see working as a designer or a chef, at its roots, as about the relationships we create, our responsibility in society and what that entails.
We use eating as a medium for social relationships: satisfaction of the most individual of needs becomes a means pf creating community.
Margaret Visser, The Rituals of Dinner
For us, this work directly addresses the idea of the social responsibility of creative people, and how we can more deeply embrace this as part of our practices. We see this as being informative for both teaching and learning, applicable to formal education but also when considering the communication of ideas on a genuinely human level.
Instead of looking inward at the design profession today, we are looking outward to evaluate what it means to be a designer. Not just today, but in the future in a world of expanding mediums, thinking, strategy, and impact.
We are interested in beginning this investigation with the culinary field and are looking for partners to participate in this exploration with us. We strive to more deeply understand your practice and process of creating and communicating through your work and look to explore the crossovers between cooking and design while informing our own development of new paths to question, prototype, and reinvent other industries, businesses, and content.
What if design could be the opposite of politics? Not by ignoring conflict, but by feeding from it. A way to incorporate and integrate differences, not through compromise or by choosing sides but by tying conflicting interests into a Gordian knot of new ideas.
Bjarke Ingels, Yes is More
OUR WORKING HYPOTHESES FOR THIS WORK.
Design is more than design. Design is really about finding and creating opportunities for human connection.
Chefs are designers. Designers are chefs. Beyond the obvious connections through aesthetic and experience design, we want to look deeper—at the importance of the existence
of this work in the world.
Emphasizing human connection through your work is a lifestyle, where work and life blend. Such is true of both designers and chefs.
SOME QUESTIONS TO SET THE STAGE
How is storytelling involved in professional practice, process or the relationships you create through or as an outcome of work?
How is work driven by a desire or need to make or enable human connections?
Shared experience as interview model
Shared conversation from cheese farm to forest foraging to riverside cooking
There’s more to come on this project as we really get underway. We are partnering with John Hesselbarth & Kate Foster of Apparition to document and tell the story of this research. They are the providers of the amazing images above.