Tuesday, December 1st, 2009
Hello December. I can’t believe it is almost the start of a new decade. Remember Y2K? It doesn’t seem like it was that long ago.
Just a year ago, Habit was started by two women who wanted a format to document their daily lives through photographs and a few words. Each month they invited some friends to join them and I was part of the group that posted last April. Now, a year later, they’ve invited everyone back, and all 33 of us will be posting during the month of December.
I look forward to seeing the new dynamic that is sure to occur with everyone sharing the space at once-like one big crazy holiday party.
Tuesday, July 21st, 2009
I guess you could say food is on my mind lately. Living in Minnesota, where for a good portion of the year our local fresh food options are quite limited, summer is really all about food. (I’ve read that people typically tend to gain weight in winter -for me it’s the opposite:) And design is always on my mind, so I got to thinking about how the design of food, the way it is marketed, packaged and presented, effects our food choices.
A few weeks ago we had dinner at a friends house. When it was time for dessert (lavendar soda floats -yum!) she pulled out the new Haagen Daz five ice cream. “Have you seen this?” she asked me. I had not, but I had to laugh. With minimal, beautifully designed packaging, and claiming only 5 ingredients, if I had seen it in the store I would have bought it too. I laughed (somewhat ironically) not only because we live in a time where it is difficult to be able to find ice cream that only has 5 ingredients (and that is a whole other topic) but also because for both of us architects, the whole minimal idea (both product and package) had something to do with the appeal.
I am not ashamed to admit that I am attracted to things that look good and are well designed, in all aspects of my life. Maybe that’s partly why I’m a vegetarian -vegetables have their own beautiful natural packaging:) I often choose wine by the label and while I don’t buy a lot of packaged foods, when I do I gravitate to the ones with a well designed package, and for me that tends to be something clean and minimal. Of course the actual quality and ingredients are most important, but when faced with a choice between two similar products, the one with the most beautiful package usually wins:)
This weekend at my local farmer’s market, I chose to purchase my raspberries from the vendor who presented them in the beautiful wood box over the vendor who had them in the standard cardboard. Because how could I resist that box? And I love that the market has a nicely designed logo too. Actually the way the layout of the market is designed, in a U shape with specialty events (music, crafts, food preparations, etc.) happening in the center is a huge draw to me too. It is an orderly configuration that is easy to navigate and visually pleasing.
I gravitate towards beautiful and well designed cookbooks and cooking magazines as well. Locally we have the publication Edible Twin Cities, (I think this is available in other city versions too) which is both a great resource for information about local co-ops, farmers markets, restaurants, etc. and also a nicely designed magazine. And I was very happy last year when Vegetarian Times did a complete redesign of their magazine, making it more clean and modern and less crunchy granola.
Speaking of food, here are two recipes I’ve been making over and over lately, since zuchini and corn are available now at the market (and both recipes are quite simple and beautiful):
And one last thing -Sunday night I went to a screening of the movie FRESH and it was amazing. Even though some of the scenes were hard to look at, I left with this overwhelmingly positive feeling that things are changing for the better in terms of access to good quality local food for everyone. If you have a chance, go see it.
Saturday, July 4th, 2009
I hope your day includes something bright and sparkly!