Bridging creative and fermentation practices in Romandie (WT)
Emily Groves is a designer and researcher interested in the intersection of food, culture and interaction. With a background in anthropology, biology and experience design, she currently works at the EPFL+ECAL Lab in Lausanne, Switzerland as an interaction designer and coordinator of their Masters of Advanced Studies in Design Research. She regularly teaches critical design research methods to masters students in the UK and in Switzerland.
Emily is also the co-founder of the design studio for conviviality, Cocktail Sandwich, which has been running since 2018 creating projects linking food and design. In 2021, Cocktail Sandwich developed, designed and built Deli Social, an active café and culinary residency space in Lausanne. With a focus on local, seasonal and creative cuisine, she is involved in operations, menu creation and collaborations. Her role as president and mentor for residents on the space’s Mise en Place culinary residency programme, furthers her engagement with experimental and critical thought around the future of food.
As designers increasingly seek ways to decenter people from the design process, certain food practices involving microorganisms already embody the interdependencies humans have with the entities around them. The production of gruyère cheese, for instance, involves cows, grass, soil, lactobacillus helveticus, people, the weather and many more entangled actors. This example also highlights how such practices can span multiple spatio-temporal scales, from microbe to landscape, and second-long actions to year-long maturations. So what opportunities lie in bridging fermentation and design practice? Could this intersection promote practices that attune us to entangled environments?
Firstly, pursuing more-than-human approaches from anthropology and design, I will look to understand existing fermentation practices in Suisse Romand, from industrial to domestic production and consumption. Then, working in the context of Deli Social, a creative culinary centre in Lausanne, I will mediate this situated knowledge by proposing and curating a series of public-facing events, artefacts and outcomes. Based in the culture and landscape of Romandie, these will combine creative design practice with the enacted knowledge of food practices. In doing so, this thesis aims to foster experiences and generate knowledge that can contribute to new theoretical frameworks for dealing with our increasingly entangled world.
Selected Publications & Activities
Junior Research in Design Program Grant - From food practices to design research methods: Advancement of a PhD proposal for developing creative interaction design methods from food cultures with a beyond human focus (2022)
Jury Member for the architectural competition for the renovation and transformation of a prominent public building in Lausanne (2022-2023)
Henchoz, N., Groves, E., Sonderegger, A., & Ribes, D. Food Talks: Visual and interaction principles for representing environmental and nutritional food information in augmented reality. ISMAR 2019 Poster Papers. ISMAR 2019, Beijing. (2019)
Fass, J., & Groves, E. (2019). Global HCI Curricula: The Case for Creativity. EduCHI 2019. EduCHI 2019, Glasgow. (2019)
Distil - augmented gin tasting. Featured artwork at Food Culture Days Festival (2018).