Mapping the food system

“We need to move towards a new perspective and narrative about our relationship with food and how it is made,” said Alex Datema, Rabobank’s director of Food and Agri, in an interview with Barbara Vos and Rogier Klomp for Embassy of Food. “Imagination can play a very important role in this.”

Type Project
Part of Embassy of Food
Mapping the food system
Part of Embassy of Food

From the Embassy of Food, in collaboration with visual storyteller Rogier Klomp and the audience, we are exploring what the future of our food system could look like by using the farm as a starting point. To develop new perspectives, we need imagination, and a place where we can shape this conversation differently.

The research involved interviews with more than 70 experts, parties and initiatives in which we questioned how they see the “food system”, and where they want it to go. This resulted in the mind map compiled by Rogier Klomp, a translation of which can be found as part of Next Nature’s Space Farming exhibition in the Evoluon.

With this mind map, we want to start a different conversation with visitors about the future of our food, from how it is made to where it comes from. Year-round, Embassy of Food works from this ‘Embassy’ on the question of how we can look at the future of our food and the changing world that comes with it from a design perspective.

About Rogier Klomp

‘He draws for you to understand’ wrote a Brazilian journalist about Rogier’s work. Perhaps more accurate would be: ‘I draw for me to understand’. Rogier Klomp makes abstract subjects understandable and palpable. By drawing it, he tries to capture the complexity of our world. Thus, he maps complicated dynamics, draws them out and contextualises them by translating them into stories. His drawings are characterised by a minimalist style, with a philosophical slant and humour.

The Embassy of Food asked Rogier Klomp to collaborate on how we can map the complexity of the food system. By mapping the world behind our food and all the interests, developments and connections, it becomes a conversation starter to start the conversation about the future of our food in a new way.

In addition to the mind map for the domain, Rogier continues to work with the Embassy of Food team on mapping out what this enormous complexity behind our food system actually involves.

Rogier’s work has been shown at the Stedelijk Museum, IFFR, Centraal Museum and MU Hybrid Art House, among others. He also worked as a graphic journalist for NRC Handelsblad and produced animations for VPRO Tegenlicht and other TV series.

Future perspectives

Besides Rogier, the Embassy of Food has selected five designers to guide us through the core elements that make up our food system. By zooming in on different parts of the chain, through the eyes of the designer, space is created to also take a moment to reflect on what we are talking about. For instance, with Fides Lapidaire we look at the cycle of nutrients, with Charlotte van der Woude we delve deeper into the revaluation of undiscovered strata as a source of solutions, with Dirk-Jan Visser and Gus Drake we look at what artificial intelligence can do to better understand our natural ecosystems, with Bram de Vos we explore the ideal agricultural hectare and we experiment with the taste of biodiversity with Marrit Kyung Ok Schakel. Watch the videos here.

Bram de Vos - credits: Hannie Verhoeven

Conference Embassy of Food

On Thursday 26 October, the Embassy of Food is hosting a conference focusing on design power and the world behind our food. The EoF brings together 100 experts from the food sector and design world to make new connections in order to jointly work on a new way of seeing and approaching when it comes to the future of our food system. Indeed, from the Embassy of Food, we believe that everyone we bring together is important in the quest for change. Just as healthy soil consists of various micro-organisms working together and reinforcing each other, we want to connect and integrate existing fragments of knowledge and expertise for an innovative way of looking at things. Complex challenges require diverse perspectives. By bringing together a mix of skills and expertise, we can thus look at the challenge differently and act on it.

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