The MFC and its larger context

26 Aug

Sometimes it is hard to see how you are part of the bigger picture until you are propelled into the middle of it. At the High Museum of Art’s US Pavilion Reception at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection yesterday, I found myself confronting the realization that our team is part of a much larger design presence and movement.

We are all part of the US Pavilion because of the way we work, focusing on design initiated for the public good. While our projects differ greatly in scale, we are all intensely engaging community partners. Our Mobile Food Collective roams the neighborhoods of Chicago as an on-the ground traveling cultural center. Meanwhile, the Louisiana Coastal Rehabilitation project looks at the entire coastline of the state, bringing together designers, scientists and engineers in a collaborative process. The way both our projects are operating challenges the traditional one-discipline way of working. It forces the multiple fields involved to think together about creative, proactive solutions to issues confronting our communities.

From this discussion, I wonder if the notion of design for the public good is something that resonates as greatly with other cultures. Additionally, is this idea of engaging community partners a relatively new idea elsewhere like it is in the States? These are all good questions to consider as we start engaging Italian students in a discussion around food that begins with our workshop process today.

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