Playing With Your Food

From Beyond Social

Inspire people to experiment in a fun way with the basics of cooking
A project by by Sarena van Dijk

Have you ever been bored with food? Do you see cooking as a chore rather than something you can play around with? You’re not the only one. My project, Playing With Your Food, aims to inspire people to experiment more with cooking. It's targeted towards the youth of today (ages 18 - 28), but everyone could find something of interest to play with. It started out as a workshop, but soon turned into something more visual: an illustrated booklet. You may flip through the booklet every once in a while when you’re up for a challenge.

Playing With Your Food

I aim to use cooking as a tool to improve self-confidence, creativity, happiness and environmental awareness in a playful and fun way. My research focuses on finding an effective way to entice the target audience to experiment more with ways of cooking. When you play, you become more conscious and aware of your actions and their effect and this in turn will accelerate your learning progress. Being more aware of various ways to cook also means you make more conscious decisions about what you eat, how you prepare food, and where you buy it, and this in turn will widen your world view.

'Flour is one of the most versatile ingrediënts ever. Did you know you can make all of this with just basic ingredients?'


The hypothesis was that a workshop might be a good approach. I researched this by discussing my ideas with two professional businesses, Kookstudio 25 and Hotspot Hutspot, and finding a place (Hotspot Hutspot) to host my workshop (their participants belong to my target audience). During this workshop I found it is indeed a very effective approach, but its effect is also temporary in nature. I felt a more permanent solution was needed. I started researching illustration as a way to convey playful assignments, challenges, to the youthful target audience. I researched existing illustrations for this age group and used a questionnaire about their cooking behaviour to get to know more about how I could best approach the issue.

Players during the workshop


I am currently producing a prototype booklet, which uses illustration as a means to inspire the reader and to show various fun ways to experiment with cooking. The illustration research helped me develop the drawings themselves to appeal to young adults by making the characters and situations more recognisable. The fact that I use as little text and as much illustrations as possible helps to make the booklet multi-interpretable and something you can pick it up at various times and find something new to try. I hope to sell my booklet at various cooking supply stores and culinary workshop facilities. Pick up a copy and before you know it, you’ll be Playing With Your Food!

Lekker experimenteren!

You can also book an introductory workshop to go with the booklet.

This final exam project was developed within the Gamification department (Social Practice @ WdKA) Tutor: Bruno Setola


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