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In reflecting on the future direction of our society we recognise that even as we rely more heavily on technology, the basic needs of food, shelter and connection remain unchanged. The hyperconnectivity of our current digital age has brought about an ironic predicament, instead of feeling intergrated within a global community, there’s been a marked increase of loneliness and social isolation.

The anthropology of food shows us that eating is not only fundamental for pleasure, survival and nutrition but is also an essential medium for social connectivity and plays and important role in shaping individual and cultural expression. Our emotional response to food is rooted deep within our memories. The preparation and sharing of food has always necessitated design, specifically ceramics. Early ceramic design spoke of basic survival needs by allowing food to be broken down into more digestible protein-rich forms, whilst also being utilised for serving and storage. As technological developments progressed, the mass production of ceramics became ubiquitous, with fabricated objects showing minimal signs of their origins.

The recent cultural swing back to hand made and DIY speaks of a longing for a more elemental sensory experience. Global trends suggest that technological change is causing reconsideration of our core values and that connection and meaning are becoming more important. Increasingly we now desire more than beauty and function from our objects, we want tactile engagement and tangible associations. Handmade objects offer meaning, they embody a terrior; telling a story of place, material and of the maker. In tandem, the concurrent slow food movement also evidences this shift towards conscientious consumerism.

Instead of looking toward future materials and technologies we want to contemplate our long and intimate history with ceramic design, food and communal eating within the domestic dining setting.

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