A young Slovenian Australian about the importance of Internet for searching Slovenian recipes:
“[…] if you do not have grandparents that have all those cookbooks and stuff I do see the importance of Internet and social media which could get you the recipes that you need and show you how to cook it.”
…Digital technologies…Did you know that already in 1985, 30 years ago, a Slovenian cooking software for ZX Spectrum Moja gospodinjska pomočnica (Centralni zavod za napredek gospodinjstva and Radio Študent) showed youwhat to cook from the ingredients you have in the kitchen storage? However, the Honeywell Kitchen Computer from 1969 is recognised asone of the earliestattempts to usecomputersfor cooking. “There is no evidence that any Kitchen Computer was ever sold.” (The Computer History Museum)
(Photos from the conference added on 27 October 2015.)
Our research paper Museums as creative labs: 3D food printing inspired by culinary heritage in the context of makerspaces will be presented at the MWA2015: Museums and the Web Asia 2015 conference, 5-8 October 2015, Melbourne.
In this paper we explore how a museum can be used as a laboratory for engaging audiences in new food production and new reinterpretations of culinary heritage in the context of makerspaces. We explore the concept of the creative reinterpretation of culinary heritage through 3D printing – in this case of Slovenian Australians: a 3D printed Slovenian potica cake. We anticipate that this introduction to the reinterpretation of culinary heritage through 3D printing can provide an innovative thought-piece for future research investigations.
The paper prepared for MWA2015 and published at the conference website is also available below:
The preparation and consumption of local and global foods has never been more topical than it is today. Food security and nutrition issues explored at a global level (EXPO 2015: Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life), while the skills and practices associated with domestic food preparation are the subject of multiple reality TV-programs. Popular locally produced programs such as MyKitchen Rules and Master Chef (Bodey, 2015) are part of global franchises while, in the UK, The Great British Bake-Off2014 grand final drew more audience numbers (12.3 million) than the World Cup final (12.1 million) (Malnick, 2014). At the same time, new museums specifically dedicated to food and communities, but not affiliated with food industry, such as MOFAD (Museum of Food and Drink), are also arising (Merritt, 2015).
In 2012 the Australian National Museum led a project entitled “Urban Farming and the Agricultural Show” which explored how agricultural shows helped to shape understandings of the relationships between food, people and place. In the following year (2013) they released “Food Stories”, a program of digital content creation and publication, which allowed audiences to share their food stories. In terms of re-use of heritage and creative participation of audiences, both initiatives represent a relatively traditional approach to the interpretation of food production and culinary heritage.
In this paper we explore opportunities for museums to become creative labs pursuing creative reinterpretations of cultural content through the use of new digital fabrication technologies. 3D food printing is one of those technologies.
3D food printing (Cohen et al., 2009), first introduced in 2006 (Lipson & Kurman, 2013) is bringing another dimension to the curatorial endeavor. A 3D food printer is a special 3D printing system which enables the construction of parts using edible materials mainly from viscous materials (e.g. cheese, paté, dough, chocolate) and powdered substances (e.g. sugar).
In this research we explore how a museum can be used as a laboratory for engaging audiences in new food production and resultant reinterpretations of culinary heritage. A traditional cuisine is a rich source of creativity, as evidenced through the recent 3D food printing projects. See Foodini (Molitch-Hou, 2015), ChefJet (Ngo, 2015), Bocusini (Biggs, 2015), Pancake Bot (Senese, 2015), Barilla’s 3D pasta printer at EXPO 2015 (Alec, 2015), Australian project EdiPulse (Khot et al., 2015) and many other initiatives.
However, the potential of 3D food printing for the creative reinterpretation of culinary heritage in a context of a makerspace (Dougherty, 2013) in a museum at which visitors can be creatively engaged, has yet to be explored. Many burgeoning makerspaces, equipped with rudimentary digital fabrication facilities, are located in community spaces and science/cultural centers. Due to their rich resources, makerspaces are also entering into museums.
In New York, NEW INC, the first museum-led incubator, demonstrates the potential for museums to act as creative laboratories. This innovative platform was established by the New Museum in 2013 to support creative professionals not only with their lab-like co-working space, but also with resources from the New Museum’s collection of contemporary art.
Additionally, a few examples of 3D food printing in museums have already been introduced. For instance, in Sydney by Vivid Ideas 2013 and through the Eat the Collection project at the Powerhouse Museum (Museum of Applied arts and Sciences) collaborated with ten creative industry professionals on re-use of some of the museum objects (Kinski, 2013). During the public event, their reinterpretations were 3D printed in chocolate and visitors were invited to eat them.
Culinary heritage of Slovenian Australians
Throughout 2015 we conducted a research project exploring how digital technologies can aid younger generations of Slovenian Australians to preserve and communicate Slovenian culinary heritage in Australia. The central aim of the research was to explore how their creative participation in culinary heritage could enhance notions of identity as Slovenian Australians. Culinary heritage has long been connected with notions of identity and together they form an important part of intangible heritage and a universal way of bringing people together.
Throughout the course of the research, 18 in-depth interviews were conducted among members (all generations and ages) of Slovenian ethnic groups in Australian cities. It was discovered that, for many of them, traditional Slovenian cuisine is still an important part of their lives. Since most traditional Slovenian dishes (especially desserts) require a great deal of preparation time, together with advanced cooking skills and knowledge, they are usually prepared by members of the older generations (mothers, grandmothers) for family gatherings during holidays or other special events. Therefore, it was decided that a Slovenian dessert would be chosen as a test case for creative reinterpretation through 3D printing.
A creative reinterpretation of culinary heritage: A 3D printed Slovenian potica
Potica is one of the most typical Slovenian festive cakes. Among gibanica and štruklji, it is one of the most popular desserts also by Slovenian migrants in Australia. Potica (Figure 1) is made from a bread dough and filling such as walnut, tarragon, poppy seed and cottage cheese. It forms a large hollow cylinder and when cut, every slice has a nut-roll style shape.
Figure 1: Slices of a poppy seed potica made by Jožica Koštrica, a Slovenian-Australian cooking expert from Canberra (Photo: Kaja Antlej).
The characteristic potica has a central spiral, but through 3D food printing, potica can be created in a multitude of different shapes and can incorporate forms inspired by other Slovenian motifs (Razboršek, 1992) such as hearts, plants and flowers.
Using potica as a test case, we explored the notion that museum visitors could creatively engage in the reinterpretation of the dessert by accessing digital fabrication technologies through museum makerspaces. The research hypothesized that participants in a museum (e.g. Immigration Museum) could use a special app to design their own image of a potica slice. The newly created image could be generated into a 3D model (Figure 2) and prepared for 3D printing. Since a two material (two syringes) 3D printer is needed, we propose to use Scientist 3D printeror a similar machine from Seraph Robotics, together with their software for generating multi-material print jobs from a single standard STL file. This 3D printer also represents a further development of a Fab@Home model 2, which was successfully used for 3D printing a prism-shaped cookie with a chocolate letter “C” in the interior (Lipton, et al., 2010).
Figure 2: Visualization of a 3D printed potica cake (concept) (3D model: Kaja Antlej; texturization and rendering: Nina Oman).
Conclusions and Further Work
The conceptual framework for creative reinterpretation of culinary heritage is one which requires further investigation. While conceptually, a 3D model of potica can be created and print files produced, there is much testing of dough and filling which would need to be carried out. The opportunity to use museum collection knowledge to aid this experimentation offers a unique opportunity to bring together collections, culinary heritage and digital fabrication in a new space of investigation and innovation. We contend that museum visitor engagement in the process of experimentation would go some way towards modelling how museum makerspaces can enact the notion of a creative laboratory. However, we underpin our work by considering the opportunities afforded museums to act as creative laboratories, providing makerspaces which engage audiences in digital fabrication with access to significantly more expensive highly specialized equipment such as 3D food printers.
The research has been made possible through the support of an Australian government 2015 Endeavour Research Fellowship (Postdoctoral Research) of Kaja Antlej at the Centre for Creative and Cultural Research, Faculty of Arts and Design, University of Canberra under supervision of Professor Angelina Russo and provided by the Australian Government Department of Education.
Antlej, K., M. Kos & J. Horvat (2013). “3D-tehnologije kot podpora muzejski razstavi industrijskega oblikovanja (3D Technologies as a Support for Industrial Design Museum Exhibition).” Doctoral thesis, University of Ljubljana.
Antlej, K., & S. J. Mächtig (2008). “Razvoj industrijsko oblikovanega izdelka z uporabo 3D tehnologij (The Development of an Industrially Designed Product through the Use of 3D Technologies).” Masters thesis, University of Ljubljana.
Cohen D.L., Lipton, J., Cutler, M., Coulter, D., Vesco, A. & Lipson, H. (2009). “Hydrocolloid Printing: A Novel Platform for Customized Food Production.” In Solid freeform fabrication proceedings, 20th Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium (SFF’09). Austin, Texas. 807–818. Consulted August 7, 2015. Available at http://creativemachines.cornell.edu/sites/default/files/SFF09_Cohen1_0.pdf
Dougherty, D. (2013). “The Maker Mindset.” In M. Honey & D. E. Kanter (ed.). Design, Make, Play: Growing the Next Generation of STEM Innovators. New York: Routledge, 7–11.
Khot, R.A., R. Pennings & F. F. Mueller (2015). “EdiPulse: Supporting Physical Activity with Chocolate Printed Messages”. In B. Begole, J. Kim, K. Inkpen & W. Woo (eds.). Proceedings of the 33rd Annual ACM Conference Extended Abstracts on Human Factors in Computing Systems, Seoul, CHI 2015 Extended Abstracts, Republic of Korea, April 18 – 23, 2015. 1391–1396. Consulted August 7, 2015. Available at http://exertiongameslab.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/edipulse_wip_chi2015.pdf
The Australian Slovenian Review, Summer 1994, Volume 2 Issue 1 (HASA NSW)
HASA NSW – Historical Archives for Slovenian Australians – NSW
HASA NSW – Historical Archives for Slovenian Australians – NSW
HASA NSW – Historical Archives for Slovenian Australians – NSW
HASA NSW – Historical Archives for Slovenian Australians – NSW
The HASA NSW Historical Archives for Slovenian Australians is a principal institution dedicated to preservation of the Slovenian cultural heritage in New South Wales. The archives, registered in 2003, is located at the St. Raphael Slovenian Mission building in Merrylands, Sydney.
Martha Magajna, Mihelca Šusteršič and Maria Grosman who are responsible for the archives informed me about their work and the collection of historical documents. Related to the culinary heritage content, some of the publications are digitised and available at The Gateway to Slovenian History Abroad www.da-slo.com.au. For example, in The Australian Slovenian Review, Summer 1994, Volume 2 Issue 1a recipe for Sauteed Potatoes – Tenstan Krompir published in the COOKING SLOVENIAN STYLE chapter can be found.
Although I have been in a 3D printing area for a while, a recent discussion with some of the colleagues at the Creative Lab – STEM to STEAM*: 21st Century Learning in Brisbane, encouraged me to explore the potential of 3D food printing – inspired by traditional cuisine – for enhancing creativity more deepen. Similar as the previously mentioned EggBot, an open-source art robot for drawing on eggs.
A 3D food printer is a special 3D printing system which enables the construction of parts using edible materials mainly from viscous materials (e.g. cheese, paté, dough, chocolate) and powdered substances (e.g. sugar). Shapes of the objects are, as in architecture or design, created using 3D modelling software or 3D digitisation methods. Sharing of recipes has been replaced with emailing or downloading of digital 3D print models.
As recently published in Nature: “There is a big debate in the 3D-printing world: will one day everybody have a 3D printer at home? Is it like a personal computer?” says Hod Lipson, an engineer at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. “I think the answer is yes, but it’s not going to print plastic. It’s going to be a food printer.”
The next question is not so much how this will influence our traditional cuisine, but how the 3D printing of food can be inspired by culinary heritage.
Considering the above mentioned initiatives and the fact that the world’s 1st 3D Food Printing Conferencein the Netherlands was held this April, it is obviously that 3D food printing will become the next buzzword. It doesn’t mean that old traditions will not be in use any more, but new technologies, inspired by heritage can certainly bring new ideas for growing, preparing and consuming food.
How 3D printed food inspired by potica, žlikrofi or prekmurska gibanica would look like?
*STEAM is a movement initiated by Rhode Island School of Design. It promotes integration of Art / Design into STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math)-based research and innovation.
Pasta maker Barilla to show off its 3D pasta printer at the Milan EXPO 2015, 3ders.org.
Is 3-D food printing the next microwave?, The Boston Globe.
PancakeBot – The world’s first pancake printer!, Kickstrarter.
Due to its engaging (learning-by-doing, hands-on) and multi-sensory approaches, learning language while cooking has proved to be an excellent way of teaching a language. Nevertheless it is more fun to experience cooking & language learning in a group at areal classbut for online users who are not able to attend it, video recipes and language lectures are nowadays available as well.
One such example is the Learn French while Cooking!provided by educator Nina O’Connor. Her video lectures are not only enjoyable but they give also an insight into the French culinary heritage.
On a more technologically complex way learning while cooking methods was examined in the French Digital Kitchen, as a part of the LanCook– Learning languages, cultures and cuisines in digital interactive kitchens project. In this EU-funded project (2011 – 2014) digital sensors and a task-based language learning approach were used. For more details see a video presentation and an article about the project published in The Guardian.
According to Sandi Ceferin, during that time there were very few learning materials online. Therefore the Webclassroom was among the Sloveniana Webzine and Galeria Sloveniana included as material in the official curriculum for secondary education in the state of Victoria. The Slovenian culinary heritage is featured in a section titled the Cuisine of Slovenia, partly also in the Health and nutrition.
In Australia, Slovenian can be learned in Victoria. Just recently, three new courses have been started in Queensland (Sunshine Coast, Brisbane and Gold Coast). Online courses are available as well. The school in New South Walesis not currentlyin operation.
However, as an additional material digital culinary content in a form of video cooking classes, dictionaries and seriousgames could support physical and digital Slovenian language (cooking) courses. By this way, due to geographical or other reasons, users with limited access to these physical courses would be able to participate some of the sessions remotely and thus connect with other learners.
A few personal statements about the Slovenian food, written by some of the youngest Slovenian Australians, published in the mentioned e-book, are quoted below:
Leah Mae Gelt (7), Elwood, Victoria: »I love potica. I like Slovenian soup. I love Slovenian gibanica.«
Thomas Scott (11), Oakleigh, Victoria: »I feel Slovenian too because of these reasons: 1. I enjoy their food. When I went for a meal there it was great because the quality of food was 4-5 stars. It was the best food ever.[…]«
my Ryff (16), Mooroolbark: »The Slovenia people were, and are very nice to us, welcoming us all the time and everywhere. They also forced us to eat more food, even when we were already full and couldn’t eat anymore.[…] «
Lucas Hliš (13), Hobart, Tasmania: »I love Slovenian food such as Strudel, potica, and lots of other foods.[…] My aunt Marina who lives in Queensland is extremely good at baking Slovenian cakes and I always am the one that tests them.[…]«
Many Slovenian families in Australia are stillkeepingthe traditional dyeing ofEaster eggs. By one of the method colour is obtained using onion skins. Beautiful decoration is made by placing flowers and leavesof plants on eggs as a natural “stencil” fixed with old tights.
I had an opportunity to actively participate the preparation of the Easter eggs. It was interesting to observe how the mother and her sister were carefully placing flower leafs on the eggs while mother’s daughter were searching for new motifs on the Internet. Oh no it is not an easy way to cut the motive from a palm leaf. But we did it. 🙂
In fact that a similar tradition of dyeing eggs can be found in Armenian heritage more than two thousand kilometres from Slovenia shows us how difficult or even senselessis sometimes to say that certain tradition belongs only to one particular country.
Irrespectiveof whether the tradition is Slovenian, Armenian, or is a part of identity of anyother countries, the most important is to maintain this valuable knowledge which as a great source of inspiration leads us to new inventions. Even if its “only” (by the way, I love this machine) the EggBot, an open-source art robot for drawing on eggs and a popular tool at various makerspace workshops for kids. However, one day… some of these kids will be important scientists, engineers, designers and artists who will understand the importance of old traditions for their work.
This is a website of a research project exploring digital technologies for communicating the culinary heritage of Slovenian Australians in collaboration with the University of Canberra under the 2015 Endeavour Fellowship Programme (PDR).