The Art of Data Cuisine

Data cuisine – the representation and visualization of data through the means of cooking.

Going into this talk, heart-wrenching symbolism ran through my head of a cut of raw beef soaked in red wine jus to illustrate the richer, stronger more developed and flourishing worlds population, cowering over wilted, soft spinach sheltered in a corner of the plate to demonstrate the 80% of humanity that lives on less than $10 a day.

Unfortunately, Moritz Stefaner did not deliver.

For the aptly alliterated ‘Tweeting Taboulleh’ I spent most of the talk trying to work out why they had used couscous to represent the 13% of tweets from Kuwait, when couscous for example, originates from Italy and not Kuwait.

From savoury to sweet, the Zuckerberg pops, showing “how many people in Arab Spring countries use Facebook”. I had lots of questions at this point: What was the total sample size, why use sesame seeds that originate from India and did they actually ask 42% of the total Tunisian population if they even liked cake pops.

However, despite my critique Fast Company did in fact write an article on Data Cuisine so perhaps the concept of data cuisine is more of a work in progress. The varying ways to vizualize data using colours, shapes, and form are all ones that we’re used to and ones that make sense– but food opens up new dimensions
such as smells, texture and ingredients into the mix.

I left the talk feeling like I wanted to understand what his point was, but was somewhat confused instead. For me, the concept was way too literal and one that needed more ‘food for thought’.

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