Driven by her education and experience as a graphic designer and a chef, Miriam Salah’s research interests lie at the intersection of design and food. Particularly, she seeks to address the under-emphasis on creativity among chefs by exploring how design research methods can unlock the potential of culinary creativity. While a graduate student in the Graphic Design MFA program at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, Salah has been developing a toolkit and running workshops with and for Hospitality Management students working in foodservice.
Providing students with the necessary design research knowledge, the toolkit and workshops prompt students to engage more critically and holistically with the dining experiences they are creating, to think about food as a medium for communication, and to challenge the status-quo by questioning the norms around foodservice and gastronomy. Inspired by the philosophies of avant-garde chefs like Ferran Adria, the toolkit has been iteratively crafted and perfected to reflect principles of human-centered design and critical design. On display at the 2020 MFA show will be the toolkit and some of the students work during the workshop.