Homework no. 36 – 40
Did you know that design is alive and helps you to grow food. No, then continue reading and find out what design and gardening has in common
This, well last week was labelled “It’s alive”. Actually a very interesting challenge to grow your own food in an indoor garden.
Sure, I did grow herbs in my kitchen, but mainly I bought the herbs e.g. basil, parsley or chives in a small pot and put them on the window sill. A couple of years ago I did grow sprouts and had a special container where you could rinse them. And not to forget the avocado seed, but I never had them long enough to actually grow an avocado. That’s about all that I tried to grow indoor so far, because traditionally gardening takes place outdoor. Well, I guess that might be an outdated opinion viewing that images from micro-garden.
It’s amazing how easy you can actually design a home garden. My personal favorite are the plastic bottles and they would nicely fit on the window sill. I consider growing some herbs, probably lettuce and/or chard. I read that kale should grow indoors as well, but as far as I know does kale need the cold, similar to Brussel sprout to develop the full flavor. Growing stevia would be interesting, though I am not sure whether I will get some stevia seeds here in Germany. Remembering the following statement, I think that a little bottle garden should be achievable, not too much, but also not too little.
Getting seeds during the winter time is in general difficult as the garden season normally runs from spring until fall. With a couple of exceptions, like corn salad or mache, the sprouts or kale nothing really grows in the cold and it seems that indoor garden are not so common. That’s one reason why I might not be possible to achieve this weeks objectives, but another other reason is my limited time last week. However, probably we’ll have another week off, which given I’ll get some seeds, I would be able to catch up and grow my own food. A nice idea hearing about all the herbicides and fungicides polluted vegetables. And one thing is for sure, homegrown vegetables are a lot tastier than purchased ones.
A good advice, especially the last part “keeping them alive”
Not a single Homework no. 29 – 33
I always find it funny how quick I adopt the role of a student. Instead of being totally disappointed that I have no specific task to accomplish this week, hence no chance to enhance mit limited knowledge about design, I am quite happy to have a week off . Shame on me But, it’s good to put myself in the shoes of my students to understand them a lot better. Well, lesson learned.
- I learned a lot of good recipes
- I learned a lot of innovative ways to translate the same homework into so many creative outcomes
- I learned not to compare myself with others (well I am still working on that
- and I hope to learn a lot more from my peers
However, I still wish for more communication which I experienced with other MOOCs. But, probably on Facebook or other SNS more is going on. Compliments to the wonderful course team, which work miracles and design so awesome videos and letters XXXOOO
- To be kind when commenting on other people’s design
- to appreciate all comments and feedbacks from peers, because they help me to improve
- to stand to the own design, although it might be far from perfect
- to be honest, only passing of the own design
- to take the time and visit the last page to see the hidden treasures from others
I am getting so used to our weekly cooking/baking day, that I decided to bake a Christmas Stollen today. The Christmas season begins on Sunday with the first Advent and the Stollen should let rest for about two or three weeks, hence they will be ready for Christmas.
Today we are asked to remember that a designer questions everything. Well, I actually don’t want to add more fuel to the fire, but I cannot help myself wondering how quick, with a sophisticated design some of my peers finished their daily work. But didn’t we learn that design is organizing time and things I guess I can learn that from my peers.
I learned from my peers that nobody has to hide in this course with her/his design. All off them are beautiful, because beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Todays motto is Flower Power and here my iron Flower-bird watching over my dandelions.
That I need to make greater use of my sketchbook, though I use my blog here as a diary to document my experience and homework for Design 101.
I also learned that arts and crafts is great fun and that not everything can be done with a technical device, e.g. a computer. Therefore I started to design my own DIY wooden Christmas tree. I found the idea on pinterest and when I recently cut my bushes in my backyard I kept a couple of branches and linked them today to Christmas tree. It’s not finished yet, it still needs some decoration. I’ll keep you posted.
Homework no. 27
Saturdays video about the DabbaWalas – Amazing Meal Delivery in India let me thought about service and what you can learn from the dabbawalas. It is really amazing how successful they manage. We were asked to think about service design and reflect back what we did during our Kitchen Stories’ week. We were asked:
I loved to bake since I was very young and though I learned to cook and I also too love it, my specialty is still baking. During my work in a boarding school we had an open day each year where the students demonstrated their skills. The picture below is when I did the backing for a branch office.
For a while I could imagine running a coffee shop and offering homemade cakes. I did and still bake the birthday cakes for my god childs and friends and where often asked by the other guest if I would be willing to offer that as a service. Maybe I should have offered that service, but it’s still possible, you never know
Homework no. 26
Todays task is to bake a Sacher Torte. A cake that consists of two layers of dense chocolate sponge with a thin layer of apricot jam in the middle, coated with dark chocolate icing. I searched my cook books until I came up with a recipe, actually I came up with about five recipes and decided for the one you see below.
Sometimes pressure can open undreamt-of possibilities, but sometimes it blocks good ideas. Well, considering the unbroken worldwide success from the Sacher Torte it seems that in Franz Sacher case pressure worked fine for him.
Fortunately, I had less pressure, though I messed up the recipe a couple of times and it came out far to dense, less than a sponge more like a stone. I definitely wanted to avoid this, but it came out pretty good. The little people on top of the cake, my pandas are less creative, but you cannot be good in everything
Sacher Torte Presentation
Homework no. 23 – 25
This week is devoted to the kitchen and we are asked to cook a meal three times.
- for myself
- for three guest
- for my Mom or a very close friend
I’ll have to admit that my guest will come next week and I did not cooked my meal three times in a row, though I cooked at least three times and had guest at my house. Design 101 is a pretty demanding course, though the most interesting I ever joined, and it’s not easy to complete each days task. Although we are asked to spent just on hour on each homework, it is almost impossible to achieve, considering that you not only accomplish the task, but also connect with others which is a very important part. Regognizable is the fact, that the number of activie participants greatly dropped. I’ll give you some numbers. Each day you have a homework page where we are asked to upload our homework. During the first week we had more than 90 pages full of posts from participants, each page containing about 10 posts. That would mean 900 active participants, but still about 26.000 lurkers, considering that we started with 27.000 participants. Since week three numbers decreased and depending on the homework less than 10 pages, hence less than 100 people actively post their homework, confirming somehow the high MOOC dropout rates. Well, so far I am following my own advise not to become a MOOC dropout
On Thursday we were asked to present the ingredients we need to cook our meal. Inspired by the great ideas from my peers I came up with this idea.
Same recipe, different task this time to present the kitchen tools. I wanted to follow the idea I had with the ingredients, but the pot was a little to heavy to achieve that.
I like to please my Mum and she likes especially my baking. Hence I changed the task a little and served her the Sacher Torte with coffee.
More Kitchen Stories
In my last post I announced to tell you why you’ll always find me in the kitchen at parties, for several reasons.
- because of my cooking skills I am often asked to help out in the kitchen which I don’t mind
- in the kitchen you are at the source, so why give that up
- I’m not what you call a party animal and I love to retreat in the kitchen.
I still remember that I voluntary put my hands up to do the dishes, simply because I had problems to follow the conversation of my American friends and hence escaped in the kitchen. I still help out in the kitchen, not because of communication problems, but for the reasons above. Funnily I made a real impression with my (in)voluntary work in the kitchen at my American friends house. It’s always a funny (kitchen) story to tell and to see how things started more than 14 years ago.
Homework no. 22
One whole week around the kitchen, kitchen tables and kitchen tools. Today is quiz day and we have to get ready for the week. This time we’ll have to pick a recipe which we have to cook three times this week. One time for ourself, the second time for three guest and the third time for our Mom or a very close friend. Sounds interesting, but I’ll need to choose wisely as I’ll eat this dish three times this week. I thought about a soup. A soup warms up your heart and is good for your soul, like Chicken soup for your soul by Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen.
I already love this week, finally a topic where I feel able, as long as I don’t have to draw a sketch from the food I cooked
Question of the day: Cooking as a design exercise?
Why do we cook this week and what does cooking have to do with design?
My Kitchen Story
The kitchen is the most important place in a house, a place to meet and cook. As a kid I loved to window-shopping on a famous kitchen supplier. I always said that my house needs to be built around the kitchen and I always wished to have the cooking area in the middle. Well, when I finally managed to afford a small town house, I had to live with the given small rooms, but thanks to a good kitchen designer I managed to realize my wishes. Here two pictures from my kitchen before and in the final stage, though the stove is still missing in the second picture.
was a reference in the letter which reminds me on another kitchen story, but that will have to wait for my next post.
So stayed tuned
Homework no. 21
Before you ask, no this is not an error but on purpose I was quite irritated myself watching the video and seeing mainly a white screen. The letter was mainly blank as well, as seen in the postcard.
Silence is …
… to drift in a lake, watching the clouds in the sky. You only hear the muffled sounds below the water, blocking the loud noise from our/my everyday life. Looking forward for the next season.