My dear kitchen in Helsinki: Explorations on a community of practice using food, cooking and blogging

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Volume Title
School of Arts, Design and Architecture | Master's thesis
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Date
2014
Major/Subject
Mcode
Degree programme
Language
en
Pages
137+5
Series
Abstract
This study focuses on explorations on working with a community of practice, to gain a better understanding of interactions that result in learning between members of the community. The designer is a part of that community; therefore, explorations on the designer’s role are also investigated. Since the designer’s personal interest and skill is on food and cooking / baking, the community gathers around a food blog, which primarily aims to encourage people cooking more. Food is used and investigated as a communication tool enriching the interactions between members. Apart from the blog, offline eating together, cooking together events were organized; each cooking session is documented by photographs, personal notes and voice recording and reported on the blog. A survey is conducted through the blog to learn more about the members and to receive feedback from them about blog activities and content; interviews were conducted during offline cooking together sessions. As a result of this study, a learning network is developed by a blog as a community of practice. Members of this community affect the design and content of the blog. The social and cultural values of the members are transferred to each other through food and a new meaning is developed mutually. When the designer is part of this community, s/he gets a deeper understanding of that community, develops personal relationships and transfers his/her skills to other people. Therefore, this study can be an example to other designers that aim to work with communities towards social innovation.
Description
Supervisor
Niinimäki, Kirsi
Thesis advisor
Fuad-Luke, Alastair
Keywords
community of practice, designer's role, social theory of learning, social innovation, food, community
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