Awhile back I read about Tricia's secret supper and her eating-design projects via Chelsea's Village Mews blog....who found her via Abby Try Again. (small world...and another point for how awesome Portlanders are....)
Since I started reading about Tricia's work, I've been totally fascinated by the philosophy of eating-design and how food and design all relates...yum yum. But it's more than just talking about food and making it....Tricia approaches food the same way we connect with people by communicating through stories, memories, associations, and all of our senses. Ultimately, she sees how foods can connect to one another and how people can create meanings and memories through the common forum of food... Tricia creates dishes and eating experiences as a segue to challenge thinking on design and its greater connection to the world. Intrigued??....How can you not be?!
"The tastes and textures in your mouth, the act of chewing or feeding, the sights, sounds, smells and colors of the foods as they spread before us while we eat are all integral to what I consider and play upon in my designs. It is through these sensory experiences that I am weaving a story
or a message into what it is we are eating and how we are eating it."

She's done so many projects that its hard to keep up, especially they're all so different and captivating to read about. But some the bigger-scale projects she's done are: Uprooted, a dinner surrounding the concept of sharing in a history of uprootedness and how the feel of being home always comes back to people and food.
Pietopia, a contest to bake a pie that describes one's state of mind and mood. The 2009 contest just started if you're in Portland! I wanna go down for the actual pie tasting event!
and Secret Supper: a meal that was designed to incite conversation and create interactions between people. She used half plates with different food on each side with everyone having different things on the plate. So in order for the guests to complete their meals, they had to interact, communicate, and share to get everything that was served.

I haven't even shared half of what she's done and I'm already having a tough time keeping this post this point, I've already given up!
Tricia is finishing up her MFA thesis at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. For her thesis, she designed a beautiful book titled, "Eating Design" and it's all about the eating-design projects she has done with great visuals and layout! You can see more pages and even get a copy, here!
There's so much that Tricia shares on her blog, Eating is Art, and her eating-design studio, Taste Matters. It totally keeps me glued to the screen wanting read and see more beautiful photos of the food and thoughtful meal arrangements and designs she creates! Definitely allow some time to read all the work she's done, the food she made, her thought process, even the designs she made and the way she's connecting people through the universal forum of food.
I love food and the the type of rituals one can have with food. It's so interesting to look at food from an intellectual and design perspective. Especially because it's so easy to take food for granted and eat something with little awareness. It's fun to think about why something is made the way they are or taste the way they do...or analyze the types of associations people have with a particular food whether they're from social, cultural or environmental influences....super fascinating.

I'm hoping to get Tricia to come up to Seattle at some point and do some fun eating-design project!!