Expressing Hunger


Go to Phase 1 ︎︎︎
The Hidden hunger is a multi-phase investigation of food insecurity faced by a significant portion of students at ArtCenter College of Design. It investigates the complex problem using ethnographic, qualitative, and empirical research methods.
Los Angeles, 2017

Yo! I'm Hungry
‘YO! I’M HUNGRY’ The poster was created and posted around the campus to grab attention of students affected by the issue to participate in workshop.
Interview participants recruitment poster

Investigation Tool        4/4

The workshop investigates the relationship of the physical, economic, cultural, academic, and psychological aspect of dealing with hunger. It looks beyond interviews and provides an open sharing environment. 

Playing along with other humans incites our brain differently which helps to process information that is beyond the surface level.

Activity 1/2

The mapping exercise allows the participants to work collaboratively via an activity including drawing labels, woolen roles, and conversations.

Each participant acts as a ‘hurdle’ and map their relationship with other ones using woolen thread by sharing an personal experience that relates with receiving ‘hurdle’.

Materials Scissors
Color pens
Color paper
A2 size white sheet
6 - 7 different colored woolen thread (if available)
1 big woolen role
Large open space
Snacks and beverages

Video recoder
Voice recoder

Step 1. Label the fruit

  1. Give people color paper to cut out shapes of their favourite food item. It could be a nut, vegetable, fruit, meal, and others.

  2. Each participant in the group identifies and calls out a key ‘hurdle’ of their daily routine which comes in between their efforts to deal with hunger sensation. Write down the name of the ‘hurdle’ on a separate index card and put it in a box.

  3. The facilitator draws a random card from the shuffled index deck and gives it to the participant at no particular order.

  4. Everybody wears their index card 'Hurdle' tags on their T-shirt using pins and stand around in a medium-sized circle.

  • Step 2. Pass the wool

    1. One person at random holds the end of the thread and passes the woolen roll to the another person ’hurdle’.

    2. Once passed, that passer first need to share why they choose that hurdle or person among all others? Or, an personal experience that relates to their own hurdle and the recieving one.

    For example, if you are tagged ‘money’ and you are passing it to ‘vehicle’, you have share an experience.

    3. Once players have passed to each other atleast once. Everyone will unanimaously decide one most important or difficult and one least important hurdle

    4. Now, ask the player with most important hurdle tag to take 3 steps back, slowly, while holding the thread. Also, ask other players to stand steady and hold their end tight.

    Facilitator note:

    • If they get confused who to pass, refrain from providing any clue. Let them decide and once they pass the roll which they will, then ask them why? - This might provide you an answer which even the passer themself wouldn’t have thought if asked directly.

    • Assist the first few person by supporting them or joining the game with them OR you always can start your self to make every one comfortable.

    5. And now, ask the person with least important hurdle to let go of their thread. Repeat the step 1, 2 and 3 until 2 players are left.

    Facilitator Note: Notice how the the web made by wooven thread between all the players gets disturbed. Document this new shape. It provides an insight into how much influence that hurdle hold over others.

    6. Now ask all the players to think of any new hurdle they want to add or remove from the current list.  

    Step 3. Let it go

    1. Take a white A2 size or bigger and hung or paste it on the wall. You can also put it flat on table. 

    2. Ask everyone to take off their index cards and place it on the sheet wherever they prefer. Fix it using pins or other material. Also, add the new hurdle if any.

    3. Note: The pins are helpful in this excersive because they will be able to hold the thread once tied together. You can any other strong material with an aread to tie the thread to, if available 

    4. Provide each player a different color of woolen thread and ask them to connect the hurdle together one by one. First one being most important and the least one to based on their own preference. 

    Activity 2/2

    The participants were asked to try to draw their hunger sensation subjected to open to all medium and 2 day time and then share why social media later. Below are selected two provocative drawings which became the inspiration to divert the research towards a really interesting question

    How does your hunger look like?

    Art by Tianquin Li(Sunny)
    By Tanquin Li (Sunny)
    Art by Eli Hong
    By Eli Hong

    The findings and investigation from this research project were further diverted into a light painting exercise, Painting hunger, to capture embodied expression of hunger.