The sensory voyage to inner islands
Participatory workshop & Exhibition
MA research/thesis project
Leipäsaari is a compound Finnish word of leipä and saari, which means bread and island respectively – the main metaphorical subjects of the project.
It is an attempt to investigate drawing and making food as imaginative, multi-sensory storytelling methods for self-expression and sharing own stories with others. It has conducted as a series of participatory workshops aiming to help people raise self-awareness through sharing their stories from the inner world. This work was created as a group project by AÄÅ.
Scope of work
: Workshop concept co-development, photography/video documentation, promotional materials, webpage, animation, booklet design
In this world of constant connection through the internet, we hardly spend time focusing on ourselves. The significance of time on our own for self-discovery has been overlooked. Teamwork and collaboration are regarded as common, necessary means for productive results in most of our institutions – at work and school. To cultivate the capacity for solitude and self-awareness is critial in order to live with others.
This research set out to answer following questions:
1) How can a creative activity support personal time, focusing on self without producing feelings of isolation?
2) How can multi-sensory storytelling enrich the experience of self-expression that transcends the verbal/linear narratives conventionally used?
Participants create an imaginative self-portrait in a form of island as a thematic metaphor of isolation and connectivity. Each mental landscape is in turn transformed into a recipe of bread. Bread, as edible self, thus enables people to materialize their inner selves through making it. In the end, people enjoy the multi-sensory experience through sharing others’ stories by look, taste smell, and touch.
Since the tasty journey was open to the public for the first time during 2016 Helsinki Design Week, the excursion constituted 6 small-scale workshops and 2 large-scale exhibitions. The former resulted in 63 bread islands and the latter involved +200 participants targetting the random public with a focus on positive time spent for the self.
“There used to be homes but the sea level has risen so all the inhabitants had to go up. So traces of homes remained. When moving up, people brought as many trees as they could with them up there. And the people have been so much outdoors so they smell exotic.”
“This is a tiny island. It’s actually floating because it’s quite soft. It’s green on the island and there are some fish on the island jumping. And there are some blueberry bush which looks big compared to the island. And there is a tiny sauna for fish so they come inside to take sauna and smoke themselves, they become smoked fish. Automatic smoked fish island. I put smoked fish and blueberry in the bread as well.”
“My island is small and independent, because I came to this region—which is remote and far from the capital—to live by myself like a secluded island. I chose level 4 in roughness scale because I’m in my 40s, thus completing in 10 in the end. I don’t need a big house and many possessions in my life. I wish self-sufficient life without much care.”