Disrupting the “meal deal”
Jan Herbst, 2018 ISD graduate, has just completed his first year at Central Saint Martins, a part of the University of the Arts London. Jan took advantage of an innovative program offered at Central Saint Martins, the Foundation Diploma in Art and Design. This unique, year-long degree allows for the exploration of art and design in a critically creative environment so that the student can begin to define their future study and practice.
Although Jan was fairly confident in his interest in product design at the end of the IB Diploma Program at ISD, he chose the Foundation Degree at Central Saint Martins to give himself another year to develop his skillset and portfolio before starting his bachelor’s degree.
Jan always enjoyed design work as part of the MYP, but was not able to continue this interest during the DP. As a result, Jan chose higher level Visual Arts as one of his six classes for the programme. In this class, he was able to explore his interest in three-dimensional objects with a connection to art. At the end of the DP, Jan was able to use the work from the course to apply to Central Saint Martins’ Foundation Diploma.
Jan’s teacher for Visual Arts was Nathaniel Katz. Nathaniel enjoyed the opportunity to teach Jan. His rigorous, experimental, and highly inventive approach to the creative process helped in his emergence as an artist and designer. Nathaniel felt that Jan’s innate sense of design was evident in all of his work. Specifically, Jan’s meticulous planning and preparation allowed him to engage in the creative process while stretching processes, resolving ideas and using failures as an opening for deeper exploration. As a result, Jan was able to create artwork that was outstanding, both materially and conceptually.
Jan’s first year at Central Saint Martins has been great. He has approached his work openly and experimented freely. Jan enjoyed the opportunity to focus solely on the area that he feels passionate about: product design. The most challenging (and exciting) aspect of the course was the high standard placed on him and his fellow students. He and his peers are challenged stretch their thinking, making it extremely engaging.
For the culmination of his Foundation Degree, Jan presented his final piece several weeks ago: a lunch box that encourages the user to create meals at home, intended for sharing. Jan began his investigation by looking at his university food consumption and noticed that his lunch each day was dominated by “meal deals” (pre-packed sandwiches that are unhealthy and create a solo meal experience). After making this observation, Jan began a lunch club with several peers where each person was responsible for bringing in food for the others. In addition to eating healthier, Jan noticed that the lunch club encouraged more interaction between members of the group and provided a much needed break from the day.
The lunch club inspired Jan to pursue the idea further. Jan was inspired by a springform pan, used for baking, and modelled his final lunch box design from this. The design has five equal compartments for food, this allows food to be shared with colleagues at the office in a lunch club environment, or with friends at a picnic. This article provides more detail regarding the design process and Jan’s influences as part of the project.
Jan feels that ISD prepared him very well for his first year at Art and Design school, particularly in regard to research approaches, time management and reflection. He discovered that reflection is a large part of the design process and by doing regular reflections as part of his DP, he was more than prepared for what was required of him in his Foundation Degree.
Well done, Jan.