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CONTEXTUAL RESEARCH
OF NATURE, CULTURE &
FOOD ARTISANSHIP IN
PROVENCE, FRANCE
IDUS 215/711 METHODS OF CONTEXTUAL RESEARCH
SPRING 2014, LACOSTE
SOURCE: toptravellists.net
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IMPRESSUM
Project Participants:
Nathan Beck, Abbie Francisco, Mark Hemphill, Katie Murray,
Monica Seggos, Raquel Serebrenik, Isaac Toonkel, Marcelo Torres,
Nicole Walsh.
Advisors:
Regina Rowland Professor of Design Management
Ernst Kortshak Scientist at the Design Table
Unless otherwise credited, all photographs copyrighted by
authors.
2014 Savannah College of Art and Design, Lacoste, France
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DEDICATION
This project is dedicated to the people of Provence, without whom
neither our schoolwork nor our own personal cultural development
could have taken place.
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First and foremost, we would like to thank everyone who helped
make this project possible. The people of Provence were absolutely
central to our contextual experience of this place, and without
Paula Wallace and all the hard-working individuals in the Savannah
College of Art and Designs study abroad program, we would not
have had the privilege of living and learning in beautiful Lacoste.
Thank you as well to Regina Rowland and Ernst Kortschak for
acting as mentors in all things academic and ecological. Lastly, we
give thanks to our family and friends for all their moral and fnancial
support, without which we would not be where we are today.
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
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CONTENTS
Introduction 6
RESEARCH DESIGN & PLANNING 7
Framing 8
Methodology 10
Eco System Map 11
Research Subquestions 12
Secondary Research 13
PROJECT MATRIX 14
Timeline 16
FIELDWORK 17
Overview Location Map 18
Observations 19
Note Taking 20
Participatory Evaluation 21
Multi-Sensory Observations 22
Semi-Structured Interviews 23
Samples 24
Research Protocols 26
Probing Questions 27
Working Walls 28
Working Walls (Final) 29
ANALYSIS 30
Word Cloud 31
Olive Product Journey Map 32
Visual Map Of Nature 33
Product Graph 34
Process Report 35
Affnity Diagram 36
SYNTHESIS 37
Insight 1 38
Insight 1 Map 39
Insight 2 40
Insight 3 41
Insight 4 42
Insight 5 43
Insight 6 44
Insight 6 Map 45
Opportunity Map 46
Conclusion 47
Recommendation 48
EXHIBITION POSTERS 49
APPENDIX 57
Team Bios 58
Research Protocols 61
Bibliography 67
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INTRODUCTION
In this Contextual Research class, we were interested in exploring
the relationship between nature, culture, and food artisanship in the
Provenal region of France (where SCAD Lacoste is located). We
researched products that are traditional to the region: goat cheese,
candied fruits, wine, and olive oil. Initially, we gathered background
stories on the internet, in books, and in academic publications.
From this foundational research, we developed a plan of action
for collecting data in the feld. We conducted interviews with local
artisans, made observations, learned about their lives and both the
traditional and novel methods they use. Applying a distinct design
research process, we collected, analyzed and mapped data in order
to better understand the relationship between nature, culture, and
artisanship.
This study led to our deep appreciation of the people of Provence,
their land, their practices, and their culinary specialties, created
with passion. Conducting research abroad in a foreign language
helped us gain a unique perspective about empathy and the design
process as a whole that we will carry with us to future projects.
This experience will enable us to offer our clients a deeper level of
awareness, a way to gain in-depth insights about their challenges,
and a platform from which to create innovative solutions.
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RESEARCH DESIGN & PLANNING
Contextual Research of Nature, Culture & Food Artisanship in Provence, France
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FRAMING
TITLE OF STUDY
SUBJECT OF STUDY
TARGET AUDIENCE
PROBLEM STATEMENT
Food Artisanship: Relationships Between Nature, Culture and Craft.
Three artisanal groups were identifed as target groups for this case study.
These have been named Farmers, Makers, and Consumers. Makers were the
established entrepreneurs who have dedicated their lives to crafting wine, goat
cheese, or candied fruit. These artisans have learned and adopted processes
within the realm of their developed craft. They may farm crops, process raw
goods into consumable form, package products, distribute and sell these
goods, and manage a successful business fow. Farmers were the workers and
producers of the main ingredient of the artisan craft. They cultivated and tended
to the specifc plant or animal that was needed by the artisan. In some cases,
the farmer and maker were one, in other cases the farmer was either proximate
or geographically distant and outsourced by the artisan. The farmers understood
the land and the surrounding environment. This knowledge may have been
acquired through inherited guidance, observations of nature, trial and error, or
external inquiries. Consumers could be chefs, enthusiasts, traditionalists, tourists,
or everyday shoppers. They may incorporate artisanal ingredients into higher
value offerings in a retail setting, purchase goods as gifts for others, reinforce
cultural norms via consumption, or simply enjoy artisanal foods as standalone
experiences.
Food artisans, including farmers, producers and chefs are part of a natural
and cultural ecosystem. It is possible that all such actors are aware of the
relationships present in this larger system, but value can likely be added
(in the Provenal region and elsewhere) by making these relationships more
transparent.
The concept for exploring the relationship arose out of the commonly held
belief amongst members of our contextual research class that the Provenal
region of France supports a disproportionately vibrant community of food
artisans. Provence is known for its traditional production of wine, olive oil, soap,
candied fruit and goat cheese, among other goods. Guided by an inclination
to understand human relationships with nature, we decided to align our
academic inquiry with the geographic availability of relevant research subjects:
culture, nature, and food artisans. As such, it appeared that relationships in the
Provenal region between cultural, natural, and culinary entities could inform
the formation (or at least fostering) of similarly healthy ecosystems elsewhere
(e.g. Savannah, Georgia, USA). The intent of this study was thus twofold: frst,
to assist the existing food artisanship community in Provence by shining light
on their own activities through a contextual research lens; second, to identify
insights that constitute opportunities for innovation in the domain of food
artisanship in regions external to that of our study.
MAIN RESEARCH QUESTION
What is the relationship between nature, culture and food artisanship in the
Provenal region of France?
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From this research, we expected two categorically different opportunities. First,
by refecting back to the participants the pattern that we noticed about food
artisanship in the region, they may have found new perspectives about their own
shared methodologies and identities. Furthermore, we could potentially offer the
insights we found of the cultural, natural and artisanal systems to people in the
Provenal region. Second, we could nudge systems abroad (e.g. in Savannah,
GA, USA) by fostering cornerstone relationships in the realm of food artisanship.
A characterization of the relationships between nature, culture and food
artisanship in Provence, France, can beneft the contextual research community
at large by offering a structured representation of traditional culinary crafts. By
conducting this research abroad, yet publishing our results in English, we hoped
to provide a novel lens that native English speakers can use as a comparison to
their existing perspective on artisanal foods. Furthermore, this study can provide
the younger generation seeking to get involved in their local food industry with
a structured guide highlighting key aspects of the natural and cultural facets
involved in the craft.
This study broadened our perspective to better understand relationships between
humans and their natural and cultural environment. This framing lended nuance
to the traditional product design model emphasizing functional relationships
between humans and their physical objects. It gave us functional insight into the
human-nature-culture ecosystem, which will, in turn, serve as an intellectual asset
to developing future sustainable products or services within our specifc felds of
study.
The scope of the project was defned as engagement with food artisans of the
Provenal region and those related to this industry. We were focusing specifcally
on wine, candied fruit, goat cheese and olive oil as archetypal artisanal products.
The time frame for the project was April 1st through May 22nd, 2014. Food
artisans included the growers, farmers and producers. People relationally
adjacent to the food artisanship industry included suppliers, consumers, business
leaders, and company owners. While we intended to make a statement relevant
to the entire Provenal region, a disproportionate amount of our primary research
took place in Lacoste and adjacent towns. Furthermore, due to time and mobility
constraints, we did not acquire a statistically signifcant body of data. Thus,
we were not looking at artisanal products outside of the four aforementioned
categories; we did not conduct longitudinal interviews or observations to
directly discover patterns of change in time; and we did not empirically validate
statements made by interviewees or non-peer-reviewed secondary research
sources. Rather, we aimed to collect a manageable number of rich descriptions
from which qualitatively compelling design opportunities could emerge.
The focus area was the characterization of relationships between nature, culture
and food artisanship in the Provenal region of Southern France. Specifcally,
the characteristics which defne each of these elements and how they function
in relation to one another. Through the process of contextual research, data
analysis and synthesis, insights were gained and opportunities identifed for
creating a new model of interaction.
PURPOSE
SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY (for design students)
SIGNIFICANCE OF STUDY (for the larger community)
OPPORTUNITY STATEMENT
SCOPE
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We conducted a basic contextual research case study with an ethnographic
lens and a limited participatory research aspect. A case study emphasizes
detailed contextual analysis of a limited number of events or conditions and their
relationships. It is descriptive and exploratory. Ethnographic research usually
involves observing subjects in their natural, real-world environment. It searches
for meaning and understanding of their social setting and relationships with
their surroundings; it aims to gather insight into how people live their everyday
or professional lives. Thus, our research included observations, feld notes and
interviews. We incorporated participatory aspects because as researchers,
we recorded our own experiences as we tasted, smelled, observed and
conducted interviews on our subjects of study. We considered this combination
of methodologies to be well suited to our research question because we tried
to understand how people from the Provenal region are affected by their
surroundings in regards to nature and culture. We dove into a culture that we
had not experienced previously, observing it from an ethnographic point of view.
Doing so gave us a richer understanding of the cultural and natural environment
of the Provenal region.
METHODOLOGY
RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
DATA COLLECTION METHODS
Observation
Interviews
Personal Exploration
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After formulating our main research question What is the
relationship between nature, culture and food artisanship in the
Provenale region of France? we needed to visualize this
relationship in order to determine its implications for our secondary
research. After moving through several iterations, we returned
to the simplest representation of overlapping entities: the venn
diagram. These three circles established seven categories of study:
nature, culture and food artisanship as standalone entities; the
three overlaps between them; and fnally, the central meeting point.
These categories, in turn, directed the formation of our research
subquestions and provided an effective visual schema onto which
secondary research fndings could be mapped.
ECO SYSTEM MAP
CULTURE ARTI SANSHI P NATURE
AWARENESS
+ BEI NG I N
TUNE WI TH
CONTEXT
TRADI TI ONS
+ NEW WAYS
ENVI RONMENTAL
I MPACT UPON
PRODUCT
NATURE CULTURE
ARTI SANSHI P
[ cr af t ]
[ wor l dvi ews] [ condi t i ons]
1
7
2
3
5 4
6
E N T I T I E S
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NATURE NATURE ARTI SANSHI P
ARTI SANSHI P
RESEARCH SUBQUESTIONS
AWARENESS +
BEING IN TUNE
WITH CONTEXT
ENVIRONMENTAL
IMPACT UPON
PRODUCT
TRADITIONS +
NEW WAYS
What is the region most proud of?
What is most important to them?
What are the challenges and
opportunities?
ARTI SANSHI P
ARTI SANSHI P
What are the conditions of the
natural environment?
What is the craft of food artisans?
Why are they doing it?
What are they getting out of it?
How does nature affect the product and
processes associated with their craft?
How do food artisans accept, adjust,
and turn events they do not control into
opportunities?
How connected are artisans to their
natural environment?
What kind of person does the food
artisan become due to living in the
nexus of nature, culture, and craft?
What are the traditional ways of production?
How are these ways used today?
How are new ways integrated?
How do artisans know when to transition or
integrate?
ARTISAN + NATURE
+ CULTURE
ARTI SANSHI P
NATURE
NATURE
CULTURE
CULTURE
CULTURE CULTURE
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AWARENESS
+ BEI NG I N
TUNE WI TH
CONTEXT
TRADI TI ONS
+ NEW WAYS
ENVI RONMENTAL
I MPACT UPON
PRODUCT
NATURE CULTURE
ARTI SANSHI P
[ cr af t ]
[ wor l dvi ews] [ condi t i ons]
1
7
2
3
5 4
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SECONDARY RESEARCH
Provenal people codify their traditions
(agricultural regions, fetes, etc.) in social,
political and economic structures. Additionally,
they work extremely hard, but have a deep
appreciation for slowness, grace and charm
(Demossier, 2011; Lanson, 2007.)
The region of Provence is located between
the southern Alps and the Mediterranean
sea, encompassing a huge diversity of
ecosystems. Throughout these zones, the
seasonal cycle is most important, but there
are also events on a larger time scale which
have huge impact (e.g. rockslides, semi-
centennial frosts, and inundations) (Lasceve,
2011; Monnier et al, 2012.)
Space (as exemplifed by soil) and time
(notably, traditional methods of preservation)
heavily infuence the artisanal defnition of
product authenticity and quality (Beckett-
Young, 1989; Demossier, 2011; Preston,
2008; Swinburn, 2011.)
Food artisans play a pivotal role in defning a collective
disclosure associating themselves (and the true French) with
work ethic, family values, community and a non-competitive
small business sector. Anecdotally supporting the duality of
structure theory, this story is presented outwardly to tourists
as a way to retrieve and sustain heterogenous local identities
(Rogers, 2002; Swinburn, 2011.)
Since Roman times, traditions, processes, and
rituals (in regards to candied fruit, fromage,
wine, and olive oil) have persisted and are
applied alongside new methods and techniques
in modern manufacturing. Furthermore, highly
structured artisanal organizations of France
consciously articulate the elements of their craft
in part to market their products (Demossier,
2011; Swinburn, 2011; Rogers, 2002;
MacDonald, 2011.)
The environment (especially the soil) of
Provence is central to the typology and quality
of artisanal foods produced here. Furthermore,
artisans view themselves, in part, as a mediator
and/or conduit towards nature (Demossier,
2011; DallOrto, 1985; Jones, 1947; Sargent,
1952; Gade, 2004; Van Leeuwen and Seguin,
2006; Coffey, 2011.)
The people of Provence have continuously
altered and adapted to their local environment
in order to further economic growth. The most
notable example of this growth deals with water.
Mass irrigation of dry lands and drainage of
swamps demonstrate the interaction of people
with their natural environment (Rosenthal, 1990;
Aspe et al, 2012.)
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PROJECT MATRIX
Contextual Research of Nature, Culture & Food Artisanship in Provence, France
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WHAT DO I
NEED TO KNOW?
WHY DO WE
NEED TO KNOW
THIS?
WHAT TYPE OF
DATA IS NEEDED?
WHERE CAN I
FIND THIS DATA?
WHAT TYPE
OF DATA
COLLECTION
METHODS?
WHO DO WE
CONTACT?
WHEN DO WE
NEED TO KNOW?
WHAT ARE WE
TAKING AWAY?
WHAT ARE WE
LEARNING?
WHAT MIGHT WE
BE MISSING?
What is the region
most proud of? What
is most important
to them? What are
the challenges and
opportunities?
Work
Traditions
Heritage
Culture
Beliefs
Values
Perceptions
Behaviors
Discover priorities
Develop sense of
people
Identify frames of
mind
Defne worldviews
Note behaviors
Understand
investments (mental,
physical)
Conversational pieces Provenal locals
Personal interviews
Observations
Secondary research
Florence Thurston,
Marie Bayol
Week 5
Hopes
Dreams
Fears
Values
Worldviews
Even spread of
Provenal people,
chosen participants
might be outliers
(societal outsiders),
and missing elements
of information they
aren't proud of
What are the
conditions of the
natural environment?
Seasons
Hydrological cycles
Sunlight
Topology
Natural disasters
Flora
Fauna
Identify conditions
under which their
product fourishes
Qualify reactions to
the conditions
Identify geological and
biological factors
Provide ecological
focus
Rainfall
Temperature
Seasons
Soil quality
Fauna
Flora
Local experts
(Scientist at the
Design Table)
Secondary research
Farmer's almanac
Personal interviews
Secondary research
Florence Thurston,
Marie Bayol
Week 4 and 5
Atunement with the
land, opportunities the
environment provides,
what kind of people
can thrive here, and
natural dependencies
Suffcient expert
advice
What is the craft of
artisans? Why are
they doing it? What
are they getting out
of it?
Process steps
Elements used and
not used
Personal histories of
life style and craft
Larger traditions
Defne craft of artisans
Record subjective
experiences
Map how knowledge
is acquired
Understand how
artisanship shapes
lives
Production process
Motivations
Construction of
meaning
Artisans and crafters
Consumers
Employees of
artisanal organizations
Interviews
Secondary research
Blogs
Observation
Florence Thurston,
Marie Bayol
Week 5
Why artisans do
what they do, how
the region supports
artisans, and
processes shared
amongst communities
An external viewpoint
of artisans and holistic
mapping of processes
(due to privacy or time
concerns)
How does nature
affect the product and
processes associated
with their craft? How
do food artisans
accept, adjust, and
turn events they
do not control into
opportunities?
Desirable/undesirable
environmental
conditions
Tools and technology
used
Perceptions of
opportunities
Attitudes towards
change
Characterize
adaptation behavior
Defne culture with
nature
Map effect of natural
process on the
product and market
Quantify artisans'
atunement
Understand uniquely
Provenal nature
If-then statements
Strategies
Attitudes
Artisans
Growers
Secondary research
Interviews
Secondary research
Florence Thurston,
Marie Bayol
Week 4 and 5
Resilience of artisans
to nature and
adaptability of artisans
to nature
Validity of beliefs and
accurate conveyance
of memories
What are the
traditional ways of
production? How
are these ways used
today? How are new
ways integrated?
How do artisans know
when to transition or
integrate?
Traditional methods of
the producers
Novel techniques
Change mechanisms
Epistemology
Form picture of
craft's culture and
maintenance
Identify traditional
methods
Characterize
adaptability/resiliency
of artisans
Determine current
trends
Strategies
Processes
Heritage
Family traditions
Artisans
Secondary research
Interviews
Secondary research
Florence Thurston,
Marie Bayol
Week 5 and 6
Cultural resilience
of artisans, cultural
adaptability of
artisans, and traditions
of artisanal processes
Holistic stories
Scale
Meaning
How connected
are artisans to their
natural environment?
Types of nature they
encounter
Depth of ecological
knowledge
Emotional importance
of nature to individuals
Understand
interactions with
nature
Identify what they
give back to nature
(physically, spiritually)
Behaviors
Strategies
Technology utilization
Subjective
relationships
Artisans
Locals
Interviews
Observation
Florence Thurston,
Marie Bayol
Week 5
Identity with nature,
routines in nature, and
classifcation of
nature as resource,
privileged,
responsibility
Appropriate people
(subjects)
Well-worded
questions
What kind of person
does the food artisan
become due to living
in the nexus of nature,
culture, and craft?
If they feel that they
adopted this identity or
if it was created by the
circumstances of their
craft/culture/nature
What is the
description of the
group to which they
believe they belong
To learn who the
holders or the
carriers are in order
to understand the
relationship between
nature, culture,
producer or artisan.
Self-image
Relationships
Interactions
Tasks
Routines
Artisans (indirect
information) and other
locals
Observation
Interviews
Observation
Florence Thurston,
Marie Bayol
Week 6
Affect of system on
potential participants
and true identity of our
subjects
Appropriate research
methodology, the
impact of our own
experience in this
study, and trust of
interviewees
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TIMELINE
APRIL
April 1
Project Start
Field Research
Finished
Digitization of
Data Finished
Process Book
Finished
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25
MAY
I N I T I A L R E S E A R C H P R OJ E C T QU E S T I ON
E C OS Y S T E M MA P + S E C ON D A RY R E S E A R C H
R E S E A R C H S T U D Y S U B QU E S T I ON S
8 days
6 days
4 days
7 days
5 days
3 days
5 days
2 wks
7 days
1.2 wks
1.2 wks
6 days
3 days
WOR K I N G WA L L - S E C ON D A RY R E S E A R C H
P R OJ E C T MAT R I X
R E S E A R C H P R OT OC OL S
F I E L D R E S E A R C H
WOR K I N G WA L L + I N S I GH T S
D I GI T I Z E D D ATA MA P S
OP P ORT U N I T Y MA P
D I GI T I Z E A L L D ATA
P R OC E S S B OOK
D I GI T I Z E D T R A N S C R I B E D I N T E RV I E WS + OB S E RVAT I ON S
PA R I S
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FIELDWORK
Contextual Research of Nature, Culture & Food Artisanship in Provence, France
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OVERVIEW LOCATION MAP
In order to conduct observations, interviews, and collect
data, we needed to be mobile. Exploring Provence was
necessary for successful collection of rich data. In order
to travel through the surroundings, we employed a
feet of turbo diesel Ford transit vans, each of which ft
one driver and eight student researchers. These vans
acting as our mobile headquarters enabled us to collect
data and quickly move on to our next destination, be
it another observation opportunity or a time to collect
direct data. Whether it was the chiseled walls of Les
Baux chateau, the markets of Apt, or the rocky shores
of Cassis, our mean of transportation was a fast,
comfortable, and effcient way to traverse the diverse
landscape of Provence.
Fromages is a small goat
farm located northeast of
Lacoste where Fromage is
made from a happy herd
of 40 goats.
Lacoste is a small medieval
town located in southern
France. Its medieval
structure and history attract
many tourist every year in
search of characters such
as the Marquis de Sade.
Chateau La Coste is a
vineyard with a tasting
room. It is a fantastic out-
door museum of modern
art and architecture.
Cassis is a commune
situated east of
Marseille in the
department of
Bouches-du-Rhne in
the Provence-Alpes-
Cte dAzur region in
southern France.
Castelas is an olive oil
buisness located near
Les Baux. They produce
high-end olive oil from
their on-site olive
orchards.
Les Baux-de-Provence
is a commune in southern
France. It has a spectacular
position in the Alpilles
mountains, set atop a rocky
outcrop that is crowned with
a ruined castle overlooking
the plains to the south.
Aptunion, based in Apt, was
founded in 1964 by confectioners
who specialized in the
manufacture of candied fruit.
Aptunion has become an industry
leader in candied fruits and dried
processed fruit inclusions.
GargantuApt is a small wine
store located in Apt that sells a
variety of wines as well as
candied fruit from Aptunion.
Leonidas is a small gourmet
candy store in Apt which has a
vast selection of delicatessens
that will nourish your craving for
sweets.
J.C. Rousset is a small family
oriented candy store located in
Apt that has a variety of
homemade candied fruits and
chocolates.
Font Leale is a small winery
located near Lacoste. The owner
creates decidant wines for the
locals of Provence.
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OBSERVATIONS
Observing our surrounding environment and trying
to identify the different elements present within was
the main goal of this stage on our research process.
We started by locating and visiting places that could
help us understand the context. In order to acquire
a fuller understanding of our context, we allowed our
mindset to be constantly changed by the increasing
awareness of everything that surrounded us. We made
feld trips to goat farms and vineyards, olive orchards
and candied fruit factories. Through empathy and
immersing ourselves in artisans daily life and activities,
we acquired pieces of information which would later be
used as the foundation upon which to build insights.
We sometimes played Fly-on-thewall, a method that
consists in observing and listening to the people and
environment without getting actively involved. We took
notes, listened to the people, observed the interactions
between people and product, and took pictures of
the environment. Taking pictures turned out to be as
important as note taking in the fnal analysis phase;
from these photographs, we were able to relive (to
some degree) the atmosphere and interactions that
were taking place at the time.
Apt Uni on candy museum
Apt Uni on candy museum
Apt Uni on candy museum
Di spl ay at Cast el as ol i ve oi l
Di spl ay at Cast el as ol i ve oi l
Goat s at f ar m
Goat f ar m
Apt candy st or e
Apt candy st or e
Fr esh goat cheese
Font Lal e bar r el s
Font Lal e wi ner y
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NOTE TAKING
Along with our more objective observations, we wrote
down everything our senses encountered. We made
sketches and personal notes of what we saw, felt,
heard, smelt, and tasted. Sometimes even wrappers
or take-aways made their way between the pages of
our notebooks.
Before every visit, we were given feld guides to help
remind us of specifc things to look for. If, for whatever
reason, these feld guides were not used during an
interview or observational feld trip, we transfered our
notes from our notebooks and sketchbooks to the feld
guides afterwards to help organize the information.
From there, we used our felds guides as a reference
to digitize all of the information gathered. We
communicated the digitized information through
Google Drive amongst ourselves in order to
collaborate effciently.
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In order to have a complete understanding of our
artisanal niches, we had to submit to our senses to
further our learning potential. Putting ourselves in
the place of customers gave us a new view on how
businesses interact with their products and represent
themselves to the public. Being a part of tastings let the
business owners show us their products as well as the
methods behind each step. Having the opportunity to
try artisan made products was a learning experience;
by delving into the local culture and artisanal world, we
applied an experiential lens to our contextual research
processes, resulting in a deeper understanding of our
research data.
PARTICIPATORY EVALUATION
Goat cheese pi zza f r om Ant oni e s
Candy f r ui t past e at Hedi ar ds Cast el a s ol i ve oi l di spl ay
Candy f r ui t conf i t at Apt Uni on
Wi ne cave at Font Lal e Tast e t est i ng candy f r ui t f r om Apt Uni on Tast e t est i ng ol i ve oi l at Cast el as
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SIGHT: From the ripening tangles of olive trees to the glossy coats of
fresh candied fruit, Provence has proven its beauty in so many ways.
The four crafts we studied were created in the inviting valleys of
Provence, which are full of farms and natural vegetation.
SOUND: One of the greatest challenges of our research process was
the language barrier. The majority of the artisans spoke little,
if any, English, and very few of us spoke French. However, with our
translator, Marie, communication was possible.
TASTE: All of the artisans proudly presented us with samples of their
craft, and Catherine (an olive oil artisan) even taught us how to taste
her olive oil. We enjoyed the goat cheese with crackers and some fg
spread after having left the farm. Everything was fresh and bursting
with favor.
SMELL: While the candy factory beckons you in with the sweetest
breeze, the goat farm had a distinctly earthy smell. Castelas smelled
clean while the oil itself presented the freshest scents of basil, chili
pepper, rosemary, or lime. If one were to walk into Font Leale blind,
they would know immediately that it was a winery from the damp
smell of oak barrels and the vinted haze.
MULTI-SENSORY OBSERVATIONS
A FULL SENSORY EXPERIENCE
Les Baux en Pr ovence Apt Uni on
Font Lal e wi ner y
Apt Uni on Font Lal e wi ner y
Goat cheese
23
SEMI-STRUCTURED INTERVIEWS
Our interview process consisted of a professional,
yet casual environment. Starting off with polite
introductions, we created a friendly common ground
by asking simple questions, thereby sparking
conversations. After this step, we went over the consent
forms, one of which is signed by the participant, and
the other is given to them to keep for future reference.
Moving ahead with the interview itself, we began by
asking questions based on our prepared interview
questions. To maximize effciency, we interviewed
in small groups, which allowed us to divide tasks
between ourselves; while one person was asking the
questions, others were recording the data, noticing the
surroundings, and taking pictures. After asking all the
questions and recording the answers as thoroughly as
time allowed, we concluded the interview by thanking
the participant for their time and saying goodbye. The
interview data was then digitally transcribed as soon as
possible.
This is the cowline. Everything north of the line is
cows and butter. Everything south of the cowline is
no cows and olive oil. There are no cows because for
most of year there is no grass.
Finn McEoin
For me, Provence, its something
strong. Its hard life, cold winter, hot
summer.
Jean Pierre
I use my arms to make my pizza.
There are some machines, but it is
better when done by hand.
Antoine
I defend my techniques, my way, but
I respect others way of doing.
Mathieu Ronchi
Hate to pick a favorite, but spring, because of the
positivity and new growth.
Florence Thurston
Tenacious, courageous, passionate. I started with nothing.
I bought the land, and built it up. You have to work a lot and
complete the work, so you have to be passionate.
Micheline Perrier
I took all the courses possible to learn about olive trees and olive
making, all free. Also we learned from experience. Exchanging
info with neighbors, learn from old people, they do it but they
dont know why they do it that way, its a tradition, but it works.
Catherine Hughes
24
SAMPLES
Antoine
(Antoine Pizza Truck Owner)
Antoine was born in Provence, working as a
builder for 30 years before moving into the
pizza business seven months ago. He learned
his craft by himself while practicing in his
home. He drives a pizza truck around various
towns in Provence, creating new and exciting
recipes for his hungry customers.
Catherine Hugues
(Castelas Olive Oil)
Catherine was born and raised in southern
France. She went to the United States
to study biochemistry, living there for 15
years. She and her husband eventually
returned to France in order to raise their
children. Catherines husband was raised
on an apple farm and she was raised on a
vineyard, so they decided that olive oil was
an appropriately similar, yet suffciently novel
agricultural endeavor for them. Their frst
batch of olive oil won a gold medal.
Micheline Perrier
(Fromage Goat Cheese)
Micheline was born in Lyon and subsequently
moved to Provence. She and her business
partner started the goat farm 30 years ago.
She has been working seven days a week
since then. She makes the goat cheese and
delivers it to all of her customers, most of
whom have been loyal to her for 20+ years.
Micheline is also very attached to her goats,
even going so far as saying that they are her
children.
Marie Bayol
(SCAD Employee)
Born and raised in the south of France, Marie
studied communications in Venice, Italy, and
Nice, France. She has put her studies and
knowledge of the land to good use helping out
SCAD in Lacoste. She does everything from
driving students and planning trips to passing
out candy.
25
Matthieu Ronchi
(Font Lale Wine)
Matthieu was born in Provence. He currently
owns the vineyard, Font Leale, which was
passed down to him by his father and sister in
2012. The vines that grow at this vineyard are
typical of Provence: Syrah, Grenache, Rohl-
De Martino [Merlot, Cabernet] and varieties
from Bordeaux. He studied math and physics
in college and currently focuses most of his
free time on carpentry. His primary role is to
direct the production at Font Leale, but he
also occasionally goes out to work in the feld.
Florence Thurston
(SCAD Employee)
Florence was born and raised in Paris. She
has fond memories of summering in the south
of France, traveling down from Paris via the
Autoroute du Soleil, (the A7.) Eventually,
she moved to the United States, had two
sons and worked as a French teacher. She
returned to France in the Fall of 2013 to work
for Savannah College of Art and Design at
Lacoste, where she is currently employed
as a Student Services Coordinator.
SAMPLES
Finn McEoin
(Lacoste gardener)
Finn was born and raised in Ireland. Once
he came to Provence, he made the decision
never to move back to his home country. He is
currently employed as the gardener for SCAD,
doing so in an exclusively organic manner. He
is a vegetarian who eats only organic foods.
Finn is also a writer, historian, and poet. His
favorite drink is coffee, and he once sold
a book he wrote on Amazon.com for 10,000
Euro.
Jean Pierre Soalhat
(SCAD Employee)
Jean Pierre was born and raised in the south
of France. He is an artist, historian, and
mayor of his town. He is employed at SCAD,
along with his wife Hlne. He has been part
of the restoration of the SCAD buildings in
Lacoste, most notably Maison Basse. He has
two children and is currently studying Greek,
because he plans to explore the archaeology
of Greece when he retires.
26
Contextual Research Field Guide
If lost, please return to: ___________________
Phone: ________________________________
E-mail: ________________________________
Remember:
--> Take lots of photos
--> Obtain consent if talking to someone (especially for pictures)
--> Look for patterns and remain consistent in the types of things you
record between categories (artifacts, behaviors, etc.)
--> Code for factual vs. inferred data (e.g. I indicates inference)
Sub Questions (in bold) with Corresponding Interview Questions:
1. What is the region most proud of? What is most important to them? What are the
challenges and opportunities?

What makes Provence special for your product?










What is quintessentially Provencal?










Why do you like to live here?


2. What are the conditions of the natural environment?

What is a year like?









What is your favorite season?











What are the local flora and fauna (local plants and animals)?











What is the yield in a typical year?






What are examples of things that affect the flavors of______?
How do seasons/weather affect the product?










3. What is the craft of the producers? Why are they doing it? What are they getting out of
it?

Describe your product.











How many different types of ______ do you grow/raise?







What time of year is _____ most popular? What is your best season for selling?








What is your relationship with the other producers of ______ in this region?
4. How does nature affect the product and processes associated with their craft? How do
vintners accept, adjust, and turn events they do not control into opportunities?

What are the seasons here like, and how do they affect _____(product)?










What happens if something (ie bad weather) goes wrong?




What about Provence makes your product unique?










Would the product be different if it was produced anywhere else?












5. What are the traditional ways of winemaking? How are these ways used today? How
are new ways integrated? How do vintners know when to transition or integrate?

How long have you been in this business?










What type of education is needed to be in this business?






Are the recipes passed along through generations?









Have new processes changed your methods?









Have you changed methods? Good/bad outcome?


6. How connected are vintners to their natural environment?

How do you engage with nature?







What do you do outside and why?



What do you do personally know about the nature?






How do you spend your time off?




7. What kind of person does the producer become due to the relationship between nature
and culture?



If I asked a neighbor what would they say about you?





How would you describe yourself?





How would I know that you are happy?
Consent f or m Fi el d gui de Fi el d gui de Fi el d gui de Pr obi ng quest i ons
Pr obi ng quest i ons Pr obi ng quest i ons Pr obi ng quest i ons Pr obi ng quest i ons Pr obi ng quest i ons
RESEARCH PROTOCOL
Informed Consent Form

I voluntarily agree to participate in an interview/inquiry performed by students at the Savannah College of Art and
Design. I understand that this interview/inquiry is being conducted by students in the Contextual Research Methods
class in order to better understand the research process and identify opportunities for design in the realm of food
artisanship in the Region of Provence .

I understand that the evaluation methods may include:
1. Recorded (audio, video and/or photography) observations
2. My completion of an evaluation questionnaire(s)
3. My participation in a 15-60 minute interview


I grant permission for the interview/inquiry to be recorded, transcribed, translated and to be used only by the
Savannah College of Art and Design for analysis of interview data. I grant permission for this datagenerated from
the above methodsto be used in an educational setting.

I understand that any identifiable information in regard to my name and/or company name will be removed from any
material that is made available to those not directly involved in this study.



_________________________________ _________________________________
Printed Name Signature


_______________________________________
Lacoste, France Date

Eyes
Brain
Mouth
Ears
Nose
Heart
Hands
Feet
Subjective Observations Objective Observations
People Artifacts
Events Behaviors
Interactions Other
Sketch Notes on photos & video
(e.g. signage, packaging, tools, etc.) (e.g. other customers, artisans, etc.)
(e.g. flow of people, sampling, etc.) (i.e important moments)
27
Probing questions (categorized by research subquestion):
1. What is the region most proud of? What is most important to them?
What are the challenges and opportunities?
What makes Provence special for your product?
What is quintessentially Provenal?
Why do you like to live here?
2. What are the conditions of the natural environment? What is a year like?
What is your favorite season?
What are the local fora and fauna (local plants and animals)?
3. What is the craft of the producers? Why are they doing it? What are they getting out of it?
Describe your product.
How many different types of ______ do you grow/raise?
What time of year is most popular? What is your best season for selling?
What is your relationship with the other producers of ______ in this region?
4. How does nature affect the product and processes associated with their craft? How do
producers accept, adjust, and turn events they do not control into opportunities?
What are the seasons here like, and how do they affect _____(product)?
What happens if something (e.g. bad weather) goes wrong?
What about Provence makes your product unique?
Would the product be different if it was produced anywhere else?
5. What are the traditional ways of conducting the craft?
How are these ways used today?
How are new ways integrated?
How do artisans know when to transition or integrate?
How long have you been in this business?
What type of education is needed to be in this business?
How do you acquire your recipes/processes?
Have you changed methods over time? Good/bad outcome?
6. How connected are artisans to their natural environment?
How do you engage with nature?
What do you do outside and why?
What do you personally know about nature in this region?
How do you spend your time off?
7. What kind of person does the producer become due to the relationship between nature and
culture?
If I asked a neighbor what would they say about you?
How would you describe yourself?
How would I know when you are happy (as an outside observer)?
PROBING QUESTIONS
28
WORKING WALLS
We started the process by writing descriptive words indicating
what we thought makes this region important. The three main
categories that emerged from this activity were nature, culture,
and food artisanship. Then, we created potential questions and
melded those into our fnal question relating the three elements.
We moved on to mapping out how nature, culture, and food
artisanship are connected through a relationship diagram. From
this relationship diagram, we created a Venn diagram discussing
further subquestions and subcategories. We created a timeline,
subquestions and interview questions, and subcategories.
Collection of secondary research followed, resulting in the
organization and mapping of data. Finally, we pulled together all of
the primary research and photos to organize and synthesize the
information.
29
WORKING WALLS (Final)
30
ANALYSIS
Contextual Research of Nature, Culture & Food Artisanship in Provence, France
31
WORD CLOUD
By creating a word cloud the reader can understand what words
were used in the process of research. The large words are the
words that were most common and successful at the time of
researching via online methods. As the size of the words gets
smaller, its popularity decreases. This means that the small words
were not used as many times as the large words were. The word
cloud map contributes to the understanding of how the research
was made and what the successful methods of researching this
topic were. The combination of general words with specifc ones
can elicit a fruitful result. However, the more common the word, the
more results the researcher found.
32
OLIVE PRODUCT JOURNEY MAP
By analyzing the process of the olive, we understood how people
interacted with the product within the different stages. It is not until
the product enters the marketing stage that physical interaction
with the producer and the consumer occur. This was an interesting
fnding because this would mean that the new technologies are a
barrier for interaction between the product and the producer. The
map exemplifes the steps of the production and sales of the olive oil
clustered in four main stages.
PLANTING
GROWING
TREATING
COMPRESSING
HARVESTING
CRUSHING
DE-LEAFING
STORING
LABELLING
SELLING
TASTING
CLEANING
FARMING PRODUCING PACKAGING MARKETING
HUMAN
INTERACTION
MACHINE
INTERACTION
33
VISUAL MAP OF NATURE
Life Cycle of Raw Material
Formatted as an annual calendar, the map uses the four
seasons as a base. Each product is represented in its own
color and placed on the map according to when its existence
begins in nature. The closer to the middle, the less impact the
process has. The olive trees for the oil (green) are planted in
spring, along with the fruit trees for the candy (pink) and the
grape vines (purple) for the wine. The goats which produce
the milk for the cheese (yellow) are productive all year round
in an endless cycle.
Artisans Effort Toward the Product
Mirroring nature, the seasons are the base of the map.
The colors represent the same products as in the nature map,
however the patterns are different.
For the candy, the process begins small in the winter, swells in
the spring and shrinks again in the summer. This shows that
the artisans step into the picture in the winter to begin their
part of the process and work the hardest in the spring, slowing
again in the summer. After the grapes for the wine are fully
mature, the artisans begin their labor at harvest and make the
wine in the fall. Olives for the olive oil are also harvested in
the fall, and the oil itself is produced by the artisans in late fall,
early winter. Just like the goat cheese on the nature map, the
cheese production is also on an annual cycle.
I have been working for 30 years.
No holidays.
Michelline Perrier
The winter prepares me mentally for next year.
Theres time, its more quiet. Spring, you fght the
herb and work the ground in the vineyard. I also
work in the cave washing bottles, putting labels
on wine. the Summers are hot and I try to sell
because of the holiday season. The grapes are
picked in September and then the wine is made.
Matthieu Ronchi
The blooms begin to grow in May. Only 510%
of the blooms actually produce olives. The
olives begin to grow in Summer and change
color from purple to black in September.
Harvesting begins in mid-October and ends in
November before the weather gets too cold.
Catherine Hugues
LIFE CYCLE
OF RAW MATERIAL
ARTISANS EFFORT
TOWARDS THE PRODUCT
ONE
FULL YEAR
ONE
FULL YEAR
Fruits
Fruits
Grapes
Grapes
Olives
Olives
Cheese
Cheese
34
PRODUCT GRAPH
Olive Oil Fromage Wine Candied Fruit
Background
Time
Input
Production
Scale
Craftmanship
Experience
Export Local International
Traditonal
Methods
Industrial
Methods
Limited
Yield
Industrial
Scale
Seasonally Daily
Learn from
Past
Field of
Study
Self Made Inherited
This graph shows and compares four products that are important to
the Provenal region. Each category on the y-axis shows a different
way of classifying each product. Where each dot falls on the
corresponding x-axis creates a visual way in which to see how the
different products relate to one another throughout their production
processes. Each line has two extremes relevant to its own category.
The placement of each products corresponding dot is based off the
generalization of qualitative information collected from a variety of
participants.
Castelas is a husband-wife-owned company.We
started the company from scratch and have constantly
been reinvesting in it and making sure it is kept at the
highest standard.
Catherine Hugues
I pay attention to capacity for
production. Quality over quantity.
Michelline Perrier
35
PROCESS REPORT
As we completed our interviews, observations and participatory
experiences, we placed these data on a giant working wall.
In order to make sense of this plethora of quotes, notations,
and photographs, we absorbed and subsequently distilled the
information into sticky notes. Layered atop the working wall, these
sticky notes served as summary items from which the next round of
data mapping could take place. Each researcher created two visual
models they felt represented the situation, and we then reconvened
to compare and discuss these models. Out of this discussion, we
developed a subset of these sketches further in order to formulate
a comprehensible narrative of our data. After bringing these diverse
visual perspectives to the front, we revisited our original working
wall and re-affnitized the data until categorical insights emerged.
The following section elaborates upon these insights and the
opportunities we derived from them.
36
AFFINITY DIAGRAM
Interactive processes
Techniques
Technology
Learning about
the craft
Changing business
Education
Highly educated
Working into
the future
Taste
Presentation
Samples
Showing
Displays
Senses
Quiet
Variety
Wind
Calendar
Dry
Seasonal
change
Interaction
Production
Modernization
Use of machinery
History
Family
Community
Culinary traditions
Independent
Holistic conditions
Knowledge
Experience within
context
Seasons
Family Is important
WORKI NG WALL
37
SYNTHESIS
Contextual Research of Nature, Culture & Food Artisanship in Provence, France
38
Contextual Experience
Perception of involvement in the process of product creation is
valuable.
The experience of a product within its appropriate context is crucial.
The artisanal producers were eager to share their methods, and
customers appreciated a story with full sensory experience. Having
samples to evoke smell and taste as accompaniments to a visual
and auditory runthrough of the creation process leads to a more
fulflling consumption experience, in that it lends an impression of
deeper connection with people (the artisan) and time (the traditions
they espouse).
There is an opportunity to:
Blur the currently crisp boundary between producers
and consumers of goods.
Extend the consumer experience into a wider range
of senses (gustatory, olfactory, visual and even
temporal).
Align the consumption of products with their ideal
contexts.
How might we:
How might we involve the consumer in the
production process of artisanal goods?
How might we introduce new senses into the
consumer experience, or make higher quality use of
the time they spend throughout that experience?
How might we match the consumption of products
within their context(s)?
Potential design ideas or scenarios:
Create interactive tours in which the consumer
becomes directly involved in one or more phases
of the physical production process (packaging,
planting, processing, sorting, distributing, etc.)
To enhance the consumption of the product, alter
packaging to evoke notions of the ideal scenario in
which to consume the product.
Create a service that takes your context and
surprises you with food that matches that context.
Instead of bringing the consumer to the context of
the product, this service would consider the context
of the individual and deliver an appropriate product
to their location (e.g. were at the beach might
result in watermelon).
INSIGHT 1
Everyone in the tour was curiously looking around,
tasting the different samples that were offered to us.
By the end of the tour they had a table full of a great
variety of sweets for us to taste. Also, they had a small
fondue station to dip the fruit in.
AptUnion Tour Observation
Bread changes as you go
north. Here in Provence its
blotting paper to soak up the
olive oil and garlic.
Finn McEoin
Also some treatment with copper and sulfur on
leaves with the tractor, could buy a horse for
that, but that would mostly just be for fun, and to
look nice for tourists.
Matthieu Ronchi
39
ARTISANS PROCESS
PRODUCT CONSUMERS
BUY
FROM
CREATES
RAW
MATERIAL
INSIGHT 1 MAP
40
Holistic Conditions
Until the necessary systemic conditions emerge, neither process
nor production scale alter.
The implementation of new knowledge was dependent on
systemic conditions such as social networks, cultural pressure and
environmental serendipity. By this we mean that artisans relied
upon the support of people they felt close to (e.g. family, neighbors,
teachers) before adopting new production techniques. There is
also an artisan reliance upon nature; there must be systemic
environmental cooperation between the conditions regarding
water, temperature, wind, bugs, etc. in order for the natural sources
of artisanal food products (vines, trees, bushes, goats, etc.) to
thrive.
There is an opportunity to:
Acknowledge artisanal food products reliance on
systemic readiness.
Indirectly infuence artisanship through upstream
interventions directed at systemic conditions.
How might we:
How might we recognize that evolution of the
artisanal food products and processes is dependent
on integral conditions?
How might we positively infuence the artisanal
process indirectly by modifying certain systemic
conditions?
Potential design ideas or scenarios:
Create new codes and regulations to broaden the
geographic relevance of French product standards
(e.g. agriculture biologique label in the US that is
fuidly linked to the exact standards of France.)
Offer a community college course focusing on the
processes and regulations that contribute to defning
Provenal goods.
INSIGHT 2
French cuisine was totally changed by
Catherine Medici. She was probably
Frances best import. Ever.
Finn McEoin
Little by little, young people
come to do hand made.
Matthieu Ronchi
Terrior soil has its own properties and conditions
(alkalinity)...sunshine can affect favor.people buy the
Provence brand.
Florence Thurston
41
Family
Family is considered to be of the utmost importance.
All of the samples we spoke with mentioned one or more family
members as central to their own position. While factors such as the
high cost of living or a culturally instilled responsibility to support
ones parents could contribute to the practice of older children
living at home, it could be that this insight is as straightforward as it
appears: people simply love their families.
There is an opportunity to:
Tap into existing familial connections to deepen
economic or more peripherally social relationships.
Convey the fulflment artisans receive from their
familial relations more obviously in the products.
How might we:
How might we broaden economic networks through
genealogy?
How might we demonstrate the value of family within
their products?
Potential design ideas or scenarios:
Create labels that display more heritage and
genealogy regarding a products past (e.g. the
people who made and shaped the product).
Create an environment that allows for an intimate
relationship between the consumer and the producer
which thoroughly explains the values, challenges,
history, and goals of the artisan.
Strategically assign artisanal producers homework:
Have them do a book report on their own family,
summarized in a single page (showing what they
value, where the came from, what they learned from
their challenges.)
INSIGHT 3
Learned winemaking from father (and sister):
learned all together, begin with little quantity, then
scale, then bring in technical logistics consultant, do
analysis on wine.
Matthieu Ronchi
I like to go fshing and stroll with
my family in the mountains.
Antoine
Came back to France to raise children
and decided to start olive farming.
Catherine Hugues
42
Wind
Wind has deep cultural and agricultural implications.
The winds in the Provenal region are not only important for
agricultural processes such as the pollination of olive trees, but also
occupy a place in common conversation amongst locals. Named
winds (the mistral, sirocco, levant and tramontane) blow across
this area, some of which are enshrined in traditional objects (e.g. le
santon fgure holding his hat against the mistral wind) or common
phrases (e.g. levant blanc indicating good weather).
There is an opportunity to:
Elevate citizens awareness and cultural appreciation
of their regions wind patterns.
Harness the power of wind as renewable energy.
How might we:
How might we facilitate the cultural claiming of
regional winds and cycles?
How might we capture wind energy to directly
power mechanical or electrical artisanal production
equipment?
Potential design ideas or scenarios:
Use the wind and its directional paths as a way to
calculate the passage of time or change in season.
Create wind harnessing methods that mechanically
translate wind energy to directly power artisanal
production equipment.
INSIGHT 4
The blooms begin to grow in May. Only 510% of
the blooms actually produce olives. The olives begin
to grow in summer and change color from purple to
black in September. The wind helps pollinate.
Catherine Hugues
Magistalis (magestics): minestral
wind that caused them to take off
their huge hats.
Finn McEoin
You learn to read the weather: one
wind, like the mistral, brings rain.
Florence Thurston
43
Expect the Unexpected
Artisans acknowledge and accept uncertainty with grace.
The individuals we interviewed drew knowledge from a diverse
range of sources, but they also expressed reluctance to accept that
knowledge until they personally validated it via future application.
Furthermore, they expressed little disappointment in the possibility
that unforeseen events could cause large-scale losses in any given
season.
There is an opportunity to:
Facilitate the mindset of fexibility and anticipation
towards uncertainty in other sectors.
Balance certain organizations reliance on theory
with more pragmatic, future-oriented validation of
ideas.
How might we:
How might we convince individuals to be more open
towards misfortune and/or foreign ideas?
How might we convince certain organizations to
integrate more practical, forward-thinking theories to
balance currently used ideas?
Potential design ideas or scenarios:
Create a crisis intervention book that has a large
amount of information on how to recognize certain
absurd situations and solutions to them.
Design distributable literature (pamphlets,
brochures, post cards) that touch on the intricacies
of traditional practices and inevitable challenges that
will arise.
Use music (live or recorded) within a busy and
stressful environment such as a public transportation
station to instill a sense of calm.
INSIGHT 5
[About the fies that come sometimes and ruin the
trees] We have traps in the felds, and everyone
writes down what they fnd and share amongst the
local farmers.
Catherine Hugues
I would be as happy or as sad
elsewhere. You can decide all
things.
Matthieu Ronchi
Snow, rain, I dont care, Im just
looking for that [buried artifact].
Jean Pierre Soalhat
44
Seasons (nature and people)
Seasons are the overarching driver of food artisans activity.
While certain seasonal factors might be common knowledge (e.g.
harvest of grapes and olives occurs in late summer/early fall),
many other processes also align with seasonal cycles. Summers
are dry, but also loud because it is the time when tourists inundate
the Provenal region. Winters are quiet and involve proportionately
fewer agricultural responsibilities; this is a time for refection and
planning. Occupying alternate mindsets in this seasonally cyclic
manner appears to be one characterization of the Provenal food
artisans we spoke with.
There is an opportunity to:
Visualize full seasonal variation in local climate and
activity for temporary residents.
Export some principles of seasonality to areas less
subject to calendar-year environmental shifts.
How might we:
How might we convey the feeling of a full seasonal
cycle to visitors or temporary residents?
How might we reframe the perception of
unproductive seasons in the minds of non-
agricultural workers?
Potential design ideas or scenarios:
Organize businesses to work around the changes in
seasons.
Create a biodynamic manual to educate new
farmers about the rotation of crops and cohabitation
of plants within the seasons to make the most
natural use of the seasonal cycle.
Create a series of infographics that draw metaphors
between seasonal farming patterns and generalized
business processes, thereby creating an effcient
cycle.
INSIGHT 6
It beginds in winter, cut the vineyard, prepare wood
for burning, clean ground, repair the tractor, sell
the wine too, prepare mentally for next year (new
direction, changing, new grapes, take up animals or
not), theres time, its more quiet
Matthieu Ronchi
For me, provence, its something
strong. its a hard life. cold winter,
hot summer.
Jean Pierre Soalhat
Im watching all the time.
The birds are always changing here.
The timing, the plants here.
Finn McEoin
45
ONE
FULL YEAR
INSIGHT 6 MAP
46
OPPORTUNITY MAP
HOLISTIC
CONDITIONS
CONTEXTUAL
EXPERIENCE
FAMILY
EXPECT THE
UNEXPECTED
INSIGHT
OPPORTUNITY
HEALTHY
RELATIONSHIP
TO CHANGE
Family
Contextual
Experience
Holistic
Conditions
Expect the
Unexpected
Wind
I NSI GHT # 1
I NSI GHT # 6
I NSI GHT # 5
I NSI GHT # 3
I NSI GHT # 4
I NSI GHT # 2
1
2
3
4
5
6
7 8
Seasons
(Nature &
People)
9
10
11
12
13 14
1. Blur distinction between producer and consumer roles.
2. Expand sensory engagement.
3. Align product consumption with ideal context.
4. Tell stories via product experience.
5. Accept reliance on system factors.
6. Infuence system outputs indirectly.
7. Merge familial and economic relationships.
8. Convey artisans fulfllment from positive relationship with family.
9. Promote appreciation of local winds.
10. Harness wind power.
11. Stay calm.
12. Validate ideas with testing.
13. Convey the value of seasonal cycles to visitors.
14. Emulate natural seasonal work cycles.
Healthy Relationship to Change
Our overarching impression of the interrelationship between nature,
culture, and food artisanship was that is it characterized (at least
in part) by a healthy relationship to change. Thus, an opportunity
exists for individuals in different walks of life to assume this
mentality. When confronted with change, options for responding
include: resilience, adaptability, and transformability. Ultimately,
this amounts to accepting and positively experiencing both cyclic
change and outright uncertainty with grace. The following are
specifc opportunities derived from the insights that emerged from
our research:
47
CONCLUSION
Ultimately, the insights we developed led us to the realization that
they all contained a favor of change. We suspect this healthy
relationship to change stems from close interaction with nature.
When confronted with uncertainty and adversity, we found
Provenal food artisans in acceptance of their dynamic context. An
appreciation for wind, contextual experience and holistic systems
indicated that this awareness and positive orientation to dynamic
conditions is present at multiple natural and social scales. At the
end of our research study, we asked again, What is the relationship
between culture, nature and food artisanship in the Provenal
region of France? Our research indicated that this relationship was
characterized by constant cycles of change and fexible responses
to change.
ADAPTABI LI TY RESI LI ENCE
FLEXI BI LI TY
TRANSFORMABI LI TY
[ based on
cul t ur e f ami l y]
[ based on l ear ni ngs
f r om nat ur e]
[ based on t r adi t i on of
cr af t pr ocesses]
AWARENESS
+ BEI NG I N
TUNE WI TH
CONTEXT
TRADI TI ONS
+ NEW WAYS
ENVI RONMENTAL
I MPACT UPON
PRODUCT
NATURE CULTURE
ARTI SANSHI P
[ cr af t ]
[ wor l dvi ews] [ condi t i ons]
1
7
2
3
5 4
6
48
RECOMMENDATION
While it may seem like an evasion of specifcity, we simply
recommend that individuals (food artisans or otherwise) consider
three response modes when confronted with unexpected changes:
resilience, adaptability and transformability. These responses
to change consist of maintaining course (despite disturbances),
appropriately adjusting processes, or completely altering ones
paradigm, respectively. In short, when change looms, individuals
should act with intent towards one of these three options.
49
EXHIBITION POSTERS
Contextual Research of Nature, Culture & Food Artisanship in Provence, France
50
51
WHAT IS THE
RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN
NATURE, CULTURE, AND
FOOD ARTISANSHIP
IN THE PROVENAL
REGION OF
FRANCE?
Guided by an interest in human relationships
with nature, our research team decided to
align academic inquiry with the surrounding
environment. We focused our research on the
characteristics that define the interrelation-
ships between nature, culture, and the craf
of food artisanship. Through the process
of contextual research, data analysis and
synthesis, we gained insights and mapped
opportunities for potential future actions.
NATURE
CULTURE
FOOD
ARTISANSHIP
[ World views ]
[ Conditions ]
[ Craf ]
AWARENESS +
BEING IN TUNE
WITH CONTEXT
TRADITIONAL
+ NEW WAYS
ENVIRONMENTAL
IMPACT UPON
PRODUCT
SCAD | SCHOOL OF DESIGN | Contextual Research
52
The main form of our research is
defined as a case study. In this
research methodology, we explore
and describe a bounded system
through a limited number of events,
conditions and their interrelationships.
Additionally, our research had a
participatory aspect. We recorded
and analyzed our direct experiences
with the products as we consumed
them, engaging all of our senses
with intent.

RESEARCH
METHODOLOGY &
DATA COLLECTION
METHODS
We also applied an ethnographic lens
to our investigation, observing
artisans in their natural environment
in order to sense their relationship
with their surroundings. Essentially,
we wanted to know how people lead
their lives.
CASE STUDY PARTICIPATORY
ETHNOGRAPHY
Our approach to this contextual
research project can be characterized
as a mixed qualitative methodology.
QUALITATIVE
RESEARCH
Our data collection methods for primary research
included observation, semi-structured interviews,
and personal explorations. Prior to this endeavor,
we sought information about our research
question through academic journals, on websites,
news articles, books, and publicly available videos.
This secondary research both underpinned our
primary research phase, and informed subsequent
analysis of the data.

DATA COLLECTION METHODS
SCAD | SCHOOL OF DESIGN | Contextual Research
53
FIELDWORK:
PRIMARY RESEARCH
PROCESS
Luberon, we are one of the
best parts of Provence.
Quality of life. It is tranquil
and peaceful...My friends say
I live in the middle of nowhere
and I love it!
REGION OF
PROVENCE
PRIMARY
RESEARCH
During the primary research
phase, we collected data directly
from our locale. For reasons of
consistency, we all used the
same field guides. We held
interviews with local artisans
and consumers, observed
environments, processes, and
interactions, and personally
evaluated products. Thus, the
outcome of our primary research
is a set of descriptions
addressing our focus question
from various perspectives.
This rich data informed our
next steps and ultimately
led to the emergence
of our insights.
...What makes the
product unique is
howthe cheese is
fabricated.
I love to take care of my
goats. I am happy
everyday...I am also very
happy when I take a shower,
when I am tired.
Castelas olive oil business
Font Leale small winery
Fromages
small goat farm
Aptunion manufacture of
candied fruits
Gargantuapt small wine store
Leonidas a small gourmet candy store
J.C. Rousset small family-oriented
candy store
Chteau La Coste vineyard with
large, outdoor installations
APT
LACOSTE
LES BAUX
LE PUY-SAINTE-REPARDE
SCAD | SCHOOL OF DESIGN | Contextual Research
54
DATA MAPS
VISUALIZING
INFORMATION
LOCAL INTERNATIONAL
TRADITIONAL
METHODS
INDUSTRIAL
METHODS
LIMITED YIELD MAXIMUMYIELD
MONTHLY DAILY
LEARN FROMPAST FIELD OF STUDY
SELF MADE INHERITED
TIME
INPUT
PRODUCTION
AMOUNT
CRAFTSMANSHIP
EXPERIENCE
EXPORT
BACKGROUND
PLANTING
GROWING
TREATMENT
COMPRESSING
HARVESTING
CRUSHING
DE-LEAFING
STORAGE
LABELLING
SELLING
TASTING
CLEANING
FARMING PRODUCTION PACKAGING MARKETING
HUMAN
INTERACTION
MACHINE
INTERACTION
LIFE CYCLE
OF RAW MATERIAL
ARTISANS EFFORT
TOWARDS THE PRODUCT
COMPARISON OF
PRODUCTS FACETS
PRODUCT JOURNEY
As we completed our interviews,
observations and participatory
experiences, we placed these data on
a giant working wall. In order to make
sense of this plethora of quotes,
notations and photographs, we
absorbed and subsequently distilled the
information into sticky notes. Layered
atop the working wall, these sticky
notes served as summary items from
which the next round of data mapping
could take place. Each researcher
created two visual models they felt
represented the situation, and we then
reconvened to compare and discuss
these models. Out of this discussion,
we developed a subset of these
sketches further in order to formulate
a comprehensible narrative of our data.
ONE
FULL YEAR
ONE
FULL YEAR
SCAD | SCHOOL OF DESIGN | Contextual Research
55
INSIGHTS REPORT
Afer making meaning of the data,
we revisited our original working
wall and re-afinitized the
information until categorical
insights emerged.
DISCOVERING
INSIGHTS
HOLISTIC CONDITIONS
Until the necessary systemic conditions
emerge, neither process nor production
scale of the artisans product alter.
FAMILY
Family is considered to be
of the utmost importance.
WIND
Wind has deep cultural and
agricultural implications.
EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED
Artisans acknowledge and accept
uncertainty with grace.
PRESENTED TO
INSIGHTS
CONTEXTUAL
EXPERIENCE
Perception of
involvement in the
process of product
creation is valuable.
SEASONS
(NATURE
& PEOPLE)
Seasons are the
overarching
driver of food
artisans activity.
ARTISANS PROCESS
PRODUCT CONSUMERS
BUY
FROM
SCAD | SCHOOL OF DESIGN | Contextual Research
56
OPPORTUNITY MAP
CONCLUSION
Ultimately, the insights we developed led us to
the realization that they all contained a flavor of
change. We suspect this healthy relationship to
change stems from close interaction with
nature. When confronted with uncertainty and
adversity, we found Provenal food artisans in
acceptance of their dynamic context. An
appreciation for wind, contextual experience
and holistic systems indicated that this
awareness and positive orientation to dynamic
conditions is present at multiple natural and
social scales. At the end of our research study,
we asked, What is the relationship between
culture, nature and food artisanship in the
Provenal region of France?, our research
indicated that this relationship was
characterized by constant cycles of
change and response.
HEALTHY
RELATIONSHIP
TO CHANGE
HOLISTIC
CONDITIONS
CONTEXTUAL
EXPERIENCE
WIND
FAMILY
EXPECT THE
UNEXPECTED
SEASONS
(NATURE &
PEOPLE)
e.g. Convey seasonal cycles to visitors
e.g. Convey artisans fulfillment from family
e.g. Harness
wind power
INSIGHTS
SCAD | SCHOOL OF DESIGN | Contextual Research
OPPORTUNITY
57
APPENDIX
Contextual Research of Nature, Culture & Food Artisanship in Provence, France
58
TEAM BIOS
NATHAN BECK
I am a person and love to serve people. All my pants
are too short and I wear fowers in my front pockets.
I am learning how to be a Service Designer at the
Savannah College of Art and Design. I am from the
Sunshine State, so the beach will always be my
home. Sunfowers bring me joy and butterfies make
me chuckle.
ABBIE FRANCISCO
Im from Rockford, Illinois located near Chicago. I am
a sophomore at Savannah College of Art and Design
majoring in Industrial Design and minoring in painting.
I have always loved both art and nature so being in
France has been the time of my life. My favorite word
is caddywhompus and despite the fact that I am tone
deaf, I will serenade any friendly face that welcomes
me, too. Rainy days are the best, spiders are the
worst, and puns make me laugh until I cry.
MARK HEMPHILL
I was born and raised in Cary, North Carolina, but
have been fortunate enough to live in Wisconsin, the
Netherlands, Portugal, Georgia, and currently France.
My academic background is math and physics, and I
worked in the healthcare IT sector prior to enrolling in
SCADs Industrial Design MFA program. My favorite
thing is water, and I would argue that the most
underutilized word in the English language is groak.
59
KATIE MURRAY
I was born and raised in Singer Island, Florida.
I am currently a sophomore at Savannah College of
Art and Design for Industrial Design. I have always
been interested in art and design. I dabble in making
objects and fnding out how objects work, and I hope
to apply those skills to my major.
MONICA SEGGOS
I was born in Manhattan and raised in Connecticut.
I recently completed my Masters in Jewelry and
Objects at SCAD Savannah and am currently enrolled
in the Design Management eLearning program.
Prior to SCAD, I worked in the fashion industry as a
consultant, with the lifetime dream of becoming an
artist. As an entrepreneur, I am interested in applying
design principles to the business of creativity.
I am enamored by nature. Ever since I was a child, it
has been the guiding force in my life. SCAD Lacoste
has been one of the most spectacular natural
environments that I have ever experienced from the
wildfowers and birds, to the forests and wild animals.
RAQUEL SEREBRENIK
Born in Bogota, Colombia, I have always been
interested in how art and design affect our daily
activities. Because of this I decided to study at SCAD.
I wondered how we can use the past to enhance our
future so I started studying Art History the past,
and Design for Sustainability the future. I have
traveled around the world searching for cultures and
experiences. Gratefully Provence is one of them.
60
ISAAC TOONKEL
I am from a small town of Millbrook, New York,
located in the Hudson Valley. I am currently a
sophomore at Savannah College of Art and Design
majoring in Industrial Design and minoring in Design
for Sustainability. Being interested in Mechanical
Engineering, but having a classical approach to
drawing, made Industrial Design an avenue that just
seemed right. My admiration for the outdoors and my
sense of adventure is what led me to study here in
Lacoste.
MARCELO TORRES
I was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and have lived
there most of my life. I also lived in Florida for a year
when I was 6 years old. Art has interested me since
I was a young child, and I have always liked to
draw, but it was not until late in high school that
I heard about Industrial Design and decided that this
was exactly what I wanted to study. I am currently
a sophmore at SCAD and am pursuing a Bachelor
of Fine Arts degree in Industrial Design as well as
Business Management and Entrepreneurship and
Illustration minors. I enjoy outdoor activities, sports,
music and good conversation.
NICOLE WALSH
I was born in Panama, Republic of Panama and
raised in the Canal Zone area. I moved to United
States in 2008, where I fnished my Bachelors of
Fine Arts in Digital Animation with my thesis in 3D
Architectural Rendering at UCF in Orlando, Florida.
After working in the Interior Design industry for three
years, I decided to go to SCAD and enroll in their
Design Management M.A. program. I have a great
interest in learning about the business world and
how it interacts with design. I love to cook and highly
believe that the best part of life happens around a
dinner table.
61
RESEARCH PROTOCOLS
Consent For m 1 Consent For m 2
62
Pr obi ng quest i ons 1 Pr obi ng quest i ons 2
63
Pr obi ng quest i ons 3 Pr obi ng quest i ons 4
64
Pr obi ng quest i ons 5 Pr obi ng quest i ons 6
65
Pr obi ng quest i ons 7 Obser vat i on f i el d gui de cover
66
Obser vat i on f i el d gui de 1 Obser vat i on f i el d gui de 2
67
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