In Memory of Childhood Imaginations

  • Megan Fry
  • Freya Harvey
  • Emma Baker

Background - Moth is an ongoing research project exploring how design can change death from an experience we fear into one that we can learn from. This project investigates how food and funeral feasting can positively impact and disseminate creative exchange around mourning, bereavement and end of life choices. Collaboratively, our task was to define a ‘loss’ and consider how to celebrate or lament its passing, in the context of food and funeral feasting. Concept - In Memory of Childhood Imagination: A continuation of our publication which aimed to celebrate the enchanted worlds we knew as children, but have forgotten as adults.

A demonstration of how our event would work, whilst also having some fun and eating cake sponges at the same time. The event encourages adults to rediscover their childhood imagination, through playing with food. Limits are imaginary; the possibilities are endless.​​​​​​​
The Space.
The venue facilitates a shared experience, helping individuals to rediscover their childhood imagination and relearn how to play. The event takes place in a round white room, with a high ceiling, and natural lighting. By making the room feel open (with the help from a lack of windows), the guests invited to lose track of time through inclusion and collaboration, while the white walls encourage them to create their own 'enchanted worlds'. ​​​​​​​

The absence of time, curved ‘blank canvas’, and unusual presentation of food create a liminal space, which may feel uncomfortable at first. However, liminal spaces are unsettling by nature, as they are places in which transformation occurs. This is supported by a subtle soundscape featuring unintelligible conversations between creatives in a design studio, preventing silence and creating a more relaxed atmosphere.
Food is presented as ‘tools’ and ‘materials’ for guests to interact with. Rules and barriers that usually prevent adults from playing with their food and using their imagination are removed; there is no cutlery or table to sit around, overalls permit messiness by protecting clothing, and guests are not expected to clean up afterwards.
To advertise the event to the public, stickers would be stuck on mundane ingredients around super markets. These stickers will make adults wonder what else their ingredients can do, aside from providing food to survive by using the statement 'There's more under the skin'.
Following the stickers, the public would be invited to the event, giving them a sense of preparation before letting go and learning to imagine once again. We believed this was important as this process can be uncomfortable for some.
'An Extra Place At The Table'.
This evening event was held in Easter 2019 as an opportunity to present our ideas to the extended MOTH group and discuss the topic of funeral feasting in a more relaxed environment.

At the end of our presentation, we invited the guests to take part in a 'taster' session of our proposed experience. This was achieved by providing the guests with A3 placemats to act as canvases for the students and staff to get creative and rediscover their childhood imagination. The event was a great success, and it was enlightening to see everyone taking part and having fun.​​​​​​​