Persimmons: Deconstructing Cultural Identity through Interactive Fruit Foodway Narratives

Carl DiSalvo
Trinh Nguyen

Food plays a huge role in shaping our identity. We engage in food practices daily, and through these engagements, we associate meaning with these specific acts. Our research explored this theme by deconstructing cultural identity through food narratives. How can we use narrative to make sense of and frame our identities around food within cultures and across different cultures? From this research, we gathered multiple stories around a single fruit - the persimmon. Drawing from food journalism, food field guides, and digital media, we worked within this intersection to not only share these narratives but provide us a means to frame our own identities around them.


The Public Design Workshop is pedagogical structure created to explore new ways to teach, learn, and do social design within the university. We explore how design contributes to the construction of publics, articulates contemporary social and political issues, and fosters new forms of engagement with technology. We do this through participatory workshops & events, speculative design, and theory & criticism. We design events, workshops, objects, and systems. We also do theory and criticism.We are always open to new collaborators.Current topics of interest include: food and food systems, hackathons, infrastructure, visualizations, tools, and maps.