21/06/11

elinor
2 min readJun 11, 2021

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I have been avoiding my capstone like the plague for the last several weeks. I feel uninspired by my idea suddenly; it feels too cerebral and ineffective to be useful to anyone. This fact, paired with the fact that relevant research materials for this topic are not necessarily the most lighthearted (and can sometimes even feel frustrating to read), feels overwhelming.

After reviewing my faculty review feedback, I realized that this topic is most certainly not sustainable for me to pursue long-term. I’ve been spending a lot of time thinking about some potentially new subject matter for this capstone project. One idea that keeps coming back to me is somehow integrating food and design. I’m a server in a restaurant, and I’ve been working in the service industry for almost five years now. I am inspired every day by the beautiful, intense culture surrounding food, spirits, and wine. I want to pursue a project I have a true passion for, and I know that cooking, food, and the comfort and culture surrounding the culinary arts is something I never tire of.

I have been doing independent research but I think this weekend at work I will ask what the biggest problems each person faces in their position is. I want to understand how I can improve a deeply flawed industry that I care very much about. I’ve been toying with several ideas, the first being designing a “server’s handbook” of sorts, filled with quick references and information about food, wine, regions, and service skills. There is a lack of universal protocol when it comes to restaurant service, however there are universal rules, regulations, and terms. A handbook featuring general rules, terminology, and food knowledge would be beneficial for anyone in the industry, whether they’re a newcomer or a veteran.

Another idea I had considered was designing a notebook intended to be used specifically by servers and/or bartenders. One problem I have always struggled with is having the “perfect” server’s notebook. Formatting is critical to a smooth experience serving. Perhaps I can combine and brand these two things as a “server’s starter kit” or something like that.

My final idea was to create a guidebook on how to eat locally, sustainably, and ethically for broke college students. I am passionate about local food communities and I believe cooking, eating, and caring for the earth and your local community go hand in hand. I want to create a useful and unpretentious guide that anyone who wants to learn about eating and cooking locally and sustainably could use. I am unsure if I can even switch at this point in the semester, but I also don’t want to commit to working on a year-long project that doesn’t interest me or excite me. I will be reaching out about switching things up soon!

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elinor

uc daap 2022 | communications design | software engineering