Ice Cream and Innovation Exploring the Boundaries of Possibility

5 June 2023

The Design Factory Workshop ‘The Future – What if Humanity Depended on Ice Cream?’, co-organised by the School of Arts and Design of Polytechnic University of Leiria (ESAD.CR), RUN-EU FASA and the Future Design Factory, was highly successful!

Led by ESAD.CR – João dos Santos (Dean), Sérgio Gonçalves (Vice-Dean), and José Vicente (Teacher) –, on 31 May 2023, the workshop aimed to generate innovative ideas for the ice cream industry and featured:

Eric Voigt introduced the Future Design Factory of NHL-Stenden, and the Future Thinking process, before introducing the workshop goals, which set the tone for the day’s activities

The session highlighted the importance of Design Factories as collaborative spaces for multidisciplinary teams to tackle complex problems and foster innovation.

Industry experts from the ice cream industry, Catarina Ramadas and Jorge Barosa, shared valuable insights on current trends, challenges, and future scenarios. Discussions covered various aspects, such as production processes, market demands, sustainability, and technological innovation.

Participants were encouraged to think critically about the most likely consequences of ice cream becoming a vital resource, exploring questions such as the environmental impact of increased ice cream production, the need for sustainable ingredients, and the development of alternative manufacturing methods.

By involving industry experts, the workshop offered a distinctive opportunity to acquire first-hand knowledge and insights into the current state and future prospects of the ice cream industry. It ignited inspiration and stimulated the participants’ thinking as they embarked on their design challenge within the context of ice cream.

Participants critically examined the potential consequences of ice cream becoming a vital resource, addressing environmental impact, sustainable ingredients, and alternative manufacturing methods.

To encourage collaboration and diverse perspectives, the participants were divided into smaller teams, ensuring a mix of backgrounds, skills, and interests within each group.

Based on a thought-provoking scenario: The Future – What if Humanity Depended on Ice Cream?, the participants engaged in a creative brainstorming exercise to explore the potential challenges and opportunities associated with this hypothetical situation.

Teams engaged in collaborative work, applying the design methodology introduced earlier to develop innovative solutions or ideas related to the given scenario, using the available materials and resources to support their ideation and prototyping.

At the workshop’s end, teams presented their concepts, prototypes, and findings, encouraging feedback and discussion, and facilitating constructive dialogue on envisioning the future of food.

Overall, the workshop inspired participants, encouraged innovation, and provided valuable real-world context to their design thinking process.


Join the RUN-EU mailing list