49: Exploring Quinoa Production through Design Anthropology with Dr. Adam Gamwell

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As anthropologists, it's sometimes rare for us to think about the role that design plays in spaces and lives of the people we work with - and certainly in our food futures! This week I'm exploring the role that design plays in the production and distribution of quinoa with the super cool Dr. Adam Gamwell.

Adam is a design anthropologist, or as he calls it, a design-centred human, with international experience in ethnographic and contextual research, narrative media production, cultural analysis, social strategy, and education. He is one of the co-founders of Missing Link Studios, which is a social impact agency that uses data-driven media production to create compelling stories, using podcasts, blogs, film, music, web interactions, and data journalism to do so. When he’s not producing digital media, he teaching participatory design research and entrepreneurship in Boston, and is always looking for ways to meld food, design research and media.


This was one of those conversations that really let me learn something in the process… I do a lot of work with communities for my PhD, and never really thought about the ways that design functions to shape food systems, or who is involved in designing these spaces. We’re looking specifically today at the production and distribution of quinoa in South America, where he did his doctoral research. It’s a super fascinating conversation that left me with a lot of inspiration about how we’re thinking about designing food systems for our futures, and the roles that various people play in it. 

Learn More about Adam!