Defamiliarizing the Ordinary with Food Scientist Dr. Irwin Adam

When in search of heightened creativity, a small shift can, at times, be a catalyst for great results. At other times, a full-scale change is required to get us out of a rut and show us a better, more efficient, more creative path forward.

Either way, we have a choice in the matter. We can wait for that catalyst to come to us or we can originate the catalyst ourselves.

While nearly everyone has experienced a “spark” of creativity, most struggle to call it up at will, and even fewer live in a constant state of it. But those who do are potent, vibrant people in any environment.

And you can be one, because constant creativity hinges on your ability to regularly enter unfamiliar space and cultivate your creative instinct.

You just need to defamiliarize the ordinary.

I recently came across an individual who perfectly embodies this philosophy through my new video series and book, The Spark and the Grind. The inspiration that goes into creating an idea and then the work it takes to make that idea a reality.

Here’s what he had to say about defamiliarizing the ordinary:

Dr. Irwin Adam’s Future Food Studio

Dr. Irwin Adam is a creative scientist and futurist who does incredible work in the food industry. He’s principal and founder of Future Food Studio, a food design technology studio where he and his team work to re-imagine the ways we interact, engage and experiment with food.

“We do everything from explore the things we eat and the tools we eat with all the way up to the spaces where we eat food. We try to instigate or create moments that make people pause. And suddenly, they start to think, and when you create these moments where people don’t fully understand what’s going on, there’s disorientation, and you level the playing field by making it so that people from very different backgrounds and very different perspectives can suddenly interact with each other at the same level and in the same space. And, for that reason, we always look to create pieces, experiences, and foods that create that moment of thought.”

Dr. Adam has a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering, and he and his team of chefs, chemists, designers, and architects very much take an engineer’s approach to their work. One such project involved re-imagining the simple act of consuming a beverage:

“We looked at: How can we break down the flavor profiles of a beverage? And then we went one step further and asked ourselves: How can we break down the phase of a beverage? And that’s how we created the edible cloud. And this is a cloud that you can pour, you can drink, you can sip on, and it really became a great instigator for getting people to rethink a product that they’re very familiar with.”

The natural world is a constant reminder that progress never occurs without some change to the familiar. The key is to ignite that lack of familiarity yourself.

Don’t avoid it.

And don’t wait for it to come.
This article is the third in a series that focuses on the core principles of The Spark and the Grind and the individuals who embody them. Check back here for more articles in the series and connect with me across social media @ErikWahl.

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