Recipes for the Future:
Reimagining Family Cookbooks for Resilience in a Changing Climate

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Recipes for the Future:
Reimagining Family Cookbooks for Resilience in a Changing Climate

In order to contend with extreme and imminent climate change, and to sustain cultural cohesion in the inhospitable environments that may result, we need to learn from each other how to embrace new, climatically appropriate foods. Combining the sciences and the arts, Recipes for the Future forecasts future climates in terms of geographically-based climate analogs, allowing people to search for substitute ingredients that will be locally sustainable in the future, and learn how to use them in ways that retain heritage flavors.

In this workshop led by applied ecologist Erin Riordan and experimental philosopher Jonathon Keats, participants will learn about the impact of climate change on the availability of food plants with which they’re familiar, and will be guided through the process of creating a cookbook containing traditional family recipes adapted to future climate conditions through artful use of ingredients likely to be locally available in fifty years. Intended to serve as futureproof heirlooms while simultaneously inspiring collective introspection in the present, the cookbooks will be written by hand and embellished with an assortment of craft supplies by people of all ages sitting around a communal table.


This workshop is part of the C/Change Initiative, learn more here: https://cchange.xyz/

Course Logistics

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Gray Area
2665 Mission Street
San Francisco

1PM – 4PM

$15 – We also offer Diversity Scholarships, find out more and apply here

Experience level
No prior experience needed.

Course Requirements
Participants will be requested to provide some advance information about the place they come from and the ingredients they associate with that place.
Participants may bring their own craft supplies. (Communal supplies will be provided for all.)

Course Outline

– Climate modeling and climate analogs
– Applied ecology and the impact of climate change on food crops
– Climate-adapted heritage cuisine
– Recipe writing
– Ingredient substitution
– Book making

Education Goals

Participants will learn about the impact of climate change on foodways and lifeways from a personal and a global perspective. They’ll gain practical experience in climate adaptation, and a sense of agency that will help to counteract paralysis induced by climate anxiety. The cookbooks will help participants to share what they learn with their family and community, and will provide motivation to prevent future catastrophe through responsible decisions in the present.

About Technologies

We will use our custom-built app to determine climate analogs for participants, and will introduce them to our models and software. We will also use paper and other craft supplies, timeless technologies that can facilitate tangible interaction with timely issues.




Acclaimed as a “poet of ideas” by The New Yorker and a “multimedia philosopher-prophet” by The Atlantic, Jonathon Keats is an artist, writer and experimental philosopher based in the United States and Europe. His conceptually-driven transdisciplinary projects explore all aspects of society, adapting methods from the sciences and the humanities. He has exhibited and lectured at dozens of institutions worldwide, from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to Stanford University to the Triennale di Milano, and from SXSW to CERN to UNESCO. He is the author of six books on subjects ranging from science and technology to art and design – most recently You Belong to the Universe: Buckminster Fuller and the Future, published by Oxford University Press – and is the author of a weekly online art and design column for Forbes. He has been an artist-in residence at the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics, UC Berkeley's Sagehen Creek Field Station, and the LACMA Art + Technology Lab, a Black Mountain College Legacy Fellow at the University of North Carolina-Asheville, an Imaginary Fellow at Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination, and a Research Fellow at the Nevada Museum of Art's Center for Art + Environment. He is currently a visiting scholar at San Jose State University’s CADRE Laboratory for New Media, research associate at the University of Arizona’s Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill, research fellow at the Highland Institute, consulting philosopher at Earth Law Center and the Museum of Tomorrow, Polar Lab artist at the Anchorage Museum, Flux Exchange Artist at Flux Projects, and artist-in-residence at Hyundai, the SETI Institute, and UC San Francisco’s Memory and Aging Center.. He serves as co-director of the Alien Hybrid Garden at Arizona State University, and curatorial director of the Museum of Future History. A monograph about his art, Thought Experiments, was recently published by Hirmer Verlag. He is represented by Modernism Gallery in San Francisco.

Dr. Erin Riordan is an applied ecologist working at the intersection of plants, people, and climate. Using statistical and spatial analyses, Riordan strives to better understand how plants respond to climate in order to guide climate change adaptation in complex social-ecological systems, including aridland food systems. Riordan’s research draws upon the natural ecosystems and traditional knowledge of the Sonoran Desert to redesign food systems for a hotter drier world. She believes that an inclusive, transdisciplinary approach is essential to improving resilience to today’s unprecedented environmental threats. Riordan is a research associate at the University of Arizona Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill and a conservation research scientist at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, both located in Tucson, Arizona.