Do Something Different 1: Eat Different

I’m taking an online course in Creative Problem Solving via Coursera and the University of Minnesota. One way it aims to challenge and develop the creativity of participants is by asking them to take on unusual challenges called Do Something Different. The first challenge was Eat Different.

Conceptualize, plan in advance and eat something different. Eat something different; that is, eat something completely different, not something that has been just left out of your diet; suggestions: a different culture, an entirely new creation, or a different manner or definition of eating. You should understand that this is not an assignment solely about food, but about the process of eating, literally and figuratively. Again, plan and implement your plan; report on the results”

This is my entry.

How did I come up with this idea? I used mind mapping to explore some possibilities, thinking about the meanings of the words eat and different, and how they could be interpreted in a creative way. Question words, like who, when, where, how, what, prompted me to consider a range of ways I could eat different.

Mind map
Mind map

After a cooling-off period of a day or so, I reevaluated my ideas. Which were best? I tried to look for similarities and differences between them. Two main ideas stood out.

1. What does eat mean? Take in by mouth. What is the opposite? Out from mouth. In this way, eat different means eat differently. Is it possible to eat in a different direction? How can I eat backwards? It would be disgusting to vomit. Maybe I could rewind the act of normal eating? How? With a video.

2. Eat pizza means a pizza gets eaten. So maybe eat different means that different gets eaten. Can I eat the word itself, somehow?

I decided to combine the two ideas. I would eat differently by eating backwards, and I would eat different by eating the word “different” in some form.

Storyboard preparation
Storyboard preparation

To plan my backwards eating video, I made some storyboards, which you can see in the GIF above. I wasn’t sure if the reverse banana eating would look better left to right or right to left, so I did a little test shooting to try both out. I also tried out reversing video and un-drank a bottle of juice.

After my rehearsals, Laura and I shot the video. Next step: submit my video and write-up to the course message boards for comment and moderation.

I felt pretty happy with the video, and so I shared it on social media to get feedback from others. EDIT: I was retweeted by Cory Doctorow! Next step: submit my video and write-up to the course message boards for comment and moderation.

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