above photo by Stevie Williams

Events: May 2018, CCA, Glasgow & Quay Commons, Edinburgh  

My MSc Gastronomy research project explored the question “How do artist-led projects engage the public with the complexities of food, using two ‘Squid Inc’ events in Scotland as a case study. The events in Glasgow and Edinburgh in May 2018 were an artistic and gastronomic experience based on three elements: the squid, the ink and the paper.

Firstly, participants learnt about Gyotaku, a traditional Japanese printing technique formerly used by fishermen to advertise their catch-of-the-day at fish markets. After that, participants make their our own squid gyotaku, using squid ink and Asian handmade paper. They then prepped their squids so they were ready to eat! The classic recipe of deep-fried squid, calamari, was adapted by utilizing the squid’s ink in the batter before frying. Find out more about the event here.

The aim of the research was to use the ‘Squid Inc’ events as a case study to critically evaluate the role that artist-led projects may play in engaging members of the public with the complexities of food.


  • Provide background and context to the project by analysing current academic literature on artist-led food projects and food education.
  • Collect data on the stakeholder’s intentions for the ‘Squid Inc’ project and how these are experienced and interpreted by the participants of the event.
  • Classify, synthesise and analyse data responses in order to gain valuable insights that could help generate experience design methodologies for future public engagement and food education events.


Key themes of the dissertation

Read my paper from this research: 

By S.J. Marsden

Bonacho, R., Pires, M.J. and de Sousa Lamy, E.C.C. eds., 2020. Experiencing Food: Designing Sustainable and Social Practices: Proceedings of the 2nd International Conference on Food Design and Food Studies (EFOOD 2019), 28-30 November 2019, Lisbon, Portugal. CRC Press.

See my presentation slides on the ‘Squid Inc’ Gastronomy Project:

Squid Inc presentation

To access a copy of the full MSc thesis please email:



CCA Glasgow event

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