When studying for a doctoral degree (PhD), candidates submit a thesis that provides a critical review of the current state of knowledge of the thesis subject as well as the student’s own contributions to the subject. The distinguishing criterion of doctoral graduate research is a significant and original contribution to knowledge.
Once accepted, the candidate presents the thesis orally. This oral exam is open to the public.
This dissertation uses a critical design praxis to explore domestic waste practices and their link to food consumption in the Canadian context. Employing feminist new materialism, which challenges nature-culture divisions and human-nonhuman distinctions, I examine waste through a broad lens covering living and non-living entities. This involves three main approaches: analyzing design and pedagogy history in Canadian archives; studying the experiences of three Canadian women raised in the 1950s; and reflecting on the “Eat, Waste, Make” project an iterative series of public pedagogy workshops designed to engage diverse food publics with food waste. The historical investigation targets key points in design and pedagogy that contributed to household waste, especially in the post-World War II era (1950s-1970s). Cultural shifts during this time promoted immediate disposal over salvage practices. I highlight the life histories of three women, who I am related to, in relation to food and waste that challenge archival discourses and highlight the role of everyday pedagogies. For the “Eat, Waste, Make” project reflection I explain the evolution of the workshops, and describe the incorporation of critical design and public pedagogy practices in the workshop series. This research contributes to interdisciplinary understandings of food waste practices, revealing gender dynamics, materiality, and patterns of consumption. Through historical analysis, personal narratives, and creative interventions, aiming to shed light on the complex human-waste-materiality relationship in food consumption.