Recipe: On writing a recipe

Serve to:
Anyone with something to share (knowledge, experience, practice, etc)

Quick: 30 minutes

Low – just your time. Thank you!

Low – and we can help (if you want).

We’ve chosen to use recipes to communicate a lot of the ideas in this blog.

This is because the recipe is a good way to share lots of different types of knowledge (research, practice, experience, tips, stories) from many different contributors (students, tutors, academics, anyone with a story…).

The recipe is a ‘sticky concept – people understand it easily; it can be shared quickly; and (most importantly) it can be applied directly.

It’s an effective and efficient way to share knowledge, experience, and practice – and we think that’s quite useful right now.

So, if you have something useful in your teaching practice that might be useful to share with other design educators then please have a go at writing a recipe:

Some more guidance

The best way to write a recipe is to simply tryit for yourself first (you don’t even have to look at other recipes or even the template if you don’t want to!).

We found in the past that the best recipes come from your own voice and experience. So please write in whatever way you feel comfortable, using whatever language and style you prefer.

You can (if you want) use the recipe structure to suit your way of communicating. For example, you may prefer a longer Background to tell a story; or you may be more interested in the Ingredients and things you worked with; or you may want to focus on what you did so that others can try it by having a detailed Method.

  • Background can provide context, experiential reporting, observations, positioning, proposing, relevance, and importance – all the things one might, in fact, expect as the necessary preconditions for some piece of research in context.
  • Ingredients can describe elements, artefacts, items, and other things, and can include conceptual elements such as attitudes, approaches, and ideas. As with the background, the ingredients can form a natural language for organising items.
  • Method can provide steps for replication, recreation or simply description. More importantly, since this is a recipe metaphor, it can also allow for ‘maybes’ and ‘possibilities’ – not simply the definite elements.

The other sections (Serve to…, Cost, Time, Dificulty, Tips, etc.) are all optional. You can add to these or not.

So, give it a go and let us know when you have a recipe ready.

We can help with editing and you’ll get full credit on the blog (but note that all content on the blog is licensed using a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License

Published by Derek Jones

Derek Jones is a Senior Lecturer in Design at The Open University (UK), part of the OU Design Group, and the Convenor of the DRS Pedagogy SIG. His main research interests are: the pedagogy of design and creativity, embodied cognition in physical and virtual environments, and theories of design knowledge.

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