menu

Census Data Used To Create BBQ Spice Mixtures For Each NYC Borough [Video]

Census Data Used To Create BBQ Spice Mixtures For Each NYC Borough [Video]
Cities

Hanna Kang-Brown used the population breakdown to decide what flavors went into each of her five rubs.

Daniela Walker
  • 11 july 2013

Self-described interaction designer Hanna Kang-Brown is interested in data representation. Her work focuses on data that can sometimes seem daunting to the average person and creating a physical representation that allows the public to understand the data in a new way. Kang-Brown broke down the data provided by the US Census to create unique barbecue rubs and spice mixes that represents the racial and ethnic diversity of New York City’s five boroughs.

census-spices2

Kang-Brown wanted to use a different sense, that of taste, to help understand the abundance of numerical data that the Census provides. She assigned each group of people a different spice flavoring – the Polish population was measured in paprika, Chinese people were ground ginger while the Arabic population were represented by sumac. She used figures from the Census to determine the spice ratio of each borough’s mix. In a tasting, Kang-Brown watched as people sampled the spice mix from Staten Island and immediately identified it as such because of the dominance of garlic powder (30%) that represented the Italian population. Her experiment caused people to question their presumptions and stereotypes about race and the flavors that may be associated with them.

census-spices

While some were offended that a class of people could be reduced to a spice, Kang-Brown found that an interesting discussion to come out of her rubs.

Eating is our most interactive activity, involving all five senses, and smell is closely linked with our memories. Pairing spices with race, ethnicity and ancestry data allowed people to experience that data more viscerally than a chart or a map could accomplish. It tapped into gut reactions, and best of all, it tasted good. It was amazing to see people of all backgrounds — friends, families, strangers— talking about race, identity and place with ease and pleasure.

Hanna Kang-Brown

Trending

Turn Food Scraps Into Fertilizer In 24 Hours

Food
Technology Today

Why Nest Doesn't Get The Holidays

PSFK founder reacts to the damaging effects of poor email marketing

Children Today

Robots Could Be Joining Dubai’s Police Force In 2017

The real-life RoboCops can salute, shake hands and collect traffic fines

Trending

Get PSFK's Related Report: Future of Automotive

See All
Travel Today

Parka Hides And Charges Portable Devices

Bolt is a jacket that lets people carry and charge their various electronics without the need for an outlet

Related Expert

Shantell Martin

Arts & Culture, Technology, Art

USA Today

Twitter-Powered Metronome Measures The Tempo Of Austin

The installation is designed to swing faster as more tweet come in

Travel Today

Yelp's New 'Yelfie' Feature Lets Diners Take Selfies

The update is designed to encourage people to attach a selfie when they share their experiences

Design & Architecture Today

Build Your Own Savory Cheese Advent Calendar

A British food blogger has created a guide to building a different kind of holiday surprise

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Retail 2017
Transformation Strategies For Customer-First Business
NEW

PSFK Op-Ed Yesterday

Communications Officer: What This Holiday Season Means For Millennial Shoppers

Dallas Lawrence of the Rubicon Project shares why holiday cheer is all about likes, views and retweets

PSFK Labs Yesterday

Retail Spotlight: Home Depot Reimagines How Employees Conduct Tasks

The home improvement retailer puts the customer first by initiating local fulfillment centers and simplifying freight-to-shelf inventory management

Fitness & Sport Today

Floating Gym Concept In Paris Is Powered By Your Workout

The proposed design from Carlo Ratti Associati lets passengers ride a stationary bike as they travel through Paris along the Seine River

Syndicated Today

What Does The Future Of Android Look Like In A World With The Pixel?

Google’s decision to make its own phone might have looked like a blow to the likes of Samsung but the reality is much more interesting

Retail Today

Customer Service Expert: Why Offline Retail Has Better Data Than Online Retail

Healey Cypher, Founder and CEO of Oak Labs, shares why we should be thinking about the physical store as an e-commerce site

Fashion Today

Alexander McQueen Designs A 3D-Printed Umbrella

3D-printed fashion arrives in time for the winter season

Work Today

Why Training Associates To Be Advocates Is Key To Retail Success

In our Future of Retail 2017 report, PSFK Labs discusses strategies to prioritize customer service, which begins with associate advocates

PSFK LABS REPORT

Future Of Work
Cultivating The Next Generation Of Leaders
NEW

Media & Publishing Today

Netflix Creates Binge Candle To Celebrate A New Season Of Gilmore Girls

The streaming service developed a special layered candle that creates candle with episode-specific smells

Advertising Today

Interactive Film Tells A Story About Living With Cancer

A moving song written by a father of a cancer patient comes alive in a 3D environment

Automotive Today

Audi And LEGO Exhibit Autonomous Vehicle Installation

The installation at Design Miami explores the 25th hour, which represents bonus productive work or play time

No search results found.