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Group photo of Discovery workshop for the redesign of Foodscape Pages

Landing on a new Page

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Foodscape Pages25 October 2021

We have a new online space!

One that is professionally made with the generous support of a voluntary team of experience designers and developers from ThoughtWorks, brainstorming alongside friends of the Foodscape community, and partially funded by CreativesAtWork and Blue3Asia.

As we continue to transition from the old wordpress site to land onto this new online platform, we'd like to take the opportunity to recount how Pages came about. And as we launch this site, just like when we first created the wordpress site a year and a half ago under lockdown, we are unable to celebrate in-person this significant moment. However, we are happy to have learnt new skills and continue to find ways to share, celebrate, listen and being with one another.

The Why, What, How and the in-between...

Foodscape Pages came about in 2018 when Vivian, Sixian and Huiying came together to share stories and invited people to write. We also wanted to share knowledge and wisdom based on lived experiences from practitioners on the ground with others. This impetus resulted in the first issue of The Sauce — on food, community and inspirations. Just as we were heading to the printers, Singapore went into a lockdown in March 2020. 

A display of food items on a notebook.

Uncertain as to when we could print and feeling the need to share the stories without further delay, we decided to make a website using simple tools available on Wordpress, with the dream of creating a more robust online platform some day. Relying on the templates to share the materials, the Foodscape Pages website was born - a community ground-up initiative, to share stories of lived experiences from and of practitioners from the ground.

During the lockdown, the need for a community space to host and share stories became even more pronounced. As the world is still in the stupor of grappling with the spread of a global pandemic, Pages launched its first open call “Food in the time of covid”. The intention is to hold space for reflections of these unprecedented times, with food as an anchor to share experiences as a response to what was happening. Contributions came from Singapore and beyond.

Open call for food in the time of covid

As the reality of the pandemic continues to dawn on us, more people started paying attention to the question of food and wanted to be involved or contribute in whatever ways they can. Pages is then joined by Megan with her editorial skills, and Christine contributed the facilitation of a soil painting workshop as part of the fundraising and soft launch effort for the inaugural issue of The Sauce, which focuses on Soil. David helped with an initial round of readers' feedback surveys, and Tung Yeng sharing her energy in our social media platform.

Photo collage of soil pigment making workshop

Soil Paint Making Workshop, October 2020

In the meantime, we continued to work on the final edits of the first issue of The Sauce, with the layout design by Nicole. We were certain that we wanted to use 100% recycled paper even if it cost a little more, and decided to focus on quality rather than quantity. Denise jumped in to support the editing process and final layout on InDesign, and the journazine finally went to the printers in October when they reopened after the lockdown started in March 2020.

All in all, it was a journey climbing the learning curve working out costing, fundraising, printing and distribution, a journey we thoroughly enjoyed. :)

Printing process of in the inaugural issue of The Sauce, Soil

Seeing Pages’ potential as a platform for much-needed discourse around food systems in the region, Jun Qi, who came onboard with her skills as a software developer and illustrator, supported the intention of a website redesign. She invited a small voluntary team of experience designers (XDs), software developers, and consultants from her then company, Thoughtworks to be involved. The process started out with a two-day Discovery Workshop spread across two weekends, where the Thoughtworks team and various friends of the Foodscape community came together to better understand and align on the intention and vision of the website redesign, and explore possible avenues for the new design. 

Activity from Foodscape Pages redesign Discovery workshop

Our gratitude goes out to the Thoughtworks team: Esther and Becher, XDs, who helped to plan and facilitate the workshop together with Jun Qi; Manu, who beautifully documented the process, Vijay and Jiawen who gamely came down to help and participate on the weekends and gave their logistical support; and the community and friends of Foodscape Collective: Hanzhong, Marcus, Samuel, Wei-li, who have been with us on this journey around regeneration the past few years, and Lucas and Deborah who has since joined as writing contributors.

Team photo at the launch of delivery of the redesigned Foodscape Pages

Team kickoff for the delivery of the new Foodscape Pages website

Based on the workshop outcomes, Jun Qi started planning for the delivery of the redesign, analyzing various features and identifying improvements over the existing site, and reaching out again among her (then) colleagues to see if anyone would like to be involved in this engagement. Soon after, a small voluntary team was formed to help carry out the first phase of delivery. Becher and Tara did a whole ton of XD heavy-lifting, designing a series of mobile-first and responsive screens for the key features, while Jun Qi anchored the technical delivery with help from Justin and Xudong, and Manu helped with testing new features as they were developed. 

Screenshot of trello board used for development of the redesigned Foodscape pages website

Kanban board for the development of the new website

After a period, other commitments began competing with the bandwidth of most of the team, and it gradually disbanded, but we are immensely grateful for all the voluntary help and support we received from them. Jun Qi has since left the company and continues, working alongside the rest of the core team at Pages, with the delivery of the new website. She is working on its development, illustrations and design, with funding support from CreativesAtWork and Blue3Asia. We are launching the new website with several key features in place, and will continue building in new and improved features over the coming months.

Screenshot of the figma board with screens for the redesigned Foodscape Pages

Screens for the new website designed on Figma

This launch also marks a point to reflect and appreciate all the support we have received as a ground-up initiative. 

With only community support and no financial backing to start with, we gathered over 20 stories from the practitioners and the public, shared them on our Wordpress website, and printed our first journazine The Sauce on Soil (buy here to support!). Currently working on a second issue of The Sauce on Seeds to be published online, we hope to be able to do some interesting tech-enabled storytelling.

We are thrilled and filled with gratitude for launching a newly designed website with custom-built specialised features to support the work that we so love doing. We hope you will enjoy the new user experience and give us your feedback!

Thank you all, readers, contributors, the Foodscape community, for being with us on this journey and celebrating this pivotal and exciting moment as we launch the new Foodscape Pages website!

Pages core team

Current core team: Vivian, Tung Yeng, Megan and Jun Qi

We’d love for this community to grow!

Come on board.

Tell stories.

Initiate and co-create with us!


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