The Vitality of Rice

LayoutPrint, ResearchTypography, Visual Systems
Year Created: 2021
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Observing via a global scale lens, The Vitality of Rice is an informational and visual publication that examines the historical and socio-economic implications of rice beyond statistics. In doing so, past, current, and future challenges of ensuring food security can be responded appropriately. This includes (1) shaping specialized rice policies that serve farmers and consumers; (2) producing enough quantities while stabilizing pricesand (3) investing in agricultural R&D.


Engage in design history and theory as well as develop an understanding of the relationship of design to culture through the investigation of an artifact’s origins and significance. Explore the role an object plays in society to gain more insight into the impact and implications of aesthetic, historical context, functions, motivations, challenges, and future responses.

Invested in every artifact is a significance which provides information about the culture from which it originates. As designers, we can continue to learn valuable lessons about our field, design theory, and practice in particular, through exploring the function, meaning and significance of a designed artifact.

Through socially responsible design and post structuralist theory, the goal of this project was to emphasize social, economic, political, and cultural contexts through extensive research, process documentation, relevant design decisions, and intentional craft. With this in mind, the choice of artifact I wanted to focus on was rice, an agricultural commodity that has been prevalent in my lifetime and is vital for communities around the world. From environmental to socioeconomic, there are many directions to take when discussing rice primarily due to its substantial background and challenges that different demographics face.


Final Deliverables

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  1. Agie Wandala Putra, Jatna Supriatna, Raldi Hendro Koestoer, & Tri Edhi Budhi Soesilo. (2021). Differences in Local Rice Price Volatility, Climate, and Macroeconomic Determinants in the Indonesian Market. Sustainability (Basel, Switzerland), 13(4465), 4465–.

  2. Bambaradeniya, Channa & Amarasinghe, Felix. (2003). Biodiversity Associated with the Rice Field Agro-ecosystem in Asian Countries: A Brief Review. figure/Distribution-and-spread-of-rice-fields-in-the-world_ fig1_42765555

  3. Barron, A., Turner, M., Beeching, L. et al. MicroCT reveals domesticated rice (Oryza sativa) within pottery sherds from early Neolithic sites (4150–3265 cal BP) in Southeast Asia. Sci Rep 7, 7410 (2017).

  4. Clarete, Ramon L.; Adriano, Lourdes; Esteban, Amelia. (2013). Rice Trade and Price Volatility: Implications on ASEAN and Global Food Security. © Asian Development Bank. http://hdl.handle. net/11540/2299. License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.

  5. European Commission (2011, January 20). Causes of the 2007–2008 global food crisis identified (SCU, The University of the West of England, Bristol, Ed.). Science for Environmental Policy: DG Environment News Alert Service, 1.

  6. Fuller DQ, Qin L, Zheng Y, Zhao Z, Chen X, Hosoya LA, Sun GP. The domestication process and domestication rate in rice: spikelet bases from the Lower Yangtze. Science. 2009 Mar 20;323(5921):1607-10. doi: 10.1126/science.1166605. PMID: 19299619.

  7. Global Rice Science Partnership (GRiSP) (2013). Rice Almanac: Source Book for One of the Most Important Economic Activities on Earth (4th ed.). Los Baños, Philippines: International Rice Research Institute (IRRI).

  8. Gulati, A., & Narayanan, S. (2002). RICE TRADE LIBERALIZATION AND POVERTY.

  9. Headey, D., Fan, S. (2010). Chapter 5: Lessons for the Future: Does the Global Food System Need Fixing? In Reflections on the Global Food Crisis: How Did It Happen? How Has It Hurt? And How Can We Prevent the Next One? (pp. 92-101). Washington, D.C.: International Food Policy Research Institute. doi:10.2499/9780896291782RM165

  10. Impact of Soaring Food Price in Ethiopia: Does Location Matter? - Scientific Figure on ResearchGate. Available from: https://

  11. Mauri, M., Elli, T., Caviglia, G., Uboldi, G., & Azzi, M. (2017). RAWGraphs: A Visualisation Platform to Create Open Outputs. In Proceedings of the 12th Biannual Conference on Italian SIGCHI Chapter (p. 28:1–28:5). New York, NY, USA: ACM. https://doi. org/10.1145/3125571.3125585

  12. Rice - University of Florida, Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences. (2021). Retrieved from https://gardeningsolutions.ifas.ufl. edu/plants/ornamentals/rice.html

  13. Supriana, T., & Pane, T. (2018). The influences of consumer characteristics on the amount of rice consumption. IOP Conference Series. Earth and Environmental Science, 122(1), 12022–. Bristol: IOP Publishing.

  14. Taridala, S. A. A., Abdullah, W. G., Suaib, Wahyuni, S., Wianti, N.I., Zani, M., … Ekaputri, A. S. (2018). Understanding the social and economic aspects of upland rice farming. IOP Conference Series. Earth and Environmental Science, 122(1), 12066–.

  15. von Braun, J., & Torero, M. (2009). Implementing Physical and Virtual Food Reserves to Protect the Poor and Prevent Market Failure.

Marissa Balbuena ©