Sundays in London aren’t just for roasts—this July, the design and food provocateurs DesignMarketo are hosting weekly workshops at the Barbican exploring the wonders of grains. As part of the programming for Doug Aitken’s traveling art “happening” Station to Station, Grains for Thoughts highlights the central role of grains in economic and cultural history through hands-on workshops led by four collaborating designers.

When DesignMarketo principle Alexandre Bettler closed his design studio to focus solely on baking bread, “it sparked some discoveries in our ever-growing interest in food and (hi)story,” explained Jerome Rigaud, principle and co-founder. Working with designers to develop four distinct workshops, DesignMarketo uses product design as a way to explore these unique intersections. “The economics and structural changes are something that fascinate me,” Rigaud noted. “The value of pepper back in time was more valuable than gold itself and the transformation of grain distribution at then end of the ’70s when containerization eradicated the city docks are fascinating anecdotes on the influence of food in our everyday life and more broadly, the impact on us humans.”


July 5 – Distilled Scents by Pia and Moritz Wustenberg
Pia and Moritz Wustenberg have designed an exploration of scents and flavors; discover the chemistry magic behind distillation and infusion. Combining the art of distilling botanicals and glass making, visitors can mix their own cocktail of grains and botanical cuttings to be sealed within a glass vessel and hand fitted with a juniper wood stopper.

July 12 – Cereal Incense by Lauren Davies
An introduction to incense making with a cereal twist: using waste product from grain processing and a variety of fragrant materials, participants can create their own scented gift to the Gods from everyday cereals.

July 19 – The Poetry of Toast by AVM Curiosities
The olfactory, literary and nostalgic powers of toast are explored as participants carve and etch their contemporary creations with quotes from this dining staple’s scholarly past.

July 26 – Popcorn Music by Study O Portable
Inspired by “Popcorn,” one of the first radio hits featuring a synthesizer, Bernadette and Tetsuo from Study O Portable are inviting visitors to use grains to make music. Participants will use the sound of popping corn to create a performance—come rock the ’70s dance floor.

The Art Gallery Barbican is open daily from Noon – 6PM. Grain for Thoughts is part of Station to Station, a traveling art happening by artist Doug Aitken.