RAW: Illustration & Food

Since 2016, the Illustration School, based in Porto (Portugal), aims to investigate the expanded role of the illustrator as researcher, editor, publisher and working across media. The Summer 2019 edition, from the 14–20 July under the title RAW, focuses on the relation between illustration and food, exploring a variety of approaches to illustration and the construction of visual narratives via architecture, printing, recipes and publishing. Through a series of workshops and food-related field trips and talks in an immersive week, this school will expose multiple ways in which different disciplines inform each other and contribute towards the development of the practice of illustration.

The course will seek to build upon its previous iterations, traveling through the city and exploring various partnerships depending on the focus of the object of research. This edition will use the word ‘RAW’ as a starting point to provide a diverse range of readings and processes related to this school’s central element: food. It will specifically explore the idea of ‘unprocessed’, ‘uncooked’ and elements in their natural state to establish a series of connections to the practice of illustration and its current state through intersections with architecture, archives, photography and printing.

The course puts particular emphasis on the importance of collective learning and research. Therefore, participants will be working as a group as co-researchers, producing a collective publication at the end of the school, and documenting all the process of the week, as well as the tools and methods used.

The Illustration School 2019 focuses on the relation between illustration and food, exploring a variety of disciplinary intersections through visual research.

Food as Research

From the relation between recipes as spaces to confront lists of ingredients, the illusion of programmable outcomes and mental visualisations of output, to the cooking process as a space for debate, this school will establish multiple connections with the practice of illustration. Intersections with explorations done by the Fluxus Group (via George Brecht, for example), a culture of food display and composition open up a variety of relations between disciplines, such as architecture via the design of the kitchen space. The Illustration School is therefore committed to the continuous exploration of the expanded role of the illustrator, adopting a multi-disciplinary approach to its practice and its understanding through open, visual research.

The Summer School 2019 is establishing a series of partnerships with food-related venues in order to conduct workshops and experiments. Partners and collaborators include Antonia & Sergio’s organic farm in the Valley of Douro, LOCALInstitutoepoca, Teresa Leonor, Back to Eden B2EPao da TerraAlfaiate do Livro, Shared Institutesketch notes are awesome, and SKREI.

The relation between architecture and food will be explored in a workshop led by Matilde Seabra of Talkie-Walkie. Architecture will be used as a bridge between the two, investigating different forms of analysing and measuring, documenting, mapping and reenacting an environment in relation to food. This will be used to reflect how, throughout history, the act of cooking generates different spaces of congregation and the kitchen is used as a lab, in which resources are transformed into social interactions.

The study and use of archives are central to the Illustration School. Each school investigates different archives from the cities of Porto, Vila Nova de Gaia and Matosinhos, with an alignment with the course’s object of study. With this school focusing on food, collaborations have been established with a variety of institutions, from wine to a collection of herbs. These will be visited and inform the workshops. The full list of partners will be announced soon.

Illustration is a field and a discipline in constant change, existing within the wider context of Visual Communication. Since the early 2000s, digital printing allowed illustration (following graphic design) to increase an interest in self- publishing and with it, an expansion of its areas of activity. While the advent of new media in the late 1990s saw an increase of the tools used by illustrators, such as digital animation, 3D rendering and web-based work, it was the emergence of research and the political conditions of the economic and social crisis of 2008 that accelerated an expansion of the field.The methods, systematisation and rigour of academic research encouraged illustration to interact, learn and borrow from other disciplines, while promoting the idea of the illustrator as researcher. The precarity that was increased since 2008 and the easiness of distribution produced conditions for a rapid developing field that departed a long time ago from the traditional view of the illustrator as an individual who works alone and solely uses drawing as both method and output. Drawing continues, and will continue, to be central in Illustration. But what we’re aiming to investigate and debate at the Illustration School is precisely this transition, this expansion created by interests and detours.

Education is intimately connected to this transition. Illustration education varies from continent to continent and country to country. We aim to debate shared problems, challenges and possibilities. This is, in fact, the central goal of the Illustration School, of which this particular course is one lab to explore one of these intersections, with a focus on food. This course proposed new methods to conduct visual research in illustration, seeking parallels and extrapolations between different forms of thinking and making. Therefore, tours and designed experiences were created as investigative frameworks for translations to illustration practice to exist. The goal of the course was to generate methods and perspectives that bridge and overlap illustration with other disciplines, practices, traditions, cultures. We hope to be able to continue to allow this kind of independent platform to exist and contribute to the development of such an important discipline in profound transition. This publication condenses the diversity of this experience.

Karen Lacroix
Coordinator of the Illustration School

The City of Porto

Porto is the second-largest city in Portugal, located along the Douro river estuary, opposite to Gaia. Famous for being home to the Port Wine, its historical centre is World Heritage Site since 1996 and it has been considered as ‘European Best Destination’ 3 times in the last 5 years. Porto is a culturally rich city, with a lively cultural programme with illustration galleries, artist-run projects, historic archives and museums, increasingly hosting smaller projects and residencies. Based in the centre of the city (Campo 24 de Agosto and Marquês metro stations), in a 1937 typical house from Porto, the school will use the city’s many resources to inform the course, seeking a decentralised education.

Illustration School Summer, Porto, 2019
Coordinator & Tutor
Karen Lacroix, Shared Institute

Matilde Seabra, Talkie-Walkie
Inês Neto dos Santos, Mesa
Orlando Lovell, Cakes Are Not Evil
Margarida Correia
Lexie Smith, Bread on Earth


Karen Lacroix is an illustrator, designer and publisher based in Porto, Portugal. She has taught visual narratives from 2009—2014 at Richmond University (UK) and works for an eclectic range of clients such as Bright Ivy, English Touring Opera, Saffron Hall, Bishopsgate Institute, among others. After concluding an MA in Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art, she founded Uncanny Editions, an illustration publisher and studio exploring different modes of publication practice, collaborating with institutions such as the National Portrait Gallery, The Photographers’ Gallery and X Marks the Bökship . Her work is represented in collections such as MoMA (US), University College London, London College of Communication (UK), Serralves Foundation and Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation (PT), among others. She is the founder of the Illustration School, a nomadic pedagogical platform that investigates the expanded field of illustration and is co-director of the design research centre Shared Institute.

Matilde Seabra is a graduate of the School of Architecture of the University of Porto and co-founder of the architecture studio Poças Martins Seabra. She is part of the collective that edits the architecture fanzine Friendly Fire. Between 2009 and 2013 she was assistant tutor at the Polytechnic Institute of Porto on the MA in Visual Arts and Artistic Technologies. Matilde is experienced in working with several cultural institutions such as the Serralves Foundation, José de Guimarães International Art Center and Douro Museum. Co-founder of Talkie Walkie.

Inês Neto dos Santos is a multi-disciplinary artist, born in Lisbon and based in London. She graduated from MA Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art in 2016. Inês’s work explores the value of spaces, whether architectural or natural, and our relationship to them, investigating their emotional and social value and considering them as vessels for memory. Her practice often takes shape in immersive spaces, experiences or installations and frequently runs on collaborations with other artists and creatives. Recently, Inês has explored the value of food and shared eating spaces, considering the dinner table as a fundamental platform for discussion and conversation. She founded Mesa.

Orlando Lovell is a designer based in Berlin. After a Foundation Degree at Central Saint Martins, she is a graduate from the Eindhoven Design Academy, where she also studied at the Food Non Food Department. She has run workshops at the University of Manchester and worked as assistant curator at Palais de Tokyo. She is the founder of Cakes Are Not Evil baking business in Berlin. She is presently the Communications Manager at The Dutch Institute of Food&Design.

Margarida Correia was born in Lisbon, Portugal. She lives and works in New York and Lisbon. She received an MFA in Photography from the School of Visual Arts in New York. Correia had solo shows at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Art in Grand Rapids, the AIR Gallery in New York, at Real Art Ways in Hartford, the Texas Woman’s University in Denton (USA), the EDP Foundation, the Museum of São Roque, Gallery Monumental, University of Lisbon, Gallery 111 in Lisbon, the Museum D. Diogo Sousa in Braga and the São João da Madeira Art Center in Portugal.

She has also exhibited at White Columns, the Dorsky Gallery, the Bronx Museum for the Arts, Exit Art, ABC No Rio, Center for Photography at Woodstock, Bruce Silverstein Gallery in New York; the Griffin Museum of Photography in Winchester, The Print Center in Philadelphia, the Photographic Center Northwest in Seattle, the Toledo Museum of Art, the Vermont Center for Photography (USA), Gallery 44 in Canada, Cokkie Snoei Gallery in Holland and the King St. Stephen Museum in Hungary. In Portugal she exhibited at Galeria Municipal do Porto, Fundação EDP, Espaço Novo Banco, Centro Cultural de Belém, Galeria ZDB, Centro de Artes de Sines, among others. Correia was a recipient of grants and awards from the Puffin Foundation in New Jersey, the AIR Gallery in New York, the Joyce Elaine Photography Grant in Texas and fellowships from the Aaron Siskind Foundation in New York (US) and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the Luso American Foundation and the Portuguese Center for Photography (Portugal).

Partners & Collaborators
Pao da Terra
Alfaiate do Livro 

Bibliography/ Bibliografia
Allen, G. (2016) The Magazine. London: Whitechapel Gallery.
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Bruno, F. Dulcineia, N. Pedro, B. Susana, L. (2016). A Arquitetura Moderna Foi Para O Céu. Teo lo Rego. Perro Le Fou.
David, W. (1998).Fragments Of Utopia: Collage Reflections Of Heroic Modernism. Hyphen Press, London.
Carson I.A. Ritchie. (1981). Food in Civilization.
CEAA. (2015). Arquitectura Moderna no Arquito Teó lo Regó. Centro de Arnaldo Araujo, ESAP-CESAP.
Charles, M. (2006). The Archive. London: Whitechapel Gallery.
Charlotte, B. (2014). The Futurist Cook-book. F.T. Marinetti and Fillia. SternbergPress.
David, B. (2008). Colour. London: Whitechapel Gallery.
The Decorators, (2015). Ridley’s: Recipes for Food and Architecture.
Eliane, V. The Town Garden.
Ian, F. Memory.
Inês De Oneras e C. O Livro de Cozinha de Apicio.
Jean-Claude, K. (2002). Casseroles, Amour et Crises. Armand Colin.
Jessica, P. Full Moon Feast.
John, B. (1972). Ways Of Seeing. Penguin.
Joseph, J.The Humanure Handbook.
Ken, F. Plants For A Future.
Lierre, K. The Vegetarian Myth.
Lisa, L. (2010). Failure. London: Whitechapel Gallery.
MACBA. (2015). Miserachs Barcelona. Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona.
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Marie-Claire, F. Ni Cru ni cuit, Histoire et civilisation de l’alimentation fermenté.
Maria José Garcia, S. El arte de comer en la antigua Grecia.
Margaret, I. (2010). Chance. London: Whitechapel Gallery.
Markus, M. (2016). The Archives As A Productive Space Of Conflict.
Robert, H. Forest Gardening.
Sally F. M. Nourishing Diets, How Paleo, Ancestral People Really Ate.
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Illustration School
Rua Coutinho de Azevedo 22
4000-187 Porto, Portugal
info [at] illustration.school


Tuition Fee: 615 euros (VAT incl.)
(Fee includes tuition, welcome drinks, all materials, one printed collective publication per participant, workspace, workshops, lectures, and guided tours. It doesn’t include accommodation, travel (flights) to and from the course, and daily meals.) The payment can be done via banktransfer or Paypal.
Deadline application: 15 May 2019
: Since this course is focused on process and group work, there are no portfolios required. However, we would like you to send us a link showing your work, so we have an understanding of your previous experience.
Audience: This course—and the school—is traditionally open and encouraging the participation of artists, designers and illustrators at both BA, MA and PhD levels. The groups are diverse, often with complementary backgrounds and specialities, and the tutors aim to adapt to the participants’ different academic levels and interests.
Equipment: No equipment is required, but a sketchbook is advised & a camera to document.
Accreditation: This course is not credited nor validated by an academic institution. It exists in the series of seminars provided by the research platform Illustration School, under the umbrella of the design research centre Shared Institute.
Schedule: The Illustration School will run Sunday (evening welcoming drinks & introduction) and Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 6pm, with an hour lunch break. We will organise evening events, which will be an addition and therefore, optional. More information soon.

Apply Now.