It completely made sense that Citylab's own regional food system investigation (Fertile Grounds) should point us south to compare notes and engage in the launch of the Taco Diplomacy Truck at the Tucson Meet Yourself festival. Invited to provide a qualitative "user experience assessment" to the Truck's creators/"curators", we quickly found them open to us unleashing our predilection for playful exploration and interactive experience.
Without even asking where it would take us, by 8:00 am we were sitting in Epic Cafe designing "Taco Diplomat" stickers to share with festival-goers, and scripting a photo documentation essay to capture soon-to-be-appointed "Taco Diplomats'" whiteboard rejoinders to the prompt of "A Taco Is…"
We had a great time (despite the 95-degree heat) cajoling curious strangers to commit for us something of a personal food experience, memory or impression on the whiteboards. But more, we learned just how richly CityLab's skillage can--with just a little effort and creative prop/prompting-- elicit so easily what people want to share.
And we are already scheming a "Border to Border" Taco Truck Tour, excited to taste the rich and various food challenges from Southern California seaside fisheries and the plights of farmworker communities from Central Valley to Eastern Washington.