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/ Institute of Philosophy, Citizenship and Youth

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Inspiration landscapes


ObjectiveTo uplift your ideas about inspiration by composing inspiring landscapes with your food!

Duration: 30 to 75 minutes


  • A meal made up of various elements
  • An inspired family


  1. Prepare the revolution. To revolutionize your meal tonight, suggest that your family eat dinner... while composing inspiring landscapes with your food! To do so, it's best to have a meal made up of different ingredients (e.g. mashed potatoes, peas, carrots, bits of bread, etc.) to have more elements with which to compose the landscape. But any meal will do! Take a moment to think about the landscapes that you find inspiring: Are you picturing snow-capped mountains, golden beaches, or lavender fields? How do you feel when you think about these landscapes? If you need to be inspired yourself, you can look up "inspiring landscapes" on a search engine.
  2. Lead the revolution. Before eating your meal, compose an inspiring landscape with your food by moving the ingredients around on your plate. With just a hint of imagination, carrot sticks can become an ancient temple’s pillars, broccoli florets the Amazon’s trees, and pieces of red peppers the lava flows of an erupting volcano! 
  3. Think about the revolution. What changes when you turn your meal into an inspiring landscape? Harness this inspiration to think about these few questions: Is inspiration the specialty of great artists or is it accessible to everyone? What makes someone or something inspiring? Can inspiration be dangerous? Why or why not?


BonusWe are often inspired by what we admire. So if you still feel inspired, go around the table, getting everyone to share one thing they admire in the first person’s landscape and one thing they admire about them as a person. Finally, if your curiosity is as bottomless as your stomach, munch on the following questions: Is it possible to admire someone without loving them? What about the opposite: Is it possible to love someone without admiring them? Are there things that everyone should admire? Why or why not?

Tricks for tots: To make your experience even more fun, after you've made your landscape, create a character and move them around your landscape! To represent your character, you could use a piece of bread, a vegetable piece or a spoon. Will they explore every nook and cranny of your landscape, or just sit back to take it all in? How does your character feel about this inspiring landscape? If your parents agree, your character can even go visit other people's landscapes. Then think about the following questions: Is inspiration necessary to be creative? Does everyone find the same things inspiring? Would you like to live in a world where everything is inspiring? Why or why not?
Tips for teens: According to the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, inspiration is a divine force: The gods or Muses "breathe” talent and ideas into artists, who go on to create things that they could not have created otherwise. Artists’ own skills are thus called into question. Moreover, since it is the gods who speak through artists’ mouths, art can reveal truths. But according to Plato, asking artists to explain these truths is pointless: They are merely unconscious messengers possessed by the gods. Finally, Plato is rather pessimistic about the effect of art, even when it is inspired by the gods. He believes that the public will tend to become attached to a particular artist’s charisma rather than trying to discover the universal truths hidden in artworks. What do you think about these ideas? Do you believe that inspiration comes from a source outside the artist—whether a deity or another artists’ work? If so, should we give less credit to inspired artists than to uninspired ones? Unless it’s impossible not to be inspired at all... Can art convey truths to us? Why or why not?

Share your creative reflections by sending them via email.
Include photos of your projects and notes of your thoughts, as well as your first name and your age!