Brief - Adam Drizen:
Mental health disorders comprise a wide range of conditions that affect the mood, thinking, and behaviors of individuals around the globe. Many people who have these issues struggle from addiction, a brain disorder that results in an urge that is hard to control or stop. The current Opioid Crisis, arising from addiction to prescription pain-relief medication, is responsible for 8% to 12% of the populations struggles with opioids.
This project addresses these heavy topics counterintuitively with a custom-designed dessert, with the goal of showing how on the outside someone may seem to be doing fine when secretly they are suffering from addiction. A cake is shaped like a pretty and pristine pod of an opium poppy flower, the species of plant that produces the poppy seeds from which opium is derived. When the cake is cut into, dark chocolate pills pour out, revealing the heavy side effects and consequences of drug addiction. The project is the perfect balance between literal and abstract, as it touches upon a severe topic affecting millions worldwide. The experience of the viewer and consumer will provide a strong insight into a major problem. As people often talk about being addicted to sugar, the dessert will help provide understanding for people with addiction.
Brief - Hagar Hirsch:
Poppy Pills is an edible sculpture that aims to raise awareness of the topic of opioid addiction, especially of the way many people affected hide their addiction due to the surrounding stigma. The dessert is made out of layers of orange-blossom sponge cake, strawberry frosting, and lemon curd, sculpted to look like an opium poppy pod. When the cake is cut open pills made out of modeling chocolate spill out from a cavity in the cake’s center. People are aware of the opioid crisis as a concept but many do not comprehend that these issues could be affecting those close to them. The National Institute on Drug Abuse estimates that in 2015 around two million people suffered from opioid relates substance use disorders and that that number has only grown since. Poppy Pills’ exterior resembles the pod of an opium poppy, a flower whose seeds contain opium. This pretty exterior represents the mask that many people who struggle with addiction put on. The stigma against drug use, villainizing those who take drugs, and the criminalization of drugs can make people fear to ask for help. When cut into the cake reveals a hollow cavity full of edible pills which spill out. This shows how drug abuse can pile up as well as how bottling up one’s issues with drugs can be hurtful. The serving plate is shaped like a blooming opium poppy cut and etched out of clear acrylic, meant to mirror the flower’s beauty and how it hides something dangerous. The flavors of the cake, orange blossom, strawberry, and lemon, are meant to mirror the floral theme. The crown of the pod on top is made out of molded white chocolate and the entire cake is painted with food coloring to look more like the pod.