Edible To-Do Lists

An exhaustive exploration of the eating of words. It references to the Islamic text Quran that encourages the faithful to “drink the Qu’ran”. Shown here are four out of twenty-five possible meals that the to-do list can turn into. They each provide extreme punishment-reward systems that act as containers for the brain. By performing the enlisted tasks, unclear if they are given by an external body or are self-assigned, the do-er is allowing the body to eat this text-etched food. It is food made from the brain for the body.

Completion: 29 October 2022
Duration: 2 weeks

Research Question
A to-do list is an act of urgently scribbling down, laboriously drafting, and tediously filling in. But how could the reward of crossing things off with a sharpie be exaggerated?


1. Edible to-do list: Fibrous
A portable pop-up book that turns into a place for you to rest your to-do oranges carefully while you complete a chore. Once the task is completed, the orange can be peeled and eaten. The thing with oranges is that you can’t have just one. This craving for sweet and sour gives you that extra boost to start your next task.

(Expiry: 2 weeks)

2. Edible to-do list: Carbs
Perishable carved letters made out of potatoes create a set of letters for all your to-do listing needs. All the letterpress letters, and furniture of all sizes and starch quantities are made from russet potatoes, locally sourced. The special purple ink is made from a mixture of raspberries and blackberries.

(Expiry: 4.5 hours)

3. Edible to-do list: Gluten
This one is for all gluten lovers. A spread of laser-engraved breads, in both multigrain and pita form. This to-do list is more versatile than the other options and can be customized to the cuisine of your liking. It is recommended to be eaten a few hours after coming out of the laser-engraving machine. For a more toasted result, add more tasks to your print file.

(Expiry: 6 days)

4. Edible to-do list: New York Style Bagel
An everything bagel with cream cheese that sits on your table all day to be eaten. At the end of a productive day, the cardboard nutrients can be added for a balanced meal. One piece is permitted for each task listed and accomplished.

(Expiry: 24 hours)


Getting Known as “The Bread Girl” at the Laser Lab
This project could not have been possible without the lack of hesitation shown by the technicians at the Laser Lab at Parsons. I walked with a humble packet of multigrain bread and asked if I could put it under the laser cutting machine. They said “yes, but use the cardboard guidelines”, in the absence of a dedicated bread setting. The whole lab smelled like burned toast. It was amazing.

Other Ways of Consuming Words
The collection of tangible edibles mentioned here is just a fraction of an ever-evolving larger speculation. Among these concepts, certain ideas demand scientific backing, such as idea number 21, a genetically modified banana capable of storing a to-do list within its DNA. Others need months of time, like idea number 6, which involves tattooing the tasks onto the tongue and employing pavlovian conditioning to establish a connection between taste and task.


Exhibited as part of the show Sobre Mesa, the limbo between a shared meal and the day’s rest. Curated by Vedika Modi and Jimena Muguiro.

Sobre Mesa, Hold a Space for Me
New York City
18 November 2022


Research conducted under the guidance of award-winning designer and architect, Allan Wexler. Author of Absurd Thinking: Between Art and Design.

Works Cited:

Inspiration: Kameelah Janan Rasheed’s lecture at the Center for Book Arts in New York.

Pollan, Michael. The Botany of Desire: A plant’s eye view of the world. Random House, 2014.

Rasheed, Kameelah. “Keynote by Kameelah Janan Rasheed.” Lecture presented at the Contemporary Artists’ Books Conference (CABC), Re-Envisioning Artists’ Book Visibility, October 17, 2022.

Usher, Shaun. Lists of note: An eclectic collection deserving of a wider audience. Chronicle Books, 2015.

Ware, Rudolph. “In Praise of the Intercessor: Mawāhib al-Nāfiʿ Fī Madāʾiḥ al-Shāfiʿ by Amadu Bamba Mbacké (1853–1927).” Islamic Africa 4, no. 2 (2013): 225–48.