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The combination of design and food can be very fruitful for people and companies. They get a lot of inspiration from it and take it as metaphor, domain or just for the fun of it.
"Food Design Probes is a research project by Philips. They developed ideas how we will eat and source our food in the future, like in 15 to 20 years. There are 3 products we might have in our homes by then:
- The Nutrition Monitor. It basically has 3 parts, a sensor which you have to swallow, a scanner which can measure the nutritional value of food and a display device. So you'll exactly know what your body needs and what kind of effect your food will have on it.
- The Food Printer. Remember the 3D sugar printer? Well, this is the next generation. The machine brings molecular gastronomy to your kitchen. 'Feed' is with some ingredients, pick a shape, let it print … and voilà your amazing 3D dish is ready. I can't wait to see all the opensource 3D recipes that will be available!
- The Biosphere Home Farm. It's a 21st century aquarium crossed with stylish shelving unit, it contains fish, plants and other mini ecosystems."
Let's see if this consumer electronics company can deliver some great designs from this far-future research and food inspiration.
At the POLI.design (Consortium of Politecnico di Milano) in Italy, there are new post-graduate courses called 'Food Experience Design'.
The second edition (March 2009) focused on the specialization to create and design innovative pizzerias.
The fourth edition (Sept-Nov 2009) focuses on rethinking baker's, pastry and ice-cream shops.
From the various other courses like Hotel Experience Design, Entertainment Design or Outdoor Experience Design, some pictures are available as well.
This video includes Chef Grant Achatz talking about his ultimate aim: to use food as a kind of artistic medium to give individual diners an emotional experience.
"If you can get past the soy sauce on chocolate, you will enjoy it and feel a certain way. It's a journey where your heart beats a little faster."
In a two hours lecture on creativity at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences in 2008, world class chef Ferran Adrià (of elBulli fame) showed a short but beautifull video. In this video, the gastronomic experience of a couple is shown through their facial expressions.
Accompanied by the soundtrack 'A Day in the Live' (Lennon and McCartney 1967), we see how the restaurant crew serving the food to the couple, enjoying it to the max.
As Ferran said: "It's not the food, it's the experience."
See also a similar interview with Ferran Adrià at Google, including reviewing the elBulli site.
Chairman and founder of Cantu Designs and executive chef of Moto restaurant Homaro Cantu shows how our expectations of food based upon what we know or are familiar with can be used to change texture, taste, smell and flavor and create new experiences. Great example of designing a new food experience with known ingredients but with different processes. Transmogrification (a.k.a. the process or result of changing from one appearance, state, or phase to another) is what he does.
From Pop!Tech 2006: "Part mad scientist, part artist, chef Homaro Cantu pushes the traditional limits of known taste, texture and technique in a stunning futuristic fashion. With lab partner Ben Roche, Homaro slices and dices technology to reinvent the way people eat."
Watch his presentation at Pop!Tech 2006.
In this podcast (ITConversations), he talks about his background, restaurant and dishes.
courtesy filip borloo
Panelists include Patanjali S. Venkatacharya (Oracle Corp., USA), Ronald M. Baecker (University of Toronto, Canada), Daniel Schwartz (Oracle USA Inc., USA), Chef Jody Adams (Rialto Restaurant, USA) and Chef Jason Santos (Gargoyles Restaurant, USA).
"This panel will bring together a group of user experience experts, with a group often overlooked in the art and science of user experience and food designers. The panelists will include: an award-winning Michelin-starred Chef, a culinary school instructor, a user experience practitioner, and a world-renowned HCI academic.
Together, the panel will compare and contrast concepts from food design and user experience including the challenges of meeting demanding end-user needs, and best practices from food design that one could potentially apply to the design of everyday things.
The main objective of the panel is to explore pertinent questions on the craft of design from two different domain perspectives, whilst evaluating some of the key overlapping concepts.
Among the issues they will examine are:
- How to ensure that designs satisfy the end customers
- The top 3 challenges in coming up with a new design (or recipe)
- How to conduct user testing in a high-stress environment
- Processes to use in developing entirely new creations
Susan Coleman Morse and Eli Blevis wrote an article (full version coming soon) in the ACM Interactions Magazine XVI.2: "Permaculture, urban farming, and locavorism - all are newly familiar terms that we define in this month’s forum and that are implicated in sustainable lifestyles. All denote opportunities for interaction designers. By opportunities, we mean not only potential applications of interactive technologies to help where no interactive technologies have been previously applied, but also the potential use of interactive technologies to more broadly distribute the cherishable wisdom of those who practice simpler, more sustainable, more natural heirloom and traditional forms of food culture and land use..."
In the Fall of 2006, Michel Gagné was contacted by Brad Bird to create a series of animated vignettes for his movie Ratatouille. The concept was to design and animate abstract representations of what the character was tasting. After discussing ideas and concepts with Brad Bird, he created a series of images to illustrate potential ideas of how the taste could be visualized in an abstract way. These were reviewed by Brad and shown to the music composer as inspiration.
A great example of how to make something abstract like taste very concrete.
"FOOD takes a provocative and unconventional look at areas that could have a profound effect on the way we eat and source our food 15-20 years from now" says the FOOD-project of this consumer electronics company. Wih three new projects Diagnostic Kitchen, Food Creation and Home Farming Philips figures out what the design probes are.
Untill now, reception of FoodUX has been good in most tweets. More to come...
Recipes are the training wheels of the chef. Using them is sometimes very hard. How are the ingredients, measures, procedures and end results designed? At UserCentric, Kirsten Peters has found three ways to improve their usability.
Based upon the restaurant metaphor with a front stage (dining room) and a back stage (kitchen), the authors advice information architects and other user experience professionals to apply their thinking to the area of content management in the back stage as well.
In its Simplicity Labs, Philips ('Sense and simplicity') collects successes and horror stories of people with their kitchen and during cooking.
How do you make a chocolate company? Be obsessed. Be very, very obsessed. TCHO is a new kind of chocolate company for a new generation of chocolate enthusiasts. TCHO is where technology meets chocolate; where Silicon Valley start-up meets San Francisco food culture.
From CHI '08: "Food is a central part of our lives. Fundamentally, we need food to survive. Socially, food is something that brings people together-individuals interact through and around it. Culturally, food practices reflect our ethnicities and nationalities. Given the importance of food in our daily lives, it is important to understand what role technology currently plays and the roles it can be imagined to play in the future. In this paper we describe the existing and potential design space for HCI in the area of human-food interaction. We present ideas for future work on designing technologies in the area of human-food interaction that celebrate the positive interactions that people have with food as they eat and prepare foods in their everyday lives."
According to this article, an upscale New York restaurant is the first to feature 'ubiquitous computing', with an innovative table-top interactive menu for wine selection. (courtesy of Business Week)
Control a computerized doll with a lollypop? Students from renowned graduate design programs converge for a Design Expo at Yahoo! to showcase innovative prototypes. Including PeterMe (of Adaptive Path fame).
Chefs are a lot like hardware hackers. Both geek out, absorbing the specs of (vegetables|technology) for the purpose of creating something that nobody else has: (innovative food|new machines). So what happens when the kitchen becomes a hack lab? Something delicious. Something geeky. - And what if being a designer for user experience is like being a chef? FH: Towards an anarchist food aesthetic.
Mike Kuniavsky (of Adaptive Path fame) published a post on wine from an informational perspective.