Christopher Gros

Exploring Eating

 

Food is important. It concerns each and every person, locally and on a global scale. Especially considering industrialized agriculture, the global food industry and the impact it leaves on our planet, food is something we should think about.

Our relationship to food says a lot about our relationship to nature. Virtually everything we eat somehow comes from nature. So it really is interesting to see how we tend to handle our food. Sometimes with ignorance and carelessness or with time, effort and care.

This is where this project comes in. I set out to explore how we handle and shape our food and how this is connected to how we perceive its taste. My goal with this project is to design an experience in the context of our exhibition in July that gives the visitors the opportunity to explore this connection themselves.

In order to do this, I came up with the following four steps the user is guided through.

First, I want to provide the visitors some kind of context why this project is important and how it works, thus making them curious.
After that, I want to actually show them what this project is about by serving different samples that explain the connection between shape and taste.

Then, I would like to leave them alone and let them try themselves. I want to encourage them to compose their own dishes, namely a cucumber and radish salad, in a way they would not have done before. By providing some kind of framework or playground I make sure they do not get lost.

Afterward, I would like them to share their results.

 

 

 

 

 

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8 Comments

  1. Looks great! If I understand correctly you want to design an experience of food. If so, you might want to put an emphasis on how to make this easy for your audience. How can they easily manipulate the food without making a mess or cut their own fingers? What if they lack the skills to do so? What kind of setup and tools can you imagine to make this process easier for the audience.
    Secondly how can you make it easier for them to understand? “Prepare ingredients with different shapes and structures and combine them to new surprising arrangements” might be harder to understand than “Create your favourite fruit salad!”

  2. I think it is quite essential that the user is “reshaping” the food on his own because if you are preparing it for them, they may less appreciate the way it is prepared. Furthermore cutting the food on your own creates an additional layer of exploration.

    On the other hand, the “choose-three-concept” allows you to control the result, and let you create a more precise experience.
    If you want to go with the pre-cut version, and don’t want to introduce them to the topic, you may create a higher level of understanding if the samples are extremely exceptional so that they become really curious about how they will taste and feel.

    1. Good point! It really is important for me to guide the user precisely without constraining him too much.
      Creating a proper framework might be the key to shape the user’s experience. I will try and take this into account with the Playground approach.

  3. As you sad before it´s fun to explore the food. So may it´s imported that the user also have fun and have the opportunity to explore the food him self. (Like Fynn commend on June 2) I really like the first idea:

    “giving the user the opportunity to explore food the way I did during my research. He is given the three ingredients and some (maybe three, maybe 20) easy to understand but rather vague instructions. He really gets to interact with the food and is compelled to actually think about it.”

    One question i think you didn’t answered jet is, in which context all this will happen.
    A special “dinner for one” ?
    A pard of an exhibition where people maybe are interested but don´t have to much time?
    ..

    1. Thank you for your input!

      The setting in which my eating experience takes place is going to be some sort of exhibition. Right now, I am focusing on our own exhibition in July.
      In this context it is obviously important to make the interaction engaging yet subtle and unobtrusive. So the user can decide on his own if he wants to stay and actually engage with it or just take a quick glance (and maybe a small bite).
      In both cases he should get something out of his visit.

  4. In some places where people can construct their own food (burgers, burritos etc), customers can add their name or make one up for their item.

    Maybe you could also enforce the “bonding”-process with food by encouraging the users to give the dish they created a name and it’s added to the displayed photos.

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