Food, far from being just about taste and nutrition, is very much a matter of politics, identity, emotions, traditions, stories, memories, and values, that together with our senses, determine how we experience flavours. With our design concept Food Tab, my team and I distilled these insights into an experience of the urban environment as food source and of making people more aware of senses other than taste involved in experiencing food. I travelled to Tokyo to present Food Tab at Toshiba's headquarters. There, I also took part in a design sprint with Chiba University and Parsons New School further exploring the future of food.
Food tab is a mobile app to explore the city as a food source and discover sound as a sense of flavour.
Food Tab is the result of speculating about new possibilities for interactions between people, plants and animals, and experimenting with ways to make people notice the unseen city. We wanted to allow people to develop relationships with the wonders of urban wildnerness they walk past every day and eavesdrop on the life of their non-human neighbours. Widening the pinhole of our human perspective might shift the way we think about nature, from something distant and abstract, to something real, at once annoying and beautiful. We wanted to create an experience that is part nature lesson and part love letter to the world's urban jungles.
A taste sensor detects and quantifies chemical features producing similar human taste sensations. Different taste values are assigned particular musical elements. An audio is rendered and uploaded to a server, creating an mp3 which can be downloaded by the user.