Food Design in the 21th Century
Old nature provided us with a wide variety of food: fresh milk, crispy vegetables, nutritious meat. Yet this is not enough, we want more:
We want a printed steak, square fishsticks, dinosaur nuggets, organic coca-cola, hyper fruit, cloned meat, potato-free potato chips, frankenwein, vegetarian hamburgers and hypernatural tomatoes. We want vitamine+Q10 yoghurt that makes you loose weight. We want to hear the sound of a sausage when we bite it – we want notice how well designed that sausage sound really is.
Already for thousands of years people have been food designers. How will food technology develop itself into the 21th century? The Philips Food Design Probes investigate 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:
Bacteria that Turn CO2 into Energy
We’ve written earlier about man–made bacteria that eat waste & shit petrol. How about a genetically modified bacteria that can eat CO2 and excrete methane that could power our cars and homes? Abundant carbon dioxide, which is considered a pollutant, could be a nearly unlimited source of fuel. Will you one day be driving your car to fight global warming?
When a bird builds a nest, we call it nature, but when a human puts up an apartment building, suddenly it’s culture? As if the dividing line between nature and culture wasn’t difficult to draw already, artist Semâ Bekirovic is making it even more difficult.
For months she “fed” the family of coots in her environment with her own stuff (nude photo’s, old toothbrushes, etc), which the coots incorporated in their nest. The result is an artwork beyond her control.
Pity we can’t ask the coots how they feel about their new dwellings. Since they have constructed it themselves, they might be quite satisfied with their next nature building materials. It is merely our human perspective that makes the outlook of this next nest somewhat uncanny.
By highlighting the geometric and mechanical structure of flowers, computer graphics illustrator Macoto Murayama produced these beautiful renderings. These flowers must not be seen as “just a simulation of old nature”; they are constructional studies, made to inspire (who wouldn’t want to live in a flower-tower?!).
Bioluminescent Trees will Replace Streetlights?
Most people know about light emitting organisms such as jellyfishes, fireflies and mushrooms. Some time ago, genetic engineers transferred genes responsible for the luciferin and luciferase proteins into a tobacco plant. These firefly proteins were then manufactured by the tobacco plant, causing it to glow and emit light.
Robot hand meets Sushi
We are anxiously waiting for the robot that makes the sushi, but at Squse, they have created the hand that can carefully place the delicacies in a box without crushing them. Could this invention mean the end of the factory worker? Of course not. They can all be retrained to manufacture robotic arms… Read more
Austrian designers Katharina Mischer and Thomas Traxler have created a solar powered machine that makes arrays of furnishings that vary based on how much sunlight it receives over the course of a day. The machine spins spools of thread into stools, benches, containers, and lamp shades that wax and wane as the available sunlight shifts. Variations in weather, the time of year, and other environmental factors create pieces of different shape, color, and size, instilling the furniture with growing, seasonal qualities that mimic photosynthesis. The speed of the process determines the amount of saturation of the thread, giving a visual recording in the resulting object.
“The idea of a tree project” shows how objects can grow over time. Read more