Friendly Vending Machine
Designer Guus Baggermans was quite annoyed by the clumsy impoliteness of current vending machines, that typically require you to enter some abstract number to select your drink or candy, which is then rudely dumped in the bin at the bottom of the machine – forcing you to bend down to get your treat. He decided to design something better.
For his master graduating project at TU/e Industrial Design he created a vending machine that should interact with the customer on a more ‘human’ level. Inspired by his colleagues Chris Heger and Sjef Fransen, who during a workshop created a hilarious scenario on future food that would fight for the customers attention (crappy video alert), Guus arrived at his concept of a ‘Friendly Vending Machine’.
As you walk by the machine, the cans will follow you and try to get your attention. The user can interact without using any buttons, or browsing menus. Once you decided which drink to buy you slide a coin in the machine after which the tube ingeniously slides opens – It is almost like a ballet – allowing you to grab your treat. The machine is adjusted to recognize a potential customer at a distance of six meters.
Supermarket – Our Next Savanna
We are living in the future and we find it boring. The best place to gather evidence for this claim is the supermarket. To begin with, try and have a fresh look at the word: Supermarket, it is such an utterly futuristic word, yet we use it mindlessly. If only the supermarket wasn’t such a mundane part of our life, we would realize how exceptional this environment really is.
Orthorexia Nervosa: the healty eating disorder
Following anorexia nervosa (under eating) and bulimia nervosa (overeating), orthorexia nervosa (healty eating) is the latest eating disorder in the book. It is characterized by a fixation on eating what the sufferer considers to be healthful food, which can ultimately lead to early death.
While anorexia is typically associated with our visual culture and its unreachable beauty ideals, orthorexia seems closely related with our information age and the easy access to facts and figures. Today so many data about health benefits of our food are available – how it was processed, prepared, etc– and food packages are routinely decorated with scientifically detailed data on their contents. We are suffering from ‘overknowledge’.
While most of us respond to the food-data-overload with an occasional dosage of self chosen ignorance – forget about the facts, grab a burger! – people suffering from orthorexia will spend just as much time and energy thinking about food as someone with bulimia or anorexia.
Engraved Hairy Crab: fake or real?
??? (Dazha crab), or more widely known as Shanghai Hairy Crab, is in season right now. This typical Shanghai delicacy is particularly sought after for its rich and creamy roe. And just like many other delicacies: sooo tasteful but sooo bad for your health… However, like, well, most things from China (if not all) hairy crabs suffer problems with counterfeits.
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:
A Chinese farmer, Gao Xianzhang, has invented baby-shaped buddha pears and he is planning to export his idea. The produce became a success in his local province since people seem to think the pear gives them good luck. He has created a series of 10,000 this season and plans to take the fruits of his labour to the UK and Europe.