FUNCTIONAL FOOD FICTIONS
2012 In the future, how could foodstuffs affect our bodies, psyche and behaviours? Which dreams and wishes could we realise? What associated individual or societal risks, dangers or problems should we expect?
The more scientists understand the effects of various ingredients of our food, the higher the likelihood of developing and commercialising specifically tailored foodstuffs that address individual and collective needs and desires. Using thermal, mechanical, chemical or biotechnological processes we will soon be in the position to alter our food to have functionality that goes way beyond the mere provision of nutrients.
Together with students from the Emil-Fischer-Schule (a school for food technologies in Berlin) we developed seven speculative food products that embody possible developments. These proposals refer to aspects of future scenarios by implicitly asking how a society would need to be structured (economically, culturally, politically) to allow for their very existence. The feasibility – and desirability – of these scenarios is open for debate. To facilitate discussion, the proposals were branded as fictitious products and selected edible mockups were also presented as finger food for attendees of the Technologiestiftung’s annual reception.
Two days of conceptual design were followed by two days of experimenting in the kitchen.
“Drunken Cat” quickly reduces blood alcohol levels.
“Wunderkind” is marketed towards pregnant women and shall foster the development of desirable traits in the unborn child.
“Nanocubes” are bite-sized cakes that tell those nanobots (molecule-sized “machines”) in your bloodstream what to do next. In a way they can be seen as edible “apps”. The coolest application is the alarm clock: Have it in the evening and awake well-rested the next morning at the desired time.
“Fast Learning” comes in two flavours: “Explicit” for the conscious acquisition of facts and data and “Implicit” for the unconscious acquisition of e.g. body motion sequences. Useful “for better remembering the name of an acquaintance at a party” or “to shorten those learning sessions before an exam”.
“Sickies” is a joke product that temporarily simulates signs of illness e.g. through altering the skin colour. Use it “to bunk classes in school” or “to get more attention”.
“Fast Learning” served at the Technologiestiftung’s annual reception