Dreamlab: The Future of Food

We were at an extraordinary event last night investigating into The Future of Food.

The event invited various designers, illustrators and animators from Kingston University, the RCA, Hong-ik University in Seoul and the Science Museum to imagine what food means to us in the future – in 2050 to be precise. Facing with over-fished oceans, exhausted fossil fuels and exploding populations, what does that mean to the way we will eat?

The Dana Center (Research Wing of the Science Museum) was crammed last night with extraordinary goodies (and baddies). Here’s a quick tour.

The team above faced up to the inevitable – how to make us all see Bush Grub as tasty, not a trial. One of our team tried 3 (scorpions taste like nuts, if you’re interested). Haven’t tried the scorpion lollipop yet (see below).

This team faced up to the posible extinction of the banana and wondered if all we might have to remember it by is our fruit bowls.

Waste not want not offered us a nice, obvious idea – the ability to order our food from our seat. Yes. Very useful.

One of the oft-repeated clichés of ‘future food’ is the ‘meal in a pill’. Millimeals have found a much more attractive spin on this, a meal on a tearable strip that can be torn off at your leisure.

Continuing the edible insect theme, Ento offered us ‘Locally Grown Fresh Grasshoppers’ and ‘Honey Caterpillar Croquettes’. Healthy, tasty and a sustainable source of protein, says the blurb.

Feast & Famine opted to demonstrate to us the world food imbalance, with machine spitting out circles and lines, people on one hand dying from eating too much, and on the other dying from lack of access.

Then we went to Algae.

My notes have failed me but this team investigated the future of algea as a food, and offered it up as ‘slides’ to be examined (and then presumably licked clean?).

This team encouraged us to cast off our inhibitions about cockroaches as a food and to see it as a food to enjoy for it’s ‘textural properties’.

The Ultimate Selfish Banquet offered us a Paté of Illusion & Expectation, followed later by a Torte of Sweet Opulence.

This entry, Tactile food, (tough to show on a still, sorry) even moved and wiggled on the plate in front of us in a kind of synthetic biology project. Or something.

As if that weren’t enough, even the canapés weren’t, er, canapés…

…we were offered conversation nibbles instead of warm sausage rolls.

As an antidote to the theoretical, we caught a glimpse of a future food that’s almost here – ‘Le Whiff’. These are hand held aero-shots of ‘breathable energy’.

We tried the mint chocolate. Aside from the onset of sporadic coughing, and the sense of inhaling cocoa powder, they seemed pretty good. Available in the UK very soon, it seems.

Anyway, a great evening and hats off to all concerned – we’ve put credits below to all the projects where we knew who was who, apologies to anyone missed.

This event was a kind of prelude to a Dreamlab event that will be held in Beijing in a couple of weeks: representatives of Kingston University, the RCA, Design Museum, Science Museum and johnson banks will judge responses to a similar brief from 6 Chinese teams at a live final at the 751 Art Zone. Updates to come next week.

 

Credits:

Project team: Rebecca Davies, Mark Harris, Catherine McDermott, Rebecca Lynch, Dr Pedro Barra, Tony Dunne, Simone Carena

 

Individual teams

Bush Grub - Ekaterina Demina, Matthew Osborne, Claudia Thomas, Olivia Twaites and Hannah White

The Future of the Banana – Sara Azmy, Sophie Both, Lulu Davey, Lizzie Ireland & Tasha Thomas

Waste not Want Not – Fiona Casey, Bethany Harvey, Kat Rothery, Emily Voller & Olivia White

Millimeals – Jackie Dermawan, James Green, Laurie Mather, Mohammed Mustafa Miah & Irmak Osman

Ento – Julene Aguirre-Bielschowsky, Jacky Chung, Aran Dasan & Jonathan Fraser

Feast & Famine – Sophie Ambrose, Maria Athanasiadou, Meda Garliauskaite, Joe Phillips

Algae (Harvesting the Sea) - Daisy Hardman, Elizabeth Davies and Rebecca Wheele

The Cockroach – Tom Biddulph, Alix Holden, Peter Judson & Rachel Singer

The Ultimate Selfish Banquet – Giorgia Chiaron, Melissa Jarram, Elizabeth Mann & Rachel Shasha

Tactile food – Minsu Kim

Le Whiff - http://www.aeroshots.com/

 

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