Nowadays, it's normal to find animal products and exotic fruits from around the world on the shelves of the nearby supermarket. The meat used to be a scarce resource that only privileged people could afford. Now, all around the world, meat is consumed daily and is often at the center of the plate. As its consumption is drastically increasing, predictions are pessimistic towards sustaining the resources we currently have to maintain this consumption. Additionally, as food is becoming a commodity, people are more disconnected to what they have on their plates, they don't know where the food they eat comes from, whether it's from which animal, tree or country. And most of us, consumers, care more about which comfort or social status it is bringing to us rather than questioning the status quo.
Below are the main steps to showcase this project to the public via interactive art installations, and additionally via video streaming and sleek-provocative photographies.
Selection of some world-famous dishes
Introduction of sensors and other hardware components in the food, that will react from motion and interaction with forks, knives, and chopsticks
Set design and food installations in situ. This can include a mix of experimentations related to playing around with food colors, taste, shape, prospective food futures around dishes. As well as other types of food environment (e.g. supermarket).
When the food is pocked, it's talking... a lot! Recording of the interaction in action.
EDIT: March 26th, 2018
After reflecting on my submission, I realized that my production proposal is one way of conveying the message. I would like to explore other relevant ways at the intersection of design and technology, such as Augmented Reality: I can easily see a hologram standing out above a piece of steak.
CONTENT — What do I want to raise awareness about?
DIRECTION — Why is the future of food already here?
MEDIUM — What type of interactions and Art installations can I get inpired from?
MEDIUM — How can I use Hardware, Sound and other technical tools?
My professional life started by improving engineering manufacturing processes at L'Oreal. I was fascinated by automation and how machines could ease the work of humans. For 3 years, I pursued working in this Industry for other companies in France and China.
In 2013, I transitioned in the Software industry and since the last 4 years, I've been working for Tech startups as a Product Designer. Working in close-knit teams, understanding and translating human's need into websites, mobile apps interfaces as well as conducting Design Thinking workshops has been a great journey for me so far.
For the last years, I realize how important it is to develop my own creativity and art practice, as well as exploring technical skills, such as computer programming and electronics. And I have been investing time for both.
My other strong interest in life is food, healthy food.
As I started cooking by myself around the age of 20, I have been used to have a veggie-centered plate. More digestible, more colorful, more fun experimentations.
Summer 2014, I read Eating animals (see inspiration section above) and got informed about the holistic impact of our consumption of animal-related products (meat, fish, milk, cheese, eggs...): on environment, on health, on how animals are treated, genetically modified and overexploited, on how it makes industrials politically more powerful if not richer, on how it impacts local farmers' wealth in underdeveloped countries, deforestation, water resources, worldwide hunger... to name a few. My main frustration came from what industrials said about us, consumers: as the demand is increasing, they have no choice but to follow it, at any cost, no matter how.
This has been the start of questioning what I have on my plate and get more knowledge about the food system in general. From then, I started reducing animal-related products from my diet while carefully questioning products sourcing and favoring local productions. Fast forward to now, my diet is 90% vegan. From time to time, I eat chicken, cheeses or eggs from farms nearby. And it's promising to see how vegan food is making progress, not only on the supermarket's shelves but also in Labs financed by big corporations worldwide.
In this journey of becoming a food activist, cooking isn't only a way to feed me, it's also a way to reflect on me and how I want to impact the world around me. In 2016, I decided to learn about bread baking and worked weekends night shifts in a bakery. When I retired from baking, I wanted to experiment making vegan ice creams. And I am not done with this endeavor yet.
For the last years, I've put efforts on selecting purpose-driven projects to work on as an Interaction Designer and especially projects related to sustainable food systems. This is how I got the chance to work on designing from scratch a wiki for edible crops, and on building the concept of an app for a vegan-friendly supermarket:
When preparing this application for Adobe Creative Residency, I considered the ingredients I would need if I were given the chance to dedicate a whole year to build something that I care about, that I want to share with the world, while challenging my technical skills.
When thinking of which form of art I want to develop, I am inspired by engaged Artists, like Banksy and JR, who have a strong message to convey.
When thinking which topic I care the most about myself, it's with no doubt, food.
And regarding technical skills, I'm fascinated by how interaction design could be applied to everything, whether digital or physical. And after getting a great intro to electronics at Noisebridge hackerspace, in San Francisco, this seems like a crazy dream to consider learning more about hardware and give a voice to food! I want to have fun with Electronics like Simone Giertz has!
For the last 4 years, I've been working as an Interaction Designer for tech startups in France, in the US and now in Germany. In the back of my head, I have been dreaming about doing an art project that I would be proud to show to the outside world.
Last February 16th, I was invited to give a talk about Curiosity at Creative Mornings Berlin. And it came full circle when at the end of my talk, Franziska Parschau announced the Adobe Creative Residency and encouraged to apply for it. I first didn't consider it for me. But eventually decided to take this opportunity to put together a dream project anyway.
I couldn't think of a better opportunity than this Adobe Creative Residency to raise awareness about the food we eat in an interactive and artistic way. I'm pumped up by this project and can't wait to make it happen.