• 08.18.09

Food in 2030: Printed on Demand, Crafted to Your Diet

Philips shares the fruits of a project that imagines the future of food, 20 years from now.

future of food

Organs produced by 3-D printers; sensors embedded in your body, which actively monitor your health; meat grown in a petri dish; robotic urban gardens. Every one of these technologies either exists or is in development. Eventually, they might change the way we live. That’s the idea behind a new project from Philips Design, which imagines the future of food, twenty years from now.


As Wallpaper* reports, the team produced three imaginary products.

The first is an on-demand food printer, which would readily produce the type of molecular gastronomy that’s made the chef Ferran Adria famous:

The second is a two-part food sensor. First, you’d swallow a monitoring
pill that would track the nutritional content of what you’re eating.
This in turn would communicate with a handheld monitor that would graph
your intake of various essentials. (Incidentally, it’s worth noting
that Philips is actually testing something called the iPill, a plastic capsule you swallow which delivers medicines precisely to areas in the GI tract.)

The last product is perhaps the most realistic (at least in one form or the other). The basic idea is to take technology we already use and miniaturize them for the home. Here, the basic idea is aquaponics, whereby fish and vegetables are cultured together in an artificial ecosystem. The plants, grown hydroponically, clean the water; the fish nourish the plants with their waste:


[Via Wallpaper*, which has lots more pictures]

About the author

Cliff is director of product innovation at Fast Company, founding editor of Co.Design, and former design editor at both Fast Company and Wired.