Food is one of the most basic elements of human life and also one of the most inventive. When chefs traded their toques for chem lab coats, we got molecular gastronomy. Suddenly a whole new palette of textures and tastes became available to adventurous diners. Erika Marthins, an interaction design student at ECAL, takes it one step further and turns food into an interface for rethinking the entire experience of eating.
Her graduate project, Déguster l’augmenté, represents a desire “to explore the potential of integrating data and storytelling into food.” Borrowing from the world of soft robotics, Marthins created a gelatin dessert that moves. She collaborated with chefs to design a playable record made from chocolate that lets you experience sound and taste. The final piece in the series is a transparent lollipop that is encoded with a hidden message revealed when a light shines through it.
Do our desserts need to play music and read poetry? Of course not. Food is nourishing but it can also be fun and entertaining. Now, it’s interactive, which opens up a new type of experience. You wouldn’t eat the same meal every day of the week so why have the same experience? As Marthin’s project proves, it’s smart to play with your food.