Experience Design in the Kitchen

Lucia Terrenghi reflects in this position paper “Sticky, Smelly, Smoky Context: Experience Design in the Kitchen on the challenges to design, setup and evaluate a user experience in hybrid contexts, i.e. physical and digital ones, of everyday life.

It is an exploration of the introduction of digital display technology into the kitchen environment. The paper looks at the complexity of the cooking context and considers how the introduction of technology in the kitchen can affect the cooking experience.

Perception of Objects Shapes Our Appetite and Taste

How something looks has great influence on how it feels. “Look-and-feel” would many say simplistically. This applies to objects in our environment, like products, dishes, and others.

The study of Sun and Wang from Taiwan called “Analysis of Interrelations between Bottle Shape and Food Taste shows how specific atom arrangements of a bottle shapes ones taste.

An interesting relationship between tangible and intangible phenomenons. Just like an application and the user experience emerging from its use.

Food Design: Taste, Sound, Vision and Texture

From The Hindu: “(…) most people don’t even notice why the food they eat arrives looking, feeling or sounding the way it does.”

Architects Sonja Stummerer and Martin Hablesreiter are on a mission to make people really look at what is on their plates. The young authors of the German book, Food Design, won a `Special Award of the Jury’ at the Gourmand Awards last year. This year, they will be shooting a documentary on food design, as they travel across Europe.

Their documentary film is a must see.

Synthesis of elBulli Cuisine

Three quotes from the synthesis:

  • “Cooking is a language through which all the following properties may be expressed: harmony, creativity, happiness, beauty, poetry, complexity, magic, humour, provocation and culture.”
  • “The information given off by a dish is enjoyed through the senses; it is also enjoyed and interpreted by reflection.”
  • “Knowledge and/or collaboration with experts from different fields (gastronomic culture, history, industrial design, etc.,) is essential for progress in cooking. In particular collaboration with the food industry and the scientific world has brought about fundamental advances. Sharing this knowledge among cooking professionals has contributed to this evolution.”

Celebrating technology: New directions for food research in HCI

From CHI ’08: “Food is a central part of our lives. Fundamentally, we need food to survive. Socially, food is something that brings people together-individuals interact through and around it. Culturally, food practices reflect our ethnicities and nationalities. Given the importance of food in our daily lives, it is important to understand what role technology currently plays and the roles it can be imagined to play in the future. In this paper we describe the existing and potential design space for HCI in the area of human-food interaction. We present ideas for future work on designing technologies in the area of human-food interaction that celebrate the positive interactions that people have with food as they eat and prepare foods in their everyday lives.”

Download available.

Food & Fragrance Design

At the 2008 conference on ‘Design & Emotion‘ (Oct. 6-8 2008, Hongkong), one of the conference themes relates to similarities and differences between product experience design and design of food and fragrances. The theme caption reads “What emotional responses do we experience in response to foods and fragrances? Are these particular and distinct emotions, or are these the same emotions we also experience in response to product appearance? How can we describe and design for food and fragrance emotions? This theme invites papers that discuss the experiential impact of food and fragrance design.”

Interactive Cooking

A research assignment: “TV-programs about cooking are popular but could be more popular if the TV-audience could interact with the cooks about the recipe, suggest alternative ingredients, ask to show or tell more details, give background information or whatever. The main obstacle for Interactive TV seems to be that there is no adequate business model and that there is some historical separation between TV displays having only marginal processor power and PC technology. But technology doesn’t prevent Interactive TV.” – Might deliver some interesting results.

Food Pairing Networks

A collection of simple network graphs illustrating how the flavor components of 250 different food products relate to each other, as a tool to inspire the creation of original recipes. By comparing the flavor of each food product, such as strawberry, with the rest of the food and their flavors, new combinations such as ‘strawberry with peas’ can be made. The more flavors food products have in common, the shorter the distance between the food products.