Future Food Hack

An experiment with the future of food

As the thesis project for my master’s degree at Parsons School of Design, Future Food Hack was an experiment on the new forms of food and new ways of agriculture. It included five maker kit that encompassed the different aspects of future food, including functional food, techno food, soilless culture, symbiotic system and microbial cultivation. The objective of this project was to create a dialog on the question: how do we envision feeding ourselves in the future?

I researched the topics of various approaches on feeding the world in future, and orchestrate an experience and an exhibition that allowed people to envision the future of our food. I also interviewed a wide array of experts that explored the topic of future food, including a nutritionist, a social justice activist, and a food entrepreneur. I compiled my research findings into a 75-page e-book, and I published a website that hosted tutorials and documentation.

Future Food Hack received very positive feedback from thousands of visitors from 2016 Parsons MFADT Thesis Exhibition, and it was covered by Fusion, a subdivision of the ABC network. See coverage HERE.

Kit 1 - Fiberful

Fiberful is a kit for making a handcrafted hamburger patty that contains the full recommended daily intake amount of dietary fiber. The kit provides all the dry ingredients to make a fiber-packed hamburger patty at home. The kit includes various dried herbs, seasonings, and wheat dextrin (a soluble dietary fiber).

Fiberful explores and challenges the concept of functional food; it is aimed to inspire the audience to question if novel food products with enhanced health benefits are the future of our food. Is consuming a high-fiber food product equal to eating fiber-rich fruit and vegetable?

Contains:
40g Triticum aestivum Dextrin
5g Sodium chloride
5g Piper nigrum
5g Capsicum annuum
5g Origanum vulgare
5g Thymus vulgaris
5g Allium cepa
5g Ocimum basilicium
5g Allium sativum
4 Measuring spoons

Kit 2 - Papier

Papier is a kit for making gluten-free, low calories snacks. The snacks are made from an all-natural vegan ingredient. It is also sugar-free and fat-free. The kit includes edible rice papers, edible color makers, and a template. Users can create low calories snacks by tracing the template and cutting the desired shapes from the edible paper.

Papier is aimed to push the boundary between real food and food-like products while criticizing the phenomenon of techno-food. It illustrates an extreme case of techno-food; food-like products with no significant nutritional value that can still be perceived as healthy.

Contains:
25 Edible paper
5 Edible makers
A Template
A paris of Scissors

Kit 3 - Agara

Agara is a kit for constructing a plants growing incubator that is designed for growing food in a soilless environment. With Agara, users can germinate and sprout various seeds inside sterile test tubes. It includes various types of seed and all the ingredients for making an agar growth medium. It provides an innovative perspective on raising food other than through conventional agriculture.

In Agara, the user can reimagine the ways we generate food through soilless culture. It also provides a very minimal way to grow food in a small and enclosed environment. Agara aims to create a change in awareness affecting individual habits and indirectly impacting how we interact with agriculture.

Contains:
20g Agarose
5g Phaseolus vulgaris
5g Glycine max
5g Salvia hispanica
5g Vigna angularis
5g Lens culinaris
5g Raphanus sativus
5g Triticum aestivum
5g Trifolium pratense
3 Test tubes
A Tweezer

Kit 4 - Skinseed

Skinseed is a kit for making a wearable device that allows for growing food directly on our skin. The device has an absorbent layer that captures moisture and heat from our body and the seeds are placed inside. It also includes an adhesive coating that can bond to our skin and securely seal the seed patch. It is aimed to explore the possibility of establishing a symbiotic relationship between the human body and the food we eat.

Skinseed allows us to work with our physical body to generate food. It prompts the audience to rethink our relationship with our food. With Skinseed, we can draw the relationship closer to us by completing the cycle of the food chain on our skin.

Contains:
10g Sucrose
5g Medicago sativa
5 Transparent dressings
5 Gauze sponges
A Dropper
A Tweeter

Kit 5 - Spirubrew

Spirubrew is a kit for making a Spirulina growing system that provides the optimal environment for raising Spirulina for food in an indoor environment. It includes live Spirulina culture, growth medium starter mix, and essential nutrients. Users have an option of upgrading their kit to include an Arduino board and various digital sensors for making a digital data tracking system.

Spirulina farming poses an opportunity of introducing a new form of food and a new way of urban agriculture to the general public. SpiRuBrew creates an innovative way to interact with the cultivation of personal food sources. The system allows for a continuous cycle of data analysis, evaluation, and adaptation in an effort to maximize harvest. Engaging the user in the otherwise unknown science of food cultivation.

Contains:
30ml live Spirulina culture
20ml Chelated Iron
75g Growth medium (Postassium nirate, Diammonium phosphate, Sodium chloride, Sodium bicarbonate)

The upgraded version includes:
An Arduino Uno
A pH sensor
A Temperature sensor
A Breadboard
15 jumper cables

 

E-book and Website

I compiled my research findings into a 75-page e-book, and I published a website that hosted tutorials and documentations.

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Exhibition

Future Food Hack debuted at Parsons MFA Design and Technology Thesis Show 2015. Not only all five kits were on display, visitors also had a chance to try the kits and make their own future food products.

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