Food conservation, harvest and consumption face a number of growing hurdles in various regions worldwide owing to countless external variables ranging from environmental factors to limited space, time and knowledge. This Global Grad Show, six projects from across the globe attempt to create design solutions to resolve these challenges facing the food sector.
Aiming to revamp the ways in which food is produced, Niko Räty from the School of Art Design and Architecture at Aalto University introduces ‘CellPod’ an innovative way to produce food in the urban setting of the modern world, by inoculating ideas from biotechnology, computer science and Scandinavian aesthetics, cellPod is a re-designed bioreactor that enables anyone to grow plant cells for food in the comfort of their home by growing fresh plant cells as batch cultures. The simple procedure involves a pre-packed cartridge which contains a seed-culture and all what the cells need to grow. In approximately a week the cells multiply to the maximum density and it is time to harvest.
Similarly, Evan Huggins from Pratt Institute, a strategic problem solver who addresses the big picture through product and service design presents ‘The Food Chain’ which is essentially a home growing system that is designed to combat the problem of food insecurity and disconnection from nature caused by urbanization. It provides the opportunity for people with limited space, time, and knowledge of agriculture to grow their own organic harvest in a modular home styling design. The hanging garden is not only an impressive design but also, scientifically inspired.
Emma Alsina Palés from UPC Barcelona TECH, on the other hand has tackled the conservation aspect of the food industry mainly focusing on the African region, especially Gambia. The ‘Solar Dryer’ is an innovative system enabling users to extract water from fruits in order to prevent the growth of micro-organisms in fruits thereby allowing sustenance for longer durations.
Yeung Shing Hei, is a user experience/user Interface designer, who’s inspired to provide a better quality connection amongst people by going offline with ‘Foodgather’ as opposed to online interactions. Foodgather provides a chance for people to enlarge their social circle by having a dining activity together where users can choose to join different dining events based on their own interests and bring prepared food for the said event.
The opportunity to learn from worldwide eating traditions and the need to consider alternatives to meat consumption in order to lessen the environmental impact of our food choices is the inspiration behind Mahetzi Hernandez’s ‘The First Bite Café’ which is a cultural intervention that explores and experiments with eating insects. By exploring our phobias, fears, curiosity and imagination the ‘First Bite Café’ may encourage a new population of future insect eaters. According to Mahetzi, fusing traditional food preparation and participatory recipe creation with the dynamic of community eating can lead to much more effective understanding and adoption of insects as food. ‘First Bite Café’ is a unique eating/cooking experience designed specifically for children, to experience their first bite of edible insects. Narrative, open cooking tools and recipes come to work together to immerse them in this eating culture.
In 2003, the human genome was sequenced, and humanity might soon engineer its own DNA. However, in a post-factual society, aversion to genetics is rising, while trust and hands-on participation in bio-science is decreasing. This is a challenge that needs to be addressed, if we are to realize the potential benefits of biotech and steer its progress towards global development and equality. Global Grad Show will exhibit ‘Bento Lab’ by Bento Bio which is an all-in-one DNA laboratory that combines the essential tools for DNA analysis at a fraction of their usual cost. It was designed to be easy to use; which is particularly empowering for beginners, who can learn the practical skills of biosciences work at their own speed. Bento enables non-experts to have a hands-on relationship with genetics, and the design impacts everybody from schools educators, to agriculturists, to citizen scientists.
To explore these and many more innovative solutions follow Dubai Design Week as it prepares to host the world’s largest and most diverse educational event: Global Grad Show 2017.