FOOD DESIGN

A new concept of the food of future – and why not from the present as well – are getting together designers, chefs and architects, to create incredible design dishes to be tested

Our relationships with food have been refined together with evolution of human society. We went from a point where we just ate for nutrition reason, to a point where we taste and enjoy food, and in this process we start to mobilized our five senses. Hearing, sight, touch, smell, and taste.

When we are testing some food, we look and feel the tempting smell of the dish, and the dish calls us as well, the sound of food (when we interact with it) the texture that provoke us at the same time that the flavour satisfies us.

This experience, deeply recorded in or memories, leads us to the desire of repeating, repeating and repeat again… because (as we all know) It is a greatest temptation to taste good food… The reason? The irresistible perfectly combination of different factors, and as science explains, because of the endorphins that flood our brain with pleasure when we are eating.

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WHAT DOES IT HAVE TO DO WITH DESIGN AT ALL?

Referring back to the beginning of this text, how does we start to remember food? Which were the senses we first activate thinking about it? The sight and smell. Depending on the situation, our desires are activate before anything ell, by the image or by the smell. How many times we fell a watering mouth just by see a patsies window or fell tempted into enter in a coffee house just because of the smell of it? And the many times we select a sweet among lots of others just because it captured out attention by it appearance? The sight, as the aesthetic factor, is in many situations prevalent in leading our acts. And this has much to do with the role of design.

Food design is an eclectic fusion between the world of design and the world of food. Two different realities connected by one idea of what communicate to us and create desires. In one word: the TESTE

In the 20th century- during a cultural meeting evolving anthropology, psychoanalysis, sociology of food, culinary history of systems and lifestyles – It was defined that the act of eating is structured in the same way as the language is. It hve history and tradition, heritage is a lexical, grammar and syntax, is prone to contamination and developments. Food Design is based in the same idea. To write and to re-write the stories, and to feed our senses. Food Design is an international discipline now, and have been developing a proper shape from the past few years

Food Design I a transversal subject, where specialist from different fields, chef, designers, technicians, scientists – cross their experiences in the challenge of exploring the world of food and nutrition by all the different lights, to create brand new sensation. Foods, as well as design, are conceived to satisfy, trough a great experience, the demands of the people.

When we think about home made food, people develop an intimate relationship of love and necessity with it. This relationship not always happens with processed food instead. Design has the ability to ad the necessary ingredients to this relationship by generating new and especial experiences.

There is already a great activity around the concept of Food Design in the global scenario.  Many events around the world celebrate and present the results coming form this end. In particular, there is a special event that takes place in Turin (Italy) since 2005, which the name is, precisely, Food Design®. Each year they run a competition where the general theme is Design as FOOD and Food as Design. The results of the competition are show in the event and brings many novelties in terms of food creation and eating tools

In the 4th edition of Food Design® last year, artist, design, students, architects from Italy and from other parts of Europe brought ideas represented with image panels and prototypes. They were divided in 5 different themes of approach: Quanto Basta – food that follows our habits and our diets. Food `A Porter –Packaging and tools providing new ways of consumption and experiences. Food 4 Fun – ways of dealing with common habits of eating in a playful and ironic way. Food Culture – reinventing fashion in a tasty way. Food &+ – new typologies of packaging or ways of consumptions that adds one or more function in the food.

Food Design® works as a laboratory without boundaries, where it became possible to interact with artistic solutions for consumption and experimentation of the food.

After going trough the experimental and artistic side o this subject, It is important to take in consideration the other side of food design: processed food – the ones we find in the supermarket when we want to buy or try something new. Snacks, Ice Creams, Ready to Eat products etc.

In the complex field of big chains and distribution, it becomes more and more important to companies to pay attention in the consumer’s desires, and one way of doing it is using the disciplines of Strategic Designs able to revel and define new functions and models of consumption.

VRD RESEARCH contribution for the Food Design world was concept generations of food and professional kitchen tools thinking for those in the year 2025. In collaboration with Electrolux Professional, a group of mix professionals used methodologies, creativity and innovative process of research to archive innovation in the food sector and in the professional kitchens (food service), creating a series of new concepts of foods and systems to cook them. We had transformed the experience of eating at self-services restaurants into an experience closer to a performance, where customers could interact and create their proper food.

The results of this project become the bases for two global patents of innovation. They were shown in the annual Foodservice Consultants Society International, in Canada, within a section named  “Innovation: Not Just a Matter of Luck” in which Electrolux CEO, Detlef Münchow, talked about the project Design & Cuisine 2025:

” By putting the consumer at the centre of thinking and performing, both in design and food product design, the research and the future trends, we can now offer a complete professional solutions able to guarantee the satisfaction of our customers”

This, I believe, is the future of the Food and the Food Design

Article written for the magazine Espresso (Brazil). Images are the same used by the magazine for this article.