I curated the exhibition at The Future Food House which was part of the World Food Festival in Rotterdam. A large 5-week food-fest in Rotterdam in 2013.
The future of our food
When we think about our future food, we often imagine science-fiction kind of ideas with test tubes and pills. We do not relate that future to our own behaviour. Still, the choices we’re making today determine what we will be eating in the future.
Every day, we decide what to eat. Is it locally sourced or not? Is it meat, fish or maybe vegetarian? Is it home-made or manufactured? We eat our way into the future.
By invitation from Marije Vogelzang, national and international renowned designers are looking ahead and making predictions for a sometimes odd future.
Martí Guixé (Spain – Germany) – Tonic Death Diet
Inspired by science-fiction books from the 20th century, Martí Guixé collaborates both with experts in the field of medicine, biology and hypnosis as well as with writers and anthropologists.
He chooses new directions with respect to food and the food-system. Guixé proposes a diet that keeps us in a vegetative condition in a virtual world, and that keeps our body in shape by means of pills. He not so much interested in what actually happens to our body but his focus is on what the world would look like without agriculture, supermarkets and gastronomy as they are today.
DUS Architects (The Netherlands) – The Potato Eaters
The installation ‘The Potato Eaters’ by DUS Architects puts the world famous painting by Vincent Van Gogh into a whole new perspective. The edible residue from the potato that remains after cutting french fries in food industry is made into bio plastics and put into a 3D printer . With this material, that is usually seen as waste, DUS makes a unique set of crockery with not one duplicate. In the future, not only our food, but also our crockery will be made to one’s personal taste.
Susana Soares (United Kingdom) – Insects au gratin
Susana Soares considers insects as an excellent source of protein and a serious alternative for meat. Nevertheless, the Western World is struggles with the idea of eating insects. That’s why Susana turns them into flour to create imaginary shapes with a 3D printer. Her prediction is that in the future every kitchen is equipped with a 3D printer, next to the mixer and kettle. The new shapes she prints are a poetic hint towards insect life. For example she prints the shape of a bee’s dance.
Revital Cohen and Tuur van Balen (United Kingdom) – Rusty Knives
Cohen and Van Balen combine design with biology, technology, science and curiosity. When an animal is being slaughtered, it produces stress-hormones that are of influence to the taste of the meat. These stress-hormones are added to growing berries with a specifically designed system in order to catch ‘the taste of fear’.
Sita Kuratomi Bhaumik (United Stated) – Dear Future
‘Food creates an emotional bond between people. In the past and in the future’, that’s what Sita Bhaumik strongly believes. For the Future Food House, she created a smell- and sound installation that enables conversations between the inhabitants of Oakland and Rotterdam. Oakland is Sita’s hometown and, like Rotterdam, a huge port city with a rich history of migration, both people and food. A wall with spices enhances the vividness of the memories and stories she gathered.
[This installation was created with the support of Verstegen Spices & Sauces]
TINKEBELL. (Netherlands) – Save our children
Dutch artist TINKEBELL. is extremely concerned with the rising phosphate shortage. In short: the supply of phosphates, of which fertilisers are made, is coming to an end. Without fertilisers and with a growing world population, the production of food will not be sufficient to feed everyone. What will happen? Will there be a Third World War? TINKEBELL. created a documentary film for the Future Food House in which she finally decides to have herself sterilised in answer to the approaching dis-balance of fertiliser and population.
Length: 50 minutes, language: Dutch.
Next Nature Network, Koert van Mensvoort, a.o. (The Netherlands) – In Vitro Meat Bar
This summer, the first hamburger made out of In vitro-meat was presented. No matter how delicious hamburgers are, most people are not attracted to eating meat that was created in laboratories. Question is whether we will ever be prepared to eat in vitro meat.
As appetiser, the In Vitro Meat Bar, serves a broad range of speculative in vitro-meat dishes: knitted burgers, meat-fruit, meat ice cream, transparent meat sushi, dodo wings or even cannibalistic medallions from our own cells.
Arabeschi Di Latte (Italy – United Kingdom) – Archeo Mill
Francesca Sarti, founder of the Italian food design-studio Arabeschi Di Latte, claims that in the Western part of the world, people will become more and more interested in the origin of our food. In answer to quickly developing technology, people feel the need to get in touch with mainly small scale producers who revert to simple, secular processes and ingredients.
Arabeschi Di Latte focusses its projects on the joy of preparing food. For the Future Food House they created an ongoing workshop, where the visitor can start grinding cereals, seeds, acorns and nuts in order to bake, share and eat an Archeo pancake.
Fleur Derogee (The Netherlands) – Kidsprogram
When making a kids-program for the Future Food House, one quickly thinks of future food. But how to make kids think about this, when there is still so much to explore about our current food? The kids themselves are the future! Every Wednesday afternoon she organises a workshop where kids can smell and taste food and be surprised while wearing a blindfold. During the Autumn holidays Fleur organises the Big Kids Quiz, together with Alain Caron from ‘Junior Masterchef’.
Marije Vogelzang (The Netherlands) – Faked Meat
Marije Vogelzang is astonished by the shelves of meat substitutes in the supermarket. Even though it is a sensible choice not to eat meat, the alternative of a tofu-burger feels like buying an inferior product. If one can make anything out of shapeless proteïne, why not invent new animals? Marije Vogelzang’s Faked Meat animals all have their own habitat, diet and lifestyle that determine the shape and taste of the vegetarian product.
The Ponti for example lives in volcanos and eats the ashes of the volcano, which explains the lightly smoked taste of this meat substitute. He uses his tail to dig holes in the solid layers of magma. This makes him the perfect party snack, since you can use its tail to pick it up and keep your fingers clean.
Arne Hendriks (The Netherlands) – The Incredible Shrinking man (Disproportionate Kitchen)
It is very common for people to always grow taller. The consequence is that we need more food, energy and resources. But what if we decided to become smaller? ‘The Incredible Shrinking Man‘ is an investigation into the possibilities to shrink mankind. What happens if we use our knowledge to reduce the full grown human body to a size of 50 centimetres? Hendriks investigates the consequences for our food, the preparation of it, what we eat and the positive effects for the environment. Imagine a sprout being a full grown cabbage, an cornstalk suddenly a whole corncob and a guinea-pig a real size pig.
HKU Gamedesign (The Netherlands) – Playing With Pigs
Most people know that pigs are intelligent animals. It is therefore important that they can have enough distraction in the huge stables where they are kept.
‘Playing With Pigs’ is a remote game one can play on an i-Pad. The pigs have a big screen in their stable that produces a dot when the remote player moves his finger on the screen. The pig can follow the dot and ‘play’ with a human being. This way human becomes entertainment for the pig.
David Edwards (France – United States) – WIKIFOODS – EDIBLE PACKAGING
Fruit in many cases has a perfect design. The juice and content of fruit is kept together by an edible skin. Inspired by the magic of the grape skin, Edwards developed WikiFoods to reduce plastic packaging. Wikicells is a thin, edible layer of natural ingredients to cover for example ice cream, yoghurt, cocktails, juice etc. You can hold and eat them. The skin may have its own taste or the taste of what’s inside.
Marc Bretillot and Earlwyn Covington (France) – Le Whaf
Anyone who has ever been tube fed may imagine it: the longing for the sensation of real food. Le Whaf evaporates food in order to inhale the food, without taking in the calories. It’s not just the sensation, the machine can also be useful for people with obesity or difficulties in swallowing.
Marc Bretillot and Earlwyn Covington (France) – Thinking Fooddesign
Few people outside France know that Marc Bretillot is one of the first real food-designers. Food design is, however, still an unexplored field. Marc and Earlwyn therefore decided to map this new field of design.
What is food design? What can we do with it and what does it bring us? The website www.thinkingfooddesing.com is a platform for creatives that work with food. The site consists of a collection of 1-minute films in which the different possibilities of food design are investigated. For the Future Food House, Bretillot an Covington produced new films with the content of the exhibition.
Jihyun Ryou (Korea) – Save food from the fridge
Thanks to the fridge, we can keep food longer than we used to. However, before the invention of the ‘frigidaire’ there were several ways for storing vegetables and fruit. Sometimes these were even better than making the vegetables shiver in the veggie tray.
Ryou combines modern design with ancient knowledge and created a piece of furniture in which each kind of fruit and vegetable has its own specific way of storage.
Beladon together with Carel de Vries (The Netherlands) – Floating dairy garden
There’s a new trend in town: building floating constructions. Floating constructions has advantages when it comes to sustainability and being climate proof. But not just buildings float, there is also the possibility of floating agriculture. The ‘floating dairy garden’ is a response to the growing distance between urban citizens, agriculture and cattle breeding. Cattle in town, as accessible as a zoo, where milk from Rotterdam, cheese and butter are produced.
Laura van Os (The Netherlands) – Victoria
Laura van Os graduated from the Design Academy last year with her biological pesticide against the Varroa mite. This mite is, next to the abundant use of pesticides in agriculture and the lack of biodiversity, the biggest cause of bee mortality.
The organic pesticide ‘Victoria’ is taken from the extracts of rhubarb, which contains a high quantity of oxalic. The ph-value matches the chemical version, which is very effective, but detrimental to the living environment of bees. Victoria is a rhubarb breed made into a powder, which when added to distilled water, can directly be applied in the beehive.
Ola Mirecka (Poland) – Lava Lemonade
‘If life gives you lemons, let’s make lemonade!’
Lava Lemonade is an enchanting installation from metal tubes that looks like a life size children’s drawing. One can interact and make a glass of lemonade in a simple and playful way.
Lisette Kreischer (The Netherlands) – The Dutch Weed Burger
Seaweed grows fast, doesn’t need fresh water and pesticides, is full of healthy ingredients and a source of important protein, which makes it suitable as a sustainable meat substitute. With algae and seaweed as protein source for the future, Lisette Kreischer wants to introduce a new eating culture with the Dutch Weed Burger.
Cosine (The Netherlands) – Hyper spectral camera
To judge whether fish is fresh, you have to look at the eyes, smell it and a real specialist can tell approximately when it was caught. The hyper spectral camera by Cosine can tell you exactly how recent the fish is. The camera measures colours that we cannot distinguish with our eyes and can therefore not only judge the freshness of fishes, but also that of tomatoes, berries of strawberries. Schmidt Zeevis from Rotterdam is the first fishmonger that works with this hyper spectral camera.
Piet Hekker and Karel Goudsblom (The Netherlands) – Concept of Life
With a relatively small investment and high quality resources, Piet Hekker and Karel Goudsblom show that small scale manufacturing is the answer to mass production of the current food system. Their installation is a small bakery where the entire production process can be followed. Goudsblom, besides baker isalso an artist and has applied this system of small scale production to his own life. The name of his bakery: Mama.