Eating, in its most simplistic sense, is an act of satisfying a human need or desire. Similar to Art, eating is a sensory experience that encourages us to perceive and react to the space in which communication is performed. By focusing on the experience of eating, Cradle explores the aspects of the embodiment of food that suggests intimate gestures to emplace the hand and the meal. How might the form of an object surrounding food be used as material to transform eating? This series investigates whether a new combination of objects’ forms can lead to engaged awareness of the hand, object, and food. This nine-week exploration aimed at imagining new forms from which we embrace our food with our hands and move our eyes away from glowing screens in order to avert care and attention to what we put inside of us. This work translates form and volume to present new gestures that reinterpret what it means to eat.
The investigation begins with15 interviews of Bay Area Creatives. The conversations revolved around their lunch habits, their preferences, and their desired lunch routine. The stories where synthesized into an infographic using Manfred Max Neef's Matrix of Human Needs. The key finding was that individuals don't pay attention to the food itself because eating from a tupperware is not an elevated eating experience. According to food psychologist Brian Wansink, “We are not designed to actually keep track of how much we’ve consumed. Most of us seem to rely on the size – the volume – of the food to tell us when we’re full." This unawareness with eating can become a problem in both health and food waste.
If we create an additional step to ‘lunchtime’ what would happen to the experience of eating? The two plating exercises below, encourages Lunch Eaters to serve their meal on a plate provided. Their participation inspired a series of form explorations that suggests new gestures for embracing a meal.
Plating Exercise no.1 User serves their takeout on a plate rather than eating straight from the packaging
Plating Exercise no. 2 User serves deconstructs meal from Tupperware by using different plate sizes
“[The plate] is So much nicer to eat out of than the Whole Foods take-out cartons...”
“I would normally scarf all of this immediately. I’m actually feeling much more full. It feels more satisfying than eating straight out of the Tupperware. It somehow managed to make the same things feel more special. I’m slowing down to eat. It makes it feel exciting."
Form and Material Studies
In this section, Take-Out packaging and Tupperware was studied and collected in order to generated a suite of volumes that would be manipulated in some way. One of the key insights from this research suggests that lunch eaters need something to elevate their eating experience. The following investigations reinterprets accepted vessels in order to develop a new plating language and thus a more delightful eating experience.
Plans + Section Drawings
One of the turning points in this project occurred when documenting the combinations of stacked volumes. Using architectural tools to render and draw volumes, these drawings also inspired new processes including vacuum forming, which can be seen in the link below, entitled, "Memory Plastique"
A total of eight Cradle plate forms were created. Each plate form was custom designed according to the needs of each interviewee and the activity of stacking various volumes to curate a specific gesture for handling each dish.
This work was exhibited at the Hooper Graduate Gallery among with six other thesis students who demonstrated their own explorations in sustainability and product design. Displayed: California College of the Arts from December 13-15, 2017.