Design & Emotion Blog

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“Food design” and “The appeal of colored lighting athmospheres”

The new ENGAGE newsletter is out and there are two interesting feature articles that I would like to share with you.

Proef – Food Design

I met Marije Vogelzang (who wrote the article) at the Design and Emotion 2006 Conference in Gothenburg, last October, where she was one of the keynote speakers. Her presentation there was probably the least scientific (which she repeated several times herself that day -perhaps because half of the room was filled with scientists? She probably felt she needed to justify her work. Nothing to be ashamed of Marije!). Nevertheless, it was a presentation that was highly appreciated by the attending public… it was filled with wonderful images of food that she designed. Yes, she is a food designer. Wondering what that means?

In the article for the newsletter, she explains.

(pull)Food Design: Designers cannot get closer to people than to make a design that becomes part of the body(/pull)

“Most designers are focussed on the human being, the surroundings of the human being or their pets or cattle (you very seldom hear of a design for a spider’s snowboard in the rainforest). Designers make clothes for humans to wear, cars for humans to drive in, houses for humans to live in, tables to sit at and plates to eat from. But if designers are so pre-occupied with the human being, why don’t they make food for humans to eat? How can you get closer to the human being than to make a design that he puts inside his body and becomes part of his body?”

Through her experience, Marije developed seven ways a designer can approach food and be inspired by it:

  • Senses
    The most obvious and direct contact: working with food.Example: A holiday experience can come to life when smelling a French baguette.
  • Chemical reaction
    How food can influence your body. Example: Caffeine makes you alert but lettuce makes you sleepy.
  • Culture/rituals
    Stories about food. Example: Nero was convinced that he would become a better singer by eating leek; he is the biggest leek-eater in history.
  • Technique / materials
    Food is a material a designer can work with. Example: Egg whites react completely differently when whipped or boiled.
  • Grow
    Where does our food come from? Example: The milk of a cow grazing outside tastes significantly different to the milk of a cow kept inside.
  • Presentation
    How to communicate with food. Example: A cabbage on a golden pedestal is received differently to a cabbage in an old newspaper.
  • Action
    What do I do with it? Example: Do I eat with a knife, a fork, a spoon or with a banana leaf? Or am I getting fed? Do you want to start a food fight?

The results of her design approach are fun and inspiring. Look at this fun setting for a Christmas dinner for Droog Design (below). Plates were split in half so that people were really forced to share and combine and people were literally hanging in the table cloth. Next to the ordinary cutlery they found a pair of scissors to cut themselves loose. For more examples, go and have a look at the website of Proef .
Christmas dinner for Droog Design

The Appeal of Coloured Lighting AtmosphereThe Appeal of Coloured Lighting Atmospheres

This article was written by Jettie Hoonhout of Philips Research. Philips does a lot of research on ambient lighting and the effects that light might have on people. We have seen the Ambilight TV already, which is a reasonable success on the market. Jettie now explains the research they are doing on the effects of coloured lighting in atmospheres and our daily environment:

“Despite strong popular ideas about the effects that coloured lighting are likely to have on people, there has been surprisingly little research published on this topic. And the few studies that have been published are quite often contradictory in their conclusions.”


Some preliminary findings

“The concept of coloured lighting for the home and other domains is generally well liked. Most participants in the tests indicate that the lighting devices offer interesting ways of creating appealing and appropriate atmospheres, that will fit different activities and “moods” e.g. activating, or relaxing. However, for reading (and similar types of tasks) participants generally prefer (warm) white light, and quite bright.”

Read the complete articles here >>>

[tags]Engage, design, emotion, food design, coloured lighting, articles[/tags]

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