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Digital Seasoning by Laila Šnēvele

Video still from the taste experience Digital Seasoning

Digital Seasoning: healthier eating behaviour for the new digital era

Laila Šnēvele is a recent graduate from the Design Academy Eindhoven. She sees her work as translations of food and human relationships. “Food is our common necessity, pleasure and culture. I am curious to explore the different roles that food plays in all of our lives. What is obvious for one, might be unacceptable for others. Where is the common ground?”, she says. Laila aims to explore people’s perception of food and how we look at things out of the norm. Her goal is to create edible experiences that are comprehensible, engaging and can improve our well being. With her new 3D visualisation of taste, "Digital Seasoning", she has done just that.

We perceive food through different senses. Each sense brings information which our brain translates into expectations about food, flavour and the five basic tastes – bitter, sweet, salty, sour and umami. According to the neurological research conducted by the experimental psychologist Prof. Charles Spence, elements like colour, shape, sound, temperature, and materiality can be used to intensify, indicate or create illusions about taste. Each element contains information which our brain translates into physical sensations. But we miss out a lot of this information by not paying enough attention to our meals.

 

Binging in front of a screen or writing emails have taken over time previously allocated to mindful eating. What if eating and digitalisation would come together and create something new? Looking at a facial expression can awaken empathy; this can change our own experience of food. When we look at someone eating a lemon, we know it’s going to be sour. Combining empathy with material, color and overall feeling of a taste, Laila Šnēvele created five visual taste digitalisations. Our mind creates taste expectations before food reaches the mouth, so emphasising this finding, Laila imagines taste could be created mostly if not only in our minds with the right tools. The food industry could employ these reactions by using Digital Seasoning and reducing the amounts of salt, msg, sugar and citric acid levels (amongst other compounds) in processed foods, thereby impacting healthier eating behaviour for the new digital era.

 

Text by Laila Šnēvele

Laila Šnēvele

Read more about Laila’s work here: www.lailasnevele.com