A Winter Day in Copenhagen, 2035

Future of Food Report: Copenhagen 2035 (2/2)

Inspired by the five Future Food Scenarios ideated during MOLD’s Summit on Intimate Food Interfaces, product designer Kaii Tu thought about what a day in Copenhagen would look like sixteen years from now. He wrote a first-person “day in the life” report set in the Danish capital in 2035, accompanied by speculative designs illustrating artefacts and interactions from the future. From 'Digital Amphoras' which print out seeds from the past, to eating for experimental enjoyment; Copenhagen 2035 will have a lot to offer.

Week 50 / 10.12.2035

05:35 Monday. Start of another work week. Snooze.

05:55 After hitting snooze a second time, I realize I’d better get up, put on my glasses, and get to the office or else Katrine will write up “Lucas is consistently late to work” again in the next performance review. I see my chip implant telling me that I haven’t gotten enough sleep – I kind of already knew that -, but it is also reminding me that I’m not getting enough Vitamin D because we get so little sunlight in the winter now. It suggests more eggs – or I could take a weekend in the Canaries.

07:15 On my way out, I pass by our apartment community’s garden in the building lobby. We recently reverted back to having individual plots from the previous communal approach. That’s because when gene-edited seeds became open source, we weren’t sure if we could trust the seeds our neighbors were planting. And anyway, all of our nutritional needs are so individual, so it makes sense to plant just what each of us needs.

A notice board reminds me that we should start planting this month in order to harvest watermelons and cucumbers this summer. Our community just got the new Digital Amphora III, and so we’re now able to go back in time to generate historical seeds. I print out some watermelon seeds from a 1635 variety, which I had been wanting to try – it got some really good reviews last season.

"I see that Parliament finally passed the Freedom of Nourishment Act"

10:12 Time to escape from the work cubicle for a quick caffeine break, and to procrastinate replying to some emails for a few minutes. Browsing the news, I see that Parliament finally passed the Freedom of Nourishment Act after a lot of debate. This means that people now have the right to grow, buy, and eat whatever food they want, without government, medical, or enterprise intervention. So if you wanted to grow and eat only the sweetest variety of apples and buy only candy in the store, that would be up to you. I wonder what kind of health issues will arise now, despite all of the nagging and nudging that our chips are designed to do. After all, they are constantly telling us what food is “proper,” according to our doctors and the Ministry of Health.

12:20 Lunchtime, finally. I synced my chip to the company canteen, so that they can prepare my meal tailored to today’s nutritional needs and flavor cravings, and have it ready by the time my last meeting finishes.

15:45 I go to the 7-11 down the street in search of more caffeine and an afternoon snack. That canteen food didn’t quite fill me up. I look around at the shelves, and check out what’s on sale, and of course, what my chip is recommending. The Müesli box seems to be calling my name. Even though Müesli isn’t what I would usually think of as an afternoon snack, and even though the thought of eating a bowl of cold cereal in the dead of winter normally sends a shiver up my spine, that’s what I picked up. The brand really did a good job of getting to know me and speaking to me, I guess.

19:30 I would have rather gone home and straight to bed after work, but I had already made dinner plans to catch up with a friend from university at the restaurant Mona 3.0. And those reservations are so hard to come by. I’m somewhat of a Mona loyalist: I’d been to Mona 2.0, and even the original Mona back when my parents took me as teenager. But this version really tops the other experiences. Before the mussels course, with our AR kit donned we “wade” through the shallow waters on the beach to pick the very mussels we are about to eat. And while we tuck into the summer berries for dessert, we visit with the farmers who grew them. I’d satisfied all of my basic nutritional needs earlier in the day – this meal is all about seeing a different world through food.

22:53 The dinner, as you could expect, was pretty drawn out. By the time I get into bed, I’m pooped. My chip tells me I’m overdue for bedtime. Thanks Mr. Obvious. Maybe I really should look into that holiday in the Canaries.

Kaii Tu is a product designer whose work blending analytical thinking and craft reaches across boundaries: from furniture and consumer products in market today, to interactive experiences and systems of tomorrow. This article first appeared on MOLD