“How will future technology and food culture change the way we eat?”
Yunwen “Tutu” Tu is a food designer and curator, who seeks ways to push boundaries through her work. Such as envisioning how the food of the global diaspora will be impacted by environmental, socioeconomic, political, and technological trends. Tutu's work has been featured in food design exhibitions at the ACM Future of Computing Academy, Asian Art Museum, Foodinno Symposium, California Academy of Sciences and Chinese Culture Center. As our correspondent she will be reporting on recent developments in food and design along the US West Coast.
What is it about food and design that excites you?
There are three main aspects that I find fascinating about food and design: the food culture and history, the materiality of edible ingredients and the potential of future interaction with food.
Food culture and its history particularly show how food has influenced human evolution and how humans in turn have redefined food over time. Food and eating are both powerful mediums of messages and cultures. I am interested in the storytelling of food culture, as food itself is also rich in stories. For example, I collaborated with a local edible insect business for a pop-up dinner, Past Futures. The purpose was to suggest an alternative future protein through a delicious dining experience. I also created an interactive installation, In the Balance, to engage the public to learn about the carbon emission of food.
As for the materiality of edible ingredients, I am interested in discovering the aesthetics of food as a physical design material – designed either as food or non-edible objects. Most of the products surrounding us are made of durable industrial materials. I believe we haven’t fully explored the edible ingredients as the natural and compostable materials for design. Such as the corn husk furniture designed by Fernando Laposse.
Lastly, I believe that the future of food interaction evolves around designing a better eating experience. How will the future technology and food culture change the way we eat? I’ve been looking into collaborating with chefs or event spaces to do some experiments in this area. To extend the design possibility, I also designed futuristic form of food for my project, Protein Fantasy, which was based on the human-food interaction.