Day 1: Fantastic(e)ating Food Futures: Reimagining Human-Food Interactions

Hilary Davis, Danielle Wilde, Ferran Altarriba Bertran & Markéta Dolejšová

Fantastic(e)ating is a play on the word fantasticating – to make or render something fantastic – and the act of consuming or eating. The workshop title recognises the playful and creative elements that can be reimagined at all stages of human-food interaction, including designing, creating, eating and consuming food.

The Fantastic(e)ating Food Futures workshop used experimental food design co-creation to examine interdependencies between food and technology, and fantasticate future food-technology practices navigated by diverse human and non-human stakeholders.

The workshop activities included:

• The use of Food Tarot cards to provoke critical food conversations and collective imaginaries. The card deck presents 22 imagined diet tribes such as Datavores, Genomic Fatalists and Turing Foodies whose diet has been impacted by (bio)technological advancement. The cards were designed to enable playful (more-than) human-food interactions and support the notion of uncertain food futures open to multiple interpretations.

• A food-technology digital story – based on a collection of smartphone video-recordings introducing food items significant to the Food Tarot cards selected by individual workshop participants. The items were varied, including raw materials sourced from local spaces (Urban Foragers; Monsa[n]taninsts cards), home-made foodstuffs such as kombucha (Gut Gardeners card) or favorite kitchen utensils (Food Gadgeteers).

The short audio-visual narratives were curated and weaved into a ten minute digital story. The story content was ‘hidden’ in a food-technology mystery box on our shared Miro board and revealed during the workshop introductions. It served to both introduce participants and their food-related interests, and provoke initial thoughts about the meaning of their food items and their relationship to context.

• A food swap pantry, where foodstuffs and other artefacts can be exchanged in the spirit of reciprocity. The pantry items were visual representations of items selected by participants and showcased in the digital story.

Fantastic(e)ating picnic meal prototypes, using the food swap pantry resources. Working in groups, the prototyping started with picnic baskets pre-filled with items from the food swap pantry brought by individual group members that could have been swapped based on the group’s prototyping needs. The prototypes are represented in the following cookbook section, in the form of six recipes. Among others, you will find a recipe for Nutritious Dating – Flourishing, a Food Waste Glam, or for a Companions Picnic.

Our long term aim with providing a shared space for activities like these is to help nurture existing research into everyday food-technology cultures, while ensuring inclusion of fantastical elements such as food crafting, food play and future speculation. The day 1 workshop activities and prototypes inspired the second workshop day that focused on bringing the fantastic ideas forward into a set of recipes for plausible more-than-human food practices.

The food swap pantry includes Food Tarot cards and visual representations of food items selected by workshop participants for the digital story. These items were used as main ingredients to prototype our fantastic recipes.