Project 3: Reflection

[post class presentation-discussion]

Actual learning and outcome compared to projected learning/outcome:

  • designed a system surrounding the food, instead of stopping at the packets
  • explored the concept of facade as well as the initial exploration of stripping down the idea of food and eating.
  • explored the idea of a ‘ceremony’ of eating and considering it being as, if not more important than the actual food.
  • I didn’t explore interaction with others as much in this project, they’re not talking to people through the screen on their tray, but instead, the focus was on how the screen shaped the eating experience. The assumption is that they are interacting with the huge screen surrounding their walls to talk to others.

Plans for moving forward:

I would want to explore interaction with others. I may take the project out of this future room I have created and in the present. People are aware of their habits of checking phones at tables and dinners. Will it help to have it happen surreptitiously? Black Mirror explores that by having screens placed directly into the eyes of the people. But what if it’s non-invasive. What if the screen is disguised as the fork.

Another way to bring in interaction with others is through re-imagining the room. How will people be positioned in their rooms for ideal ‘viewing’ of the world?

Precedents I found when considering these ideas:

This product shows how such products can have too much control. The device refuses to deliver the juice if the product has expired, even if the consumer acknowledges the expiration and wants to proceed:

^This is also an idea I would like to explore. The loss of agency people will have in this kind of world.


Project 3: Finalisation, Feedback, Refinement

I experimented with different dimenisons, placements and colors of the tray. I knew I wanted to stick to black and white, to retain the ‘clinical’ feel that I was inspired by:

The final design of the tray had places for the food and drink packets, a scent sensor at the bottom, a screen, cup and stirring rod. The nutrient and scent was in the buffalo wings, which when poured into the sensor would trigger aromas and a looping video of delicious looking wings on the screen. The Pina Colada drink had all the flavor and nutrients and pouring that into the water to drink it would complete the eating experience.

Got feedback:

  • overcomplicating design with the explanation of scent sensors
  • simply include scan areas and let the tray speak for itself
  • emphasise facade of eating with plate-like designs (donut?)
  • Re-introduce idea of eating sludge-food, to emphasize nature of food in this world.
  • Simulate eating.

Changes I needed to make:

  • Handles too big, tray too wide
  • no need for stirring rod? replace with spoon?
  • Scent and flavour would be together.

I decided to use the more basic precedent of instant foods:

The ‘nutrition’ is in the noodles, whereas the scent and flavours are in the packets that come within

It can be argued that the visuals are on the covers of the packets themselves, as the actual noodles look nowhere near as good:

I reimagined the tray to continue having the screen, but with an actual ‘plate’ (a hollow torus that has been sliced from the top)  that will contain the nutrient-rich sludge—providing the function of the noodles.

^3D software helped me get the shape and size of the tray and the torus just right, because it needed to fit snugly after printing.

^Going through the 3D printing process made me realise the composition was wrong and the drink should be on the left if the spoon is to be ‘set’ on the right.

Next I had to redesign the packages. They were no longer simply dissolving, but needed to fulfill the function of getting scanned, to get the videos to play.

^experimenting with type and QR code layout.

When it came to actually creating the packets, the QR codes took away from the futuristic look. I experimented with a different kind of plastic, but it still didn’t work:
^ The third packet was an experimentation with a different filling substance.

At the end of it, I omitted QR codes, relying on research that explained there were now scanners that could simply scan logos of products to get the product details. (

^ final set.

^I also created a set of 6 drinks. I made the food and drinks international cuisine, as the future will most likely be diverse. And although nutrients would be covered by food, having drinks was necessary for the facade of a meal.

It was surprisingly difficult to find a good quality video of food from a top angle, despite Buzzfeed Tasty.

Project 3: Objectives, Outcomes and Precedents

Designing how and what people will eat in their rooms


  • create the design of the packaging that is self-contained
  • learn how the presentation of food impacts us
  • creating sense of human touch without it


  • I expect people to see the convenience of the food
  • The food will look very detached from real food (pastes and liquids—food stripped to essentials)
  • The packaging will be attractive.

Got inspired by different areas of pop culture and design, particularly ‘soylent’. Soylent is mentioned in pop culture, but is also a real existing product.
Three bottles of Soylent Cafe. Coffiest, Vanilla and Chai.

I did some research on packaging and found ones that resonated with my project:

^ I could use the minimal color schemes and typefaces. What seemed most relevant was how ‘packets’ looked like they were packed for individual use, or single use, which isn’t very sustainable but looks very futuristic. Will sustainability be a concern, or even considered in this pod-world?


^I liked this design the most. The transparent and translucent package and sheets that need to be peeled away create a very clinical, pre-planned feel. The circular boxes look a lot like petri dishes, as if the person eating this lives in—or belongs in—a laboratory.

PepsiCO introduced this in 2018:





Is it necessary? No. The taste? Reviewers say it’s like any other drink. Does it look fun/cool to use? Depends on the person, but that’s the biggest appeal, not the actual drink.






Started to consider the nature of ‘facade‘-reconnecting with focus on social media and current technologies. My main visual precedent was Buzzfeed Tasty (because of their choice of framing and shooting angle), although photographing and obsessing over the look of food is evident all over social media:




First thing on my Instagram feed:

Pictures that I took myself:

Did these taste as good as they looked? Definitely not. The weird carrot colored drink was awful and the brownies in the last picture were burnt. Did I tell people that? No. Why ruin the mirage?

Black Mirror addresses this is the episode Nosedive:

^ Lacie bites very particularly into the cookie to literally compose her ‘candid’ photograph’—she proceeds to spit the cookie out as she doesn’t really want to eat it.

I later found this randomly:




^ I knew that I could use the same design, of soluble individually packed products as part of the food packaging.

Found these later:

I bought different kinds of plastic and packages and experimented with different shapes of sealing them:

^ Silver plastic didn’t look as appealing and teabags were not contained and dusted their contents everywhere. The look of gel-like substance (in this case shower gel) looked most ‘futuristic’

^experiments with different combinations of type, color and material. Hair gel was the best, pseudo-food. It appealed to some like the recent Tidepod trend

During my process I again thought about Buzzfeed Tasty and realised simply creating the little packets wasn’t enough to design the food.

Food is changing to become more and more about the experience than the actual taste as I had already noted:

And while I wanted to strip food down to it’s basic chemical components and flavors, I knew I needed to replace it with an ‘experience’. I found precedent like this, where the product was not amazing, but it was more about the show:






I also looked back at visual precedents that I had found:

These tray-like designs gave the feeling of faux-luxuriance which I wanted to capture.

Another reason behind designing food trays is that they can also be linked to food that is delivered in asylum’s or prisons, basically areas of containment.

^experimenting with placement of ‘cutlery’ and food.


Project 2: Reflection

[All  mentioned precedents are also explained in the precedent review post]

[post class presentation-discussion]

  • connection with social media.
  • Not, how did social media lead to this. But, stating (perhaps poetically) how this is a commentary on screens and social media.
  • Introductory poster, added ‘trailer’, ‘commercial’ at the beginning of PSA. ‘Before we were limited by…apps, various social media. Now it’s all one synchronised app, in one place. You live it.’ etc. etc. Visual of the room? No visual? Historical documentary-like showing of iphones and apps?

Plans for moving forward:

Potential Project 3/4:

Packaging for pod-people:

Three bottles of Soylent Cafe. Coffiest, Vanilla and Chai.

The Matrix and Soylent Green are fictional stories about dystopic worlds. ‘Soylent’ is a company that already exists, pitching itself as a convenient and completely nutritional balanced meal replacement. I’ve chosen to focus on the aspect of food for Project 3. The Matrix creates an illusion of food, where the scent and taste of the food is fed into peoples’ minds by the system, this is also evident in Bladerunner 2049.

I want to explore the facade-like nature of social media. Ultimately, everyone in this world is living a simulated, fake, or orchestrated reality, similar to the way social media functions. By doing this I also want to emphasise the emphais put on appearance, for example, composing your food for the world to look at. This topic was also touched on by the Black Mirror episode Nosedive [need source].

Diet tube

^research for different ways in which the function of food (nutrition? joy?) could be stripped down to the most crude form in this world.


Touch interface for pod-people:

^ Considering that nobody in the pod physically interacts with anyone, I want to explore the concept of touch. It’s relevant since even in the present social media and technologies attempt to enhance or replace things that don’t need replacement, for example, how to have a relationship.


^This is an experiment I did of a potential visual direction, of ‘touch’ through a screen.
This outcome is likely to become a more poetic and abstract outcome, compared to the other projects.

Potential revamp of  Project 1:

You Can Have the Whole 3D Printed World in Your Hand, or on Your Desk | | The Voice of 3D Printing / Additive Manufacturing 

A scaled down, 3D model of the room/pod, with a projector that projects the daily path of an individual, moving in their space. It helps provide context to the screen in Project 2. The emphasis is on the routine and limited nature of their life. However, it would be accompanied with the variety of things the person does and experiences through the screen. Viewers are the judge of whether this is the l