Tableware as Sensorial Stimuli
Cutlery design focuses on getting food in bite-sized morsels from the plate to the mouth, but it could do so much more. The project aims to reveal just how much more, stretching the limits of what tableware can do. Focusing on ways of making eating a much richer experience, a series of dozens of different designs has been created, inspired by the phenomenon of synesthesia. This is a neurological condition where stimulus to one sense can affect one or more of the other senses.
An everyday event, ‘taste’ is created as a combination of more than five senses. Tasty formulas with the 5 elements – temperature, color, texture, volume/weight, and form – are applied to design proposal. Via exploring ‘synesthesia’ if we can stretch the borders of what tableware can do, the eating experience can be enriched in multi-cross-wiring ways. The tableware we use for eating should not just be a tool for placing food in our mouth, but it should become extensions of our body, challenging our senses even in the moment when the food is still on its way to being consumed. Each of designs have been created to stimulate or train different senses – allowing more than just our taste buds to be engaged in the act and enjoyment of eating as sensorial stimuli, therefore it would lead the way of mindful eating which guides to rediscovering a healthy and joyful relationship with food.
The materials in the design currently compose of metal, plastic and ceramics. Each material possesses its natural temperature, which works in harmony with the intent of the design. From the thickness of the handle to the volume mass of the spoon, it evokes a different effect. Weight distribution changes according to the thickness and the volume affects the sound vibration. Each of these features is subtle but in combination, they harmonize into enhanced tasty effects. As for the specific workings of the features of the design, it could be understood through the elaboration of the five elements – temperature, color, texture, volume/weight and form.
<Tasty formulas>_Temperature SWEET × 36.5°C = SWEET × +++ SALTY × < 36.5°C < SALTY × < 0°C SOUR × 36.5°C = SOUR × 100°C BITTER × 36.5°C > BITTER × 100°C _Tactility +++ × (SWEET + SALT) = X SWEET + (0.5% × SALT) = SWEET ++ SALT ÷ SOUR = SALTY/SOUR - SALTY × SOUR = SWEET + _Colour 10% × (5R 4/14 ＋ 5YR 4/14 ＋ 5Y 4/14) = 2.0 90% × (5R 4/14 ＋ 5YR 4/14 ＋ 5Y 4/14) = 0.1 20% × R > 20% × Y _Volume/ Weight 5cm3 × SOUND/ SIGHT = 10g × TOUCH _Form 1mm × TOUCH > 10mm × TOUCH (y=f(x)) × TOUCH = Y