Human Food Interaction, Sustainable Food Design

In Vitro Food

Project details


Human Food Interaction, Sustainable Food Design

Course: Constructive Design Research


Team: Eva van der Born, Jessie Harms, Demi Janssen


With a growing need for a more sustainable food consumption, we took a speculative design approach and developed the concept of lab-grown food at home. How would such a process look like? Would people appreciate lab-grown food for their individual consumption in the future (2050)?


Several artifacts were developed, including an in-vitro greenhouse for in the kitchen with lab-grown tomatoes, an application for on the phone to keep track of the process and several items representing someone’s everyday life in 2050.


A showroom setting was created in a local restaurant where people could have a look at the artifacts and the video to start the conversation. After sharing their opinions they received a bowl of tomato soup made from the lab-grown tomatoes. Our research findings suggest that the reasons for participants to (not) show appreciation for lab-grown are very diverse. Opinions are mostly based on environment, interest, effort and production scale of lab-grown food. Especially local mass production was a common term, which can be an interesting starting point for future research.


Using showroom research with the goal to make people think and discuss about the future of our food system, is something I would like to use more in my work. For example with experimental dinners where the experience around the dishes will be the starting point of the conversation. Shaping food on a ‘strange’ way to suggest the use of new farming techniques or developing new methods for food consumption.

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