How will we eat in the future, what will provide us with nourishment in our growth-based society with its dwindling resources? We all play a role in shaping the globe through our eating habits. Eating ceased long ago to be a private matter, and is now a highly political act. The Kunstgewerbemuseum is transforming into an artistic-scientific-speculative laboratory for new models of thought and practice revolving around the future of eating and living. For the ex-hibition, 30 international designers – including Werner Aisslinger, Hanan Alkouh, Martí Guixe, Jinhyun Jeon, Ton Matton, Maurizio Montalti, Chloé Rutzerveld, Andrea Staudacher, Johanna Schmeer, Carolin Schulze, Austin Stewart and Marije Vogelzang – are present-ing their ideas and visions for designing the transformation of our nutritional system.
Our society is socially shaped and conditioned through all facets of food, from the raw materials through to consumption. Food is nothing other than formed, “designed” material – so “food design” is among the earliest exist-ing forms of design. And the kitchen is a central site of social design.
This special exhibition, curated by Claudia Banz, was shown in 2017 at the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg, and has been updated with new projects for Berlin, and is being designed by the architecture firm Kooperative für Darstellungspolitik. It is divided up into four thematic spaces: Farm, Market, Kitchen and Table. In light of the world’s dwindling natural resources, the exhibition makes a plea for post-growth, alternative forms of “farming”, in the countryside, in the city and in our own homes. The projects being presented range from an urban community orchard and an edible garden to an indoor farm, right through to insect farms and mini-composters for city apartments.
Another thing that is crucial for our personal well-being and health is the issue of what and how we eat. Designers are analysing our eating habits and developing new forms of cutlery or tableware. The exhibition also ad-dresses the negative effects of meat consumption, but also the 3D printer as a new means of production for our nutrition. New technologies such as biotechnology or synthetic biology provoke speculations about in vitro meat, the modification of our digestive system or even about digital foodthat is generated by our personal data. The challenge is immense, as our entire nutritional system and eating habits are under the microscope. The exhibition closes with the thesis that we desperately need a global food revolution. It argues for the Food Revolution 5.0, which combines future technologies with some of the old, artisanal cultural practices of a DIY ethos, and cultural knowledge about the details of food production. We are all called upon to join this revolution: today, consumption is a question of responsibility.
The Kuwaiti designer Hanan Alkouh looks into the possibilities of replicat-ing our cultures of meat production, storage and consumption in a meat-less world. In her project In Vitro ME, Dutch food designer Chloé Rut-zerveld speculates about the human body as a future producer of in vitro meat. The Hive, by Austrian designers Katharina Unger and Julia Kaisinger is entirely real, the first mini-farm for edible insects, which can be set up in your kitchen at home. Jinhyun Jeon from Taiwan designs new eating utensils to optimize our multisensory eating experiences, and to foster mindful eating. With the project Volumes – brightly coloured objects that are placed amongst the food on the plate – Dutch designer Marije Vogelzang also wants to positively influence our culture of eating. Bio-plastic Fantastic, a project by the German designer Johanna Schmeer, looks for new product types and foodstuffs that could emerge from bio and nanotechnology. For the Spanish designer Martí Guixé, the future lies in the still speculative nutritional system of Digital Food: where an algorithm uses individual data to decide on the appropriate nutritional elements, which the user can then select from the interface and can then be pro-duced on demand with a 3D printer.
The exhibition begins right at the entry of the Kulturforum. On the Piazzet-ta, the Dutch town planner and designer Ton Matton is going to create an “urban community orchard”. Together with the students of the urban open spatial planning module at the Technische Universität Berlin, the German landscape architect Katrin Bohn will transform a previously unused court-yard at the Kunstgewerbemuseum into an edible garden.
(Photo: © Johanna Schmeer)