New Design University: Brave New Food: Science fiction meets experimental cuisine

The university course “Food Design” dealt with food shortages in an inhospitable area as part of the semester project “Brave New Food” and developed future-proof recipes.

ST. POLTEN (pa). The participants in the “Food Design” course at New Design University (NDU) developed eight creative dishes that were prepared from only three foods and which, thanks to their nature and durability, can also be used for a mission in space or in a future with little food could.
Based on the sci-fi book “Brave New World”, a distant future scenario was developed under the leadership of Julia Schwarz, Experience Designer, Food Futures & NDU lecturer, where food is scarce and travel to Mars is a reality. Participants each had three foods available: an unprocessed food from their home country, a food for a space mission from St. Louis. The pölten and the third food were fermented in the Food & Beverage Lab and then used.

Delicious challenge

The challenge in the project was to produce new and long-lasting dishes with few ingredients. “The resulting projects are certainly an insight into the future of food,” says Julia Schwarz, summarizing the results of the project. “Brave New Food” did not only aim at the saturation and shelf life of the nutrients – it was also important to consider the multisense nature of the individual dishes. “Eating is a rich social event, whether alone or in a group – there are a lot of emotions and memories, culture and history involved here. That’s exactly what we’ll need in the future,” Schwarz reports and continues explaining: “Especially among astronauts, it has been recognized that satiety and nutrients alone are not enough. Food must satisfy all five senses in order for both body and mind to be satisfied.”

The individual project result in detail

Spacemacaron – Lukas Mair
Macarons that are cooked in 20 seconds in the microwave and are loaded with nutrients. Macaroni is a stylish alternative to pills as it sometimes makes you feel like you are already sick or weak.

Activator / Squeezables / Breakables – Anna Hehle

A playful evening ritual that lets you perceive the space environment. The activator, a walnut ball, is passed through squeezables – a maze of packaging filled with water. In the third part – Breakables is a plate perforated in the form of constellations, which contains a raisin-juniper fermentation.

One Dimensional Chess – Carla Fink

An edible board game consisting of three ingredients (sugar, cocoa and garlic), where the losers recast the pieces. The game is intended to help lighten the mood in a sad environment.

Deep Brush – Klara Pree

Alcohol-based color cocktails are used to paint pictures.

Moonbars – Stephan Gross

For the bar, the ingredients (pumpkin, bacon and ramen) were molded into a variety of shapes and textures to offer astronauts a multi-sensory experience.
A multisensory experience in space – Reto Gassler
A mushroom snack wrapped in mycelium that transports you to a new world when eaten.

Space Bento – Mario scale

In Mario Skala’s “Space Bento” project, you are transported to a science fiction world where nutrient-filled koji chips are considered barter.

Zucchini Mission – Johanna Ernst
Johanna Ernst’s Zucchini mission is about three travelers into space who see the earth from a new perspective and only then recognize the beauty of it all.

About the course

The university course “Food Design”, which has been offered at NDU since the autumn of 2017, is a three-semester, academic course that deals with contemporary product and concept design. The course is project-oriented and the participants are trained in three semesters to become critical and experimental designers. During the course, participants learn the entire sequence of food design processes: Focus is on the practical and active development of design solutions, accompanied by theoretical and practical courses such as design and cultural history, traditional and new cooking techniques, experimental gastronomy, multisensor technology and analog and digital design tools.

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