Andrés Acosta Blaschitz
HEX – An edible and immersive experience
HEX - An edible and immersive experience
In 2016 MIT Professor Neri Oxman published an article in which she stated the link between the following disciplines: science, design, engineering and art. This so-called creative energy was coined by Professor Oxman as «The Krebs Cycle of Creativity». The underlying idea of it states that knowledge can’t be produced or created but rather that the aforementioned disciplines can be intertwined.
In this way, Professor Oxman attempts to create a genealogy of the interrelationship between science, design, engineering an art in which one discipline can transform the other, and in which a single entity or project can reside in multiple domains.
The aforementioned genealogy was the main inspiration source of HEX - an edible and immersive experience. HEX attempts to stage a symbiosis out of the realm of these disciplines as to provide an insight on future foods speculation.
This multidisciplinary project aims to augment pleasure to a digital layer and to reflect on how our current eating patterns may have an effect on what we will possibly eat in the future. HEX marries different media fields such as 3D-Printing and 3D-Animation, Augmented Reality and Food Design. This both immersive and edible experience is divided into six immersive moments which are personified by so-called edibles which were designed based on nature patterns and food forecasts by British food futurologist Dr. Morgaine Gaye.
The edible experience was mainly influenced by the founding fathers of speculative design Anthony Dunne and Fiona Raby (Parsons School of Design) and Professor Neri Oxman (MIT Media Lab). This speculative project had as a main goal the stimulation of debates that question our behaviour patterns and the future societies.
The six different edibles made out of Agar-Agar (Seaweed) range from Wakame to Crickets and can be scanned with a self-made iOS Augmented Reality App. The App allows testers understand the food forecasts by providing them with properties, nutritional information and 3D visualisations of them.
The 3D-printed casting moulds for the six edibles were designed in the 3D Software Blender and printed in Polyactid Acid. The designed shapes of the aforementioned edibles arose from nature studies. These 3D-printed moulds were used to create the edibles by pouring the different Agar-based aqueous solution into them. Some of the casting moulds are modular and are made out of two Agar-based preparations.
For each edible there is one 3D animation assigned which speculatively depicts its representation with a state-of-the-art design approach. The 3D animations are iterations of previously developed three-dimensional simulations and its style frames.
The Augmented Reality App was developed in the Game Engine Unity with the AR Foundation Kit and its Multiple Image Tracking. The App is able to display the 3D Animations once the six fondant trackers placed on top of the edibles are scanned. The trackers possess more than 10.000 «Key Points» which allow the Multiple Image Tracking to recognise them.
Each edible is made out of ingredients that suit the food forecast that they represent. The seaweed edible is i.e. made out of wakame whereas the cactus edible is made out of prickly pear jelly. The main ingredient that is present in all of the edibles is Agar Agar which achieves the jelly-like consistency.
Photos by Max Echternkamp