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Posts in category Brief

Yz – The new agar agar Ice Cubes

In this third assignment we were asked to design a new product with the material ‘agar agar’. Experiencing its characteristics we needed to come up with a product that fitted the material.

As an inspiration we used the fact that the material is transparent and related to other transparant products, in our case ice cubes. Since ice cubes have an aesthetic value as well as a functional one we wanted to implement both, except for the fact ice cubes melt and the aesthetic value is not visible any more. 

Our inspiration:

 
During the process we wanted to use the agar agar as ice cubes and implement different other components to see what could be turned into this special agar agar ice cube and what not. In the process we discovered not everything could be turned into agar agar, it was a process of creativity, waiting, laughing, waiting some more and checking the results after they had been put in the fridge for a while. 
 
The artists at work:
 
After developing some knowledge about the material and experiencing with it we came up with the final product: Yz! The new ice cubes that give aesthetic value to your drink and do not melt away when you enjoy your drink. 
 
 
The mint leaves in the agar agar give a fresh sense to your drink and this remains that way because the cubes don’t melt like normal ice cubes would! The new special exclusive look for your drink.
 
 
Next to mint leaves we also tried to use lemon parts in the agar agar to be able to represent some aspects in a mojito, however the agar agar did not stick to the skin of the lemon, so only the flesh was embedded in the agar agar, showing a different sight. 
 
 
From now on everybody can enjoy their Yz in their drink without spoiling it with a watery flavour and remain the aesthetic value of the ice cubes.
 
Enjoy! 
Robert, Jie, Nick, David, Nelline & Xeï

 

 

The transformation of the gravy spoon

During assignment 2, tools, our team explored several tools which are used in kitchens in different cultures.

Since we had teammembers from Taiwan, Italy and Holland we looked in to that three cultures, with the following results:

 
 
 
After discussing the different tools we decided to develop the gravy spoon, for it is a really funny way to play with your food, managing the water in Dutch culture matches the managing of the gravy on your plate. We wanted to place this tool and the purpose of it into another context and therefore decided to use it in the Italian culture where people like to mix their coffee and ice cream into a delicious ‘Affogato’
 
 
In order to change the Dutch gravy spoon into the new design we researched the Dutch cultural dimensions and symbols to get into the aspects of the gravy spoon, why and how it is used and shaped the way it is. 
 
 
 
To complete this we compared the Dutch and Italian cultural dimensions to become aware of differences and similarities, so we would know how to develop the concept. 
 
 

 
We decided to change the big and rough gravy spoon into a delicate and gentile one since this fits the Italian culture the best. 
 
The outcome of the project is developed in a prototype which shows in a few pictures how are new concept would work, so everybody can enjoy their coffee and ice cream together in a delicate way form now on.
 
Kind regards, Yaya (Yin-Chih), Palma, Sasha and Xeï
 
 

Nuts in the bar.

For a small ritual such as the bowl of peanuts you get when having a drink in the bar, can be very deceptive in its underlying aspects. First observations conclude that the peanuts are only offered with cold drinks (soda and alcoholic), customers generally do not ask for them but receive them for free as a sign of hospitality from the bar owner.

On a less superficial level, we see that customers do not receive them when the bar is crowded and busy. We also see that apart from fulfilling an appetite, they are also used by the bar owner to generate thirst.

In our research we have found out that there were so many situations and scenarios happening around this bowl of peanuts in a bar. Therefore we tried to act out (as seen as above) the most important scenarios to illustrate its meaning as well the as social impact.

"The moving bowl." With one eater, there is a natural movement of the bowl towards that person. "Watched by strangers." In an enclosed table situation, strangers do not eat from the bowl of nuts. "Connecting." In an open situation (like on a bar) everybody is free to eat and share from a single bowl of nuts. "The lonely eater." Eating peanuts is often found as a time killer when waiting for somebody or when someone is alone. "Monkey see, monkey do." Often, the act of eating peanuts triggers a natural response at the subconscious level making the company eat along with you.

Finally, for our redesign of the ritual we came to the conclusion that we did not want to design a product or make drastic changes to the ritual itself. We decided to increase the social aspect of being in a Dutch bar. The picture above shows a rough prototype of two bowls with each a part of a famous quote on the bottom.

In this case we took the classic "Luke, I am"  and "your father." from Star Wars. The idea behind this is once the bowl is empty a line appears and one has to complete the sentence by going table to table interacting with strangers. Once you found its connection, you will receive a free refill at the bar when showing up together with both of the bowls. 

The idea behind this is to give people an opportunity to increase socializing between strangers with a small reward without being obtrusive or ruining the ritual by drastically changing it. People that have no interest in doing so are not obliged to be involved as it is optional.

For an overview of the pictures taken and the situations sketched/acted can be found here.

The agar agar challenge

cocoa-raisin pyramid

Today students presented their initial ideas -some quite advanced- for innovative kitchen tools, and they were introduced to the agar agar challenge. Click on the image to download the PDF and take the challenge yourself. Unfortunately the PDF does not include any agar powder itself, but you can buy it online.

 

an ingredient nobody in the class was familiar from, introduced as the constituent of a light cocoa and raisin sweet. I wonder what we are going to see next time! 

 

 

 

Agar is most commonly associated with sweets, but this is by no means necessary. I have a plan bouncing in my head to use it to turn hummus into finger food…

 

Brief 2: tell me a story (and two references for you)

 

 

In preparation for our next meeting, we would like you to read these two articles. The first one is more of a story, the second one is more analytical (but still full of stories!)

We have taken them from this collection: Korsmeyer, C. (Ed.). (2005). The taste culture reader: experiencing food and drink. New York: Berg. This article is readable only by members because we don’t have permission to distribute the articles.

The brief is:

tell us a story about food. Various techniques are possible: oral
narration, video, photo support). The story must fit within 5 minutes.
The emotional component of food, as a part of one’s personal memory of
places and people must be explored. The story must be adapted to the
receiving audience, which requires more exploration of each other’s
culture.

Global narrations of food: GMOs, Brillat-Savarin,
sustainability

(Annemiek + Walter)

Brief 1: kit/instructions

 

marzipan pig, made by my sister

Design a "kit" with instructions to deliver (to your fellow students from the other nation) the experience of making and eating a national (where you grew up) dish.

 

  • The kit should be usable in the "other" nation’s  typical kitchen
  • An average person from the "other" nation should be able to follow the instructions and execute the procedures with what he has
  • The result should be attractive and acceptable, but at the same time distinctly transmit Korean-ness or Dutch-ness to the eater. 

The objective of this first brief is a first exploration of each other’s cultural backgrounds, and some discovery of what does it mean to prepare, serve and eat food within a Korean or Dutch context.

The kit will be tested right away by the group that has not designed it, and the results will be eaten at dinner.

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