Can Design Enhance the Eating Experience?

Can Design Enhance the Eating Experience?

  • Yes
  • No
  • Unsure

0 voters

The above link shows some concept eating tools to:

enhance the premium dining experience

How do you think they would alter eating out? When would you use them? Who with? What sort of restaurant?

How do they alter eating out? Likes? Dislikes? Improvements?

Thanks, Rich

I voted yes solely based on the title of the thread, not based on the design presented.

In fact, I find these forms really odd and I do not want to use them, let alone eat with them.

Design has a much broader meaning. Here you are refering to “objects”. Different utensil will create different experience, of course. Eating food with chopstick feels differently from with fork or bare hands. It’s also different from bowls and plates, or from a piece of banana leaf.

Ever heard of “Slow food”? Check it out. Design can alter eating experience as well. Pay attention to what fast food companies are doing to help people eat fast. Its restaurant design, furniture set up, food packaging and down to the food itself. Fast food generally don’t need utensil to handle.

Lastly, it’s odd that you asked this question, because we are just as clueless as you are without a prototype to play with. Visual perception is not going to give you an accurate guess of the experience.

I voted based on what’s happening in the ‘molecular gastronomy’ world, where many restaurants are hiring Industrial Designers to develop new ways of eating.

I think the concept posted above has a 1950’s funeral-home aesthetic about it. The black and red “tastes dusty” to me. The skewers look insect-like and too sharp to want near my mouth.

Why is that sharp tool pointing towards me?..instead of away from me. When I go pick it up from its holder at the rear, I’m going to stab my self. therefore it makes me fearful of using the equipment. Your colour choices also look Imposing and loud, I personally prefer the dishes and cutlery to be more muted so the user is focus on the food.

There is a good book on the design of japanese food layout…go look it up.

PS: I to voted from the title of the Coptic.
PPS: don’t repeat post.

I voted yes based on my personal experience not the image you posted.

I am quite open with using new tools.With tools displayed above besides the fact that it looks like some fancy fork it is not quite intuitive what other things I can do with them.

I see some pistachios in the image but I can’t ink the fork in the context of the pistachios! It is a nice rendering but it requires more props to demonstrate the context and use cycle more clear.

Gee’s I missed that completely…spot on

Oh I found that book if you were interested:

The Aesthetics of the Japanese Lunchbox (amazon)

If you do it right…

Heston Blumenthal is Brit chief who is also has his lab coat now and again:

The Observer food monthly article

a short BBC report…snail porridge baby!

yeah, design can alter just about any experience. maybe what you would like to know is how does this design change the dining experience…?

On the positive:
you’ve got options for color
it looks like you’ve covered all of the ways western people eat (poking\scooping etc…)
you’ve tried to challenge the way people intuitively eat their food (+&-)

wouldnt want children to use this stufff - too pointy, or at least appears that way
your pronged utesil most closely resembles a fork and doesn’t appear as if it would carry out all the same tasks as a fork, making appear like an infiroir fork… like it looks cooler but i still want a fork.
all of the pointy things point upward on the table, like standing knives on end, something about that…

oh and the pierced pattern stuff could be really great if it was executed a little nicer, im sorry i don’t know whats off, maybe a different pattern…

you’re explanatory illustrations are nice too.
keep going i, i love to see cool cutlery stuff, (im also fascinated by the disposable kind)

I’m unsure about it.

Sometimes it can be while sometimes it doesn’t work and have some ‘side-effect’ out there.

I can only vote ‘YES’ or ‘NO’ based on a specific situation.

For example, what do you think if the colorful icecream-balls been stuffed in a cute mini ceramic closestool? Are you feeling disgusting or appetitive?

defintely yes. When the food looks good it psychologically makes you enjoy the food more. But I must admit that the prepared food must genuinely taste good else the design would not be that useful.

I own this flatware set from Dansk and find that it’s design adds to my eating experience. Beautiful, yet totally unpretentious. You can’t help but want to touch them.

Hi Guys, cheers for all of the feedback so far. I have finnished prototyping the concepts. The above links shows photo’s of my models, or

Richard Andrews, Richard Andrews in Birmingham, United Kingdom >Portfolio>Major Project Prototyping

Critisism is really welcome, with suggested improvements!

Thanks, Rich

turn the fork the other way…so its away from the user. Remove the pebels from the bowl. I think its generally style over substance

yeah somehow I can see that bowl containing meat that you pick up with that fork, the pebbles again seems odd!

agreed, the only thing I can think of that would justify the rocks would be if they are heated and used to cook
they have a highly ferrous composition or are made completely of a highly ferrous steel and used to cook through induction, or the rocks are heated then placed into the bowl to cook thinly sliced meat. This could greatly add to the expeince from a process and sensory perspective.

If this were the case I would also use something more akin to chopsticks as the accompanying utentsil to avoid the potentially unpleasant feeling of tines
on rock and to allow the user to use the untensils to move the rocks as well.

This is really nice :

IDEA Gold, Design Explorations 2005


have you tried to actually use your eating tools?

to me, the size, proportion and function look way off, aside from the potentially scarry aesthetics.

the spoon for example has no handle so would be almost impossible to eat something like soup without getting your hand all wet.your knuckles would also scrape a plate (or especially your bowl) if you tried to eat from it.

the long skiny fondue like fork has a round barrel which is very skinny and long. very difficult to get much grip on such a skinny handle, and the round neck would slip and turn in the hand. such a long handle would likewise be difficult to control or get in the way i think.

the other fork think (the big black candle stick one) has the same problem with being round, but in this case seems too fat to control. your only option for holding it would be like a caveman grip as you show in your pictures. not very refined for eating.

i can appreciate that you are trying to rethink the experience and enhance it through your design in both aesthetics and function. i think however that somewhere alond the way the design aesthetics got carried away, you fell in love with your design, and function and reality went out the window.

i’d suggest to further the project (if already done, do it for your portfolio), to take a more basic look at eating functions and how people use and handle tools. something as simple as the thickness or length of a fork is very important in making the user feel in control and confident. too thick, too thin, too light, too heavy …find your limits and wrok within them to maximise the experience.

good problem, but the solution and execution could use some work.


Well there’s also the design of the FOOD itself. The new trends in Europe are to sober down on the design of the resto itself, in order to allow the designer-food to do its work.

Many European chefs are experimenting nowadays with both form and the color of food, to play with the person who tastes it.

They often play with abstract forms and colors that are subconsciously associated with a special taste, and then the piece tastes precisely the opposite! That kind of stuff. Nice experiences.

Molecular cuisine (gastronomie moléculaire), with its solidified gas-bubbles, gels, temperature play and special shapes is extremely popular too here on the continent. It’s a combination of science, art and design, to obtain fantastic little pieces that target all senses - not alone the visual, olfactory and taste sense, but those of tactition and audition as well.

This is so after Hervé This wrote his best-seller on the subject.

In their recent “Statement on the ‘new cookery’” Ferran Adria of El Bulli [the world’s famous chef of the moment], Heston Blumenthal of the Fat Duck, Thomas Keller of the French Laundry and Per Se, and writer Harold McGee write:

To explore the full expressive potential of food and cooking, we collaborate with scientists, from food chemists to psychologists, with artisans and artists (from all walks of the performing arts), architects, designers, industrial engineers.

Spanish and French molecular chefs are seriously popular in Europe for the way they design their food. Ferran Adria leads the movement. Belgian chef Dominique explains that the pioneering products “view science and psychology as an integral part of a modern food experience.”

A gremolata like this one explodes in your mouth and gives a very strange tickling feeling and produces a strange sound:

So yes, FOOD DESIGN is a very interesting field, I think.

Blumenthal of the Fat Duck is famous too for his experience-food:

One of his famous gremolatas:

The design trend in Europe’s top-restaurants is sobering down on the design objects of the resto (interior design, cutlery, chairs, tables, glasses, etc…). As minimalistic as possible, precisely in order to reinforce the effect of the designed food.

On the other hand, new design objects that directly interact with the food (tubes, plates, cubes, boxes, new types of cutlery) are being designed.

My two cents dude.