Food as poetry
Project by Randy Kadarman
Supervised by Jouke Verlinden and Rick Schifferstein
Through modern means of communication, we can stay connected with people who live far away. This makes it relatively easy to stay in touch and even maintain a relationship. However, these communication media are also limited: They can transmit words, images and sounds, but are poor in communicating through touch, taste, and smell, senses that are important for experiencing enjoyment, intimacy and for developing attachment (e.g., Blomqvist, Bramerson, Stjarne, & Nordin, 2004; McBurney, Shoup, & Streeter, 2006; White, 2004).
Randy Kadarman intended to enhance the connection among people over long distances through food poems (Kadarman, 2017). His vision on food poetry seeks to share stories through food by addressing the senses and by using ingredients that correspond to that story. It starts with the writer, who recalls a memory or creates a story they would like to transfer. The idea is that this story is not just shared through words, but more intuitively, through a multisensory food experience. The writer starts out by collecting all relevant material related to the story, similar to making a mind map. He then needs to select three key elements of the story and determine the physical details that correspond to these. He selects food ingredients and determines the shapes that best represent them. In addition, each element is transformed into a line of a haiku, a Japanese verse. This information is then sent in a digital form to a receiver, who can be at any location around the world.
When the receiver receives the message, it is sent to a 3D food printer, where the three haiku elements are printed and placed inside a specially designed package that enhances the subjective experience. The receiver can notice the smells, colors and silhouettes through the box. When they open the box, they can see the collection of bites, and they can start smelling and tasting them. The sensory impressions start to tell a story. Finishing one of three pieces also reveals part of the written haiku that is displayed on the bottom of the box.
The subtle and implicit way in which a food haiku communicates strong feelings is a perfect fit for the Japanese culture, where one is expected to stay humble and composed, meaning that you are not supposed to express intense feelings.
Blomqvist, E. H., Bramerson, A., Stjarne, P., & Nordin, S. (2004). Consequences of olfactory loss and adopted coping strategies. Rhinology, 42, 189-194.
Kadarman, R. (2017). Food poetry: A future vision for food printing. (Master thesis), Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands.
McBurney, D. H., Shoup, M. L., & Streeter, S. A. (2006). Olfactory comfort: Smelling a partner’s clothing during periods of separation. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 36(9), 2325-2335.
White, K. (Ed.). (2004). Touch: Attachment and the body. London: Karnac.