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September 26 - 29, 2019 Vancouver Convention Centre West
IDS Vancouver is thrilled to be hosting Edible Futures: Food for Tomorrow, a travelling exhibition curated by the Dutch Institute of Food & Design and presented by the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
Edible Futures is a series of thought-provoking art installations from artists around the world that invite visitors to reflect on our shared food future. Presenting multiple perspectives on global food security issues such as climate change, declining fresh water supply, loss of biodiversity, food waste, and the gap between producers and consumers, Edible Futures asks visitors to imagine what the future of food will look like, and what role each of us might play in changing it.
Soup from the invasive pond slider turtle, roasted raccoon with shoots from Japanese knotweed and seed on cream from Himalayan Balsam could appear on the menu of a near future.
“Menu from the new wild” by industrial designer Alexandra Fruhstorfer is a culinary concept solution targeting two major problems: protecting our native biodiversity from invasive species and offering new food resources for our growing population.
Through a special dining experience, Alexandra provokes discussions about global ecological changes and human role within it. “Do we have to change our paradigms of consumption if we want to protect what we consider to be our ‘pristine’ nature? Or is this only a late justification of our own ecological mess? How do we even define ‘nature’ in the age of the anthropocene?”
Using molecules to spice up gastronomic experiences, Russian-German food designer Alexandra Genis proves that not everything artificial is unsustainable, as she eliminates the need to transport produce around the world.
Atoma is a collection of spices that create flavour through nothing but pure molecules. Each molecule has an individual flavour and can be added to a dish by rasping. Every flavour can be concocted everywhere, in any season or climate, eliminating the need for transporting exotic and expensive produce from faraway places. Atoma ensures high-quality food experiences without affecting the landscape.
Diasporic Dumplings by Canadian food designer Amanda Huynh explores a sense of territory and resilience through bite-sized tastings of ingredients harvested from the immediate surroundings. The project considers indigenous plants, as well as the invasive species that have adapted to a new life, far away from home.
What would our food system look like if it was run and owned by robots? Which choices would be made and would the system become more fair?
SAM is a Symbiotic Autonomous Machine, designed by French-Dutch designers Marie Caye and Arvid Jense, but not owned by them. SAM produces soda made from Waterkefir and sells it. Since he can’t taste the flavour of his produced soda, he adds his Twitter account to the receipt given at purchase, where he asks customers to rate the flavour online in order to adjust the recipe.
He uses the money earned to employ humans to work for him. Notions of profit, or even greed, are superfluous and SAM produces at cost, reimburses debt and pays bills as a single economic entity. Since our current society does not give agency yet to non-human commercial entities, he rent’s Marie’s identity to be able to get registered at the Chamber of Commerce.
Totomoxtle is a new material that harnesses the brilliant spectrum of colours seen in the husks of heirloom corn. Ranging from deep purples to soft creams, Totomoxtle showcases the range of species of native corn that exist in Mexico. The husks are flattened and glued by hand onto fiberboard and card for reinforcement, and can then be used in various applications for interiors and furniture.
But this project goes far beyond simply aesthetics. Totomoxtle focuses on regenerating traditional agricultural practices in Mexico and creating a new craft that generates income for impoverished farmers while conserving biodiversity for future food security.
Lichen, a mossy fungus could be used to make nutritional food products after an apocalypse, or on Mars, according to research by designer Julia Schwarz.
In her project Unseen Edible, Julia has developed a range of food products made from lichen, a hardy fungus-like species that grows on plants, tree bark and rocks. Lichens could offer a source of nutrition in a potential future food shortage, as they are easy to grow, even in harsh climates and environments.
Our mind creates taste expectations before food reaches the mouth. With this finding, Laila Snevele imagines taste could be created mostly (if not entirely) in our minds with the right tools.
Combining empathy with material, color and overall feeling of a taste, she creates five taste visual digitalizations called "Digital Seasoning." The project’s application potential could have a great impact on the food industry by employing Digital Seasoning to reduce the amounts of salt, MSG, sugar, and citric acid levels in processed foods, therefore enabling a healthier eating behavior with less harmful ingredients.
“Human Hyena” raises the question of whether humans can modify their bodies using synthetic biology to consume and digest rotten food like the scavenger hyenas.
Inspired by the hyena species, these "human hyenas" use synthetic biology to create new bacterias and modify their digestive system to be like that of the hyena – with its different sense of smell and taste.
Tea Drop is a tea machine that has the ability to condense water vapour from the surrounding atmosphere. It functions on its own timeframe, so one has to wait for the tea vessel to be filled up with water before it can be boiled and ready for making tea.
South African designer Shaakira Jassat discovered that water is a by-product of processing tea, and harvested tea leaves are dependent on the weather and subject to time. Tea Drop aims to recapture this precious resource whilst giving power back to the environment.