My general direction for honours project was set in similar way to my dissertation. Cultivate the food culture in Scotland & Bring people together. What has happened since then?
My general direction comes from my observations & feelings which I have since I arrived to Scotland in first year. People here don’t devote enough time and peace to eating quite often. They tend to not spend enough time preparing food, enough thought about what will they eat, how, with who and in what setting. Lunches of my classmates in first year have usually consisted of sweet fizzy drink like Irn Bru, crisps and a sandwich. My Czech brain didn’t understand that, at every lunch we would eat a proper dish together.
From this direction, topic for my dissertation has emerged – organizing cookery workshops which would encourage people to cook more & be less afraid of it.
But when talking about the honours project, the biggest project of all projects in a life of DJCAD design student, I simply wanted to save the world and wasn’t focusing on particular avenue to go about it for some time.
There was a concept of social network, allowing people to discover food-loving souls around them in local community, trading with them, organising meals together.
That felt quite doable, there could be a lot of interesting UI work, mobile app development, but it’s still quite broad thought with blurry lines and it doesn’t feel interesting to myself – when there’s no passion, there’s no energy.
I decided to look on the overall process of somebody cooking a meal and thought about every step for a minute:
While I quite enjoy the thinking bit here, I definitely have the best drive while cooking myself – and I believe that lot of other people do as well. Eating is a nice reward, especially eating with others, sharing what a person cooks and having fun, talking.
When I cook, I very often feel that I am in the state of flow (aka zone). I get immersed in it, start making great associations, having good ideas, my body is working great, I enjoy every movement of it, all my sensors are fully appreciating taste, smell, visual perceptions… I wish everybody would feel like that sometimes. I believed if people would experience this, they would like to experience it again. And again. So what can I do about it?
I can enhance the experience of cooking!
With the objective of “keeping people in the flow when cooking”, or making them less afraid to start in the beginning, I’ll be looking into crafting digital interactions which would assist a person to cook a meal. I had lot of wild ideas for that including gesture detection (do you have dirty hands? Don’t make your digital device dirty as well), voice assistant and others.
To finish off, I’d like to share one inspiration from IKEA, which cooperated with IDEO, TU/e and Lund University – the Ikea Concept Kitchen 2025. It’s a great mixture of concepts all embedded into a kitchen table.
Photo credits: Article image © IKEA/IDEO – Ikea Concept Kitchen 2025