Sensory Appetizer, by Baohan Jiang

I am always thinking about the relationship among people, food and objects in eating environment. Although increasingly complicate social environment, interpersonal relationship and life style bring much influence t o eating, the basic behaviors of eating are still kept. What is changing is the attitude.

I was thinking that we design for our sense, but do we actually use our senses in the process of eating? How much our sense come into play during eating, this most common behavior, in nowadays? As a designer, I want to make eating become a much richer experience and bring mindfulness to eating.

I was inspired by the moment when people get close the surface of water. I was thinking When people contact water, what are they looking for or what are they feeling? I found that when objects are falling down to the water or just contact the surface of water, people standing beside are waiting for the sound in their expectation and try to obtain a kind of satisfaction in their brain, in their spine. At the same time, why people want to get close with water? They enjoy that kind of sense of response and mutual balance. The more power they give to water, the stronger response they will get from water. After a while, everything is back to initial quiet.

Based on the trait of water, utilizing people’s demand of the sense of response and satisfaction, I found a series of materials which close with water to try to control the volume of sonic and tactile triggers. And in the material investigation, I was trying realize a contrast between expectation and real perception that leads presence of mind as mindful eating.

Therefore, the sensorial appetizer series aims to stretch one’s full attention in the process of eating— sounds, textures, and feelings that arise during a meal. Focusing on the ways of making eating a much richer experience, a series of mats for tableware with different designs have been created inspired by the moment when people get close to the surface of water. I utilize some physical tricks to control the volume of sonic triggers and form a contrast between expectation and real perception that leads presence of mind as mindful eating. The essence mindfulness transforms eating attitude and renew our sense of pleasure and appreciation. In order to avoid changing  original behaviors in eating environment, an appropriate scenario is necessary. I want to offer more chance for people to interact with objects in eating environment and let them feel the process of stretching senses. In this stage, I am testing and realizing the sensory appetizer series in some inventive restaurants, hip eateries & bars and cafe-style Japanese restaurants.

 Sensory Appetizer will be displayed during London Design Festival 2017 


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