Last week, we did an interesting and helpful idea mapping exercise which facilitated narrowing down my thoughts. In a nutshell, Alan and I want to gamify the process of planting, cooking, and dining in order to rebuild the connections between nature and ourselves.
Why do we want to gamify?
To quote BJ Fogg’s Behavior Model, it shows that that three elements must converge at the same moment for a behavior to occur: Motivation, Ability, and Trigger. When a behavior does not occur, at least one of those three elements is missing. In the context of my project, people’s hectic life stop us from connecting to the food we eat and make us have less time to enjoy our meal. In other words, the busy life makes these things “hard to do”. However, I believe we, as human beings, still have the motivations to understand how the food came from. As a result, we have to simplify and gamify the process. For example, we can create something to become an anxiety reliever other than Netflix.
Besides, gamification is the easiest way to convey the message. In one of Jamie Oliver’s videos, he showed the producing procedure of chicken nuggets to allow the kids to understand how does one of their favorite food come from. Although this is not a gamification, I think this visualization also exemplify the importance of transforming invisible facts into digestible and sensible feelings.
I want to create something that can bring the joy of dining and cook back to our life. I have a workaholic lifestyle friend who is currently working as software developers. He never cooks by himself and he sometimes even doesn’t have enough time to enjoy his meal. Soylent, a beverage which contains protein, carbohydrates, lipids, and micronutrients that our body need for a whole day, has become one of the best solutions for him instead of keeping skipping meals and eating microwave food. I agree that’s a better option than fast food since Soylent doesn’t just provide you calories. Instead, it gives every nutrition you need.
However, in my view, I think having soylent as the primary food source of our daily life is a palliative way to squeeze more time in our overloading life. In the long term, I don’t think it’s beneficial for us. It’s a panacea which can make you alive and only cost you a few minutes, but it also makes you lose the chances of enjoying meals once you’re relying on it. Eating food is one of the best things in our life. It’s pathetic to consider food as nutrition only instead of a beautiful experience.
Hence, what I aim to do is I want to create a fun experience to mitigate this phenomenon. I want to bring the happiness of eating and cooking back to our life. There are existing services like Blue Apron which provides package contains ingredients and also include suggested step-by-step recipes. I want to create something more than that. Allowing people to plant their ingredient is what I am thinking of.
In a nutshell, in the industrialized farming era, I want to let people enjoy the process of growing the ingredients they need, cook them, and then eat them.
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Before I came to ITP, I studied Agriculture in Taiwan. However, I didn’t like the conventional educating way that my college gave to me. Hence, I started to learn visual design in my junior year. After I graduated, I worked as a UX/UI designer in a tech start-up. This class not only allow me to re-visit the field I used to learn. Moreover, the experimental ways to bio-design are the things that make me really excited.
We don’t thoroughly understand the food we eat. Where did the food come from and what kind of nutrition can the food provide? We can quickly achieve our daily calories need, but we are not familiar with the ingredient of it. Agrochemical companies utilized biotechnology to develop crops that will not produce viable offspring, which aims to monopolize the seed market. What’s worse, they systemized the commercial structure among crops, pesticide, and herbicide. These approaches all target to make the profit, specifically, maximize the crop yields. However, this led to the The Great Nutrition Collapse of the food we eat.
Besides the food and nutrition issues, I am also interested in urban farming, vertical farms and any other unconventional farming method which aims to mitigate the environmental problems we have. All in all, I look forward to using creative approaches to tackle the severe issues.