What did you eat today? How did it taste? And how did it feel inside your mouth? A process which initially looks very simple but on closer inspection reveals itself to be rather more complex: The perception and description of taste.
With «Flavour Atelier», Chi Lui Wong has created an interactive learning experience during which users capture and describe their taste preferences in a playful way – thereby also gaining an understanding of the causes for their eating habits. The present app prototype is cleverly positioned at the interface between scientific research and consumers’ everyday lives. In co-operation with the Department of Health Sciences and Technology at ETH Zurich, where research is conducted on the interface between sensory perception and linguistic expression, classifications and visualisations were created to capture the most important descriptive terms for the complex experience of taste. The diary-like entries of the users are turned into a profile over time, thereby facilitating a deeper understanding of the development and context of taste and its perception. Users are thus encouraged to question their own «food choices» and relish expanding them through the knowledge gained and the input of the food community.
The relevancy of this work becomes evident in its positive approach to eating behaviour. Using current culinary developments and the trend of surveying the human body, it enables users to immerse themselves in a subject matter which not only pleasantly enriches an essential part of our lives, but also plays an important role for our food supply and thus our health. Due to its universal and attractive look the work appeals to a wide audience. It has the potential to be further extended into a public science project and contribute to the prevention of food behaviour related illnesses. In the spirit of «enabling science», the project also expands scientific research by adding a multi-modal discourse and making important aspects of the topic accessible.