Exploring and designing for multisensory interactions with 3D printed food

Gayler, Tom and Sas, Corina (2021) Exploring and designing for multisensory interactions with 3D printed food. PhD thesis, Lancaster University.

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Experience of food is as varied as it is widespread, part of mundane activities but also embedded in rituals and celebrations. Despite its pervasive richness it has yet to be fully exploited to support embodied and multisensory experiences within Human-Computer Interaction. This thesis addresses this shortcoming, drawing on the unique qualities of food experience in combination with novel technology to design rich, affective, and embodied interactions through food. This work approaches 3D printed food as a material to design emotion- and memory-based experiences with food, and 3D printing of food as a technology for crafting multisensory user experiences in everyday contexts. These perspectives are integrated through the design and evaluation of novel interactions with 3D printed food, following a Research through Design approach combined with material approaches. Through this enquiry, novel research tools for HCI were also created for working with food, flavour, and taste. The thesis comprises seven studies that advance knowledge, based on gaps identified, and novel theoretical framings in a systematic literature review. Through a survey of user perceptions of 3D printed food, opportunities for user experience-based applications were highlighted. An identified opportunity for affective interactions through taste was considered through lab-based studies and interviews with chefs and food designers on using 3D printed food. This was extended through a co-design study with couples in romantic relationships to create flavours of 3D printed food to support emotional expression and coregulation. The use of flavours to cue experience was then explored in relation to self-defining memories with older adults. Through both co-design studies, a multisensory probe kit was built and evaluated to support designing with the senses in HCI and to further explore ideas from the study into food and memory and an app prototype designed for creating personalised flavour-based memory cues. Collectively, these studies support applications of the 3D printing of food for emotional and memory-based applications in HCI, as well as theoretical and methodological contributions to multisensory design and design with food and the body in HCI.

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Thesis (PhD)
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25 May 2021 17:20
Last Modified:
30 Jun 2024 01:03