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We have developed a five-part system to define the dining experience in space. The dining area, the food printer, the meal itself, serving ware, and eating instruments. All are inspired by earth and embrace the unique context of space travel.
The dining space creates a space for social interaction and reflection, highlighting the view of the earth as the main attraction. Food is prepared and printed in a 3d food printer.
Food production uses 3d printing technology combined with sodium alginate printing in calcium solution in order to provide food on-demand in space. Food items are custom prepared for each space traveler and presented together on a tray when ready for serving.
A meal consists of 5 bite-sized morsels of food that highlight the overview effect of being in space and the beauty of the earth. Our food designs play with the zero-gravity experience. The nutritional profile of each food item can be personalized to the needs of each space traveler.
Each food item is presented on a custom tray that gently holds it in place using suction. Together, the 5 items on the tray create a nutritionally complete and inspiring meal that can be enjoyed together with fellow space travelers. E-ink technology allows tasting notes to appear next to each item.
The Micro-Gravity Eating Instrument is a custom designed utensil optimized for a zero gravity environment. The handle can be squeezed to create gentle suction that holds each food item in place while dining.
The dining space’s window feature is the main attraction, with a brilliant view of the earth setting the mood for each diner’s experience. We seek to encourage a social food experience through our space and meal design. Our environment aims to mimic a future family-style gathering and the designated space encourages smaller gatherings for deeper conversation and connection.
Similar to a friendly gathering, the chef is often as close and personal as anyone else. Our automated chef is a 3d food printer that connects and is able to tailor form, flavor, and color to create beautiful food experiences just for each diner. It also mediates the service from food to tray and calls on diners to receive their meals.
The chef has a few moving parts to make the magic work. Up top are ingredient cartridges and storage. The ingredients rely on three multipurpose injectors for printing, a central glass container to fill the support solution, a vacuum robotic arm to hold meals and place on serveware, and an info screen for the chef to interact with diners.
The chef works in a 4 step process, printing the alginate base in a calcium solution, then in the cartridges above with ingredients and additions including nutrients, flavors, and colors, these elements are then injected accordingly. The next step is to fine details and finishes, and the finishing touch is to apply the dish’s signature scent spray.
Predetermined menus are created for each user based on their preferences and needs. At mealtimes, diners are invited to the dining space. As they stroll in, their meal is in the works and they are free to get comfortable. Diner’s names are displayed with a soft tune, and they can reach over to grab the service from the chef. Thus, diners can jump into a chat or this mealtime’s food experience.
As space travel becomes more common and the space tourism industry develops, the dining experience will move beyond functional nutrition. Orbeats offered the design team a chance to rethink all aspects of the dining experience and imagine what dining in space could be. There are so many exciting possibilities! The SMPLxDSGN team hopes this project inspires others to rethink what is possible.