ENVISIONING THE FUTURE KITCHEN
Of all the rooms in our homes the kitchen is the center of energy, activity, comfort, and creativity—the beating heart of any dwelling. In the coming decade as our environments and habits change, the kitchen as we know it will evolve drastically. More people will move into cities, and our living spaces will become smaller. Natural resources will become more scarce, food more expensive, and waste an increasingly urgent issue. Near-instant grocery delivery will alter how we shop for and store food, and technology will be embedded in every part of our homes.
What will the kitchen of the future look like, and, more importantly, what will it feel like to cook, eat, and socialize there?
For IKEA, the world’s biggest furniture store, the time to start designing the kitchen of 2025 is now. So IKEA asked IDEO London and a group of students from Lund and Eindhoven universities to explore the social, technological, and demographic forces that will impact how we behave around food in 2025. The students spent months researching people’s attitudes and ideas about cooking and eating, and IDEO designers guided them as they built concept kitchen products.
To bring these future concepts to the present day, IKEA asked IDEO to design and build a full-size concept kitchen for 250,000 visitors to test out during the Salone Del Mobile in Milan and a six-month stint at EXPO Milano.
Ideo (2016) Envisioning the Future Kitchen. Available at: https://www.ideo.com/work/envisioning-the-future-kitchen (Accessed: 7 June 2016).
Fig. 1: Sly Golo (2015) IKEA Concept Kitchen 2025. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qD60cBQOABY (Accessed: 7 June 2016).
Fig. 2: June (2015) June Intelligent Oven. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lCuLxqGd0go (Accessed: 7 June 2016).
After requesting “Toast – the story of a boys hunger by one of Britain’s most famous chefs Nigel Slater” at the library (as it is not available there), I instead read the book. Some passages in there are great and anyhow support the whole idea of family and food, which is the starting point of my whole trajectory.
Introduction Text: “Toast is Nigel Slater’s truly extraordinary story of a childhood remembered through food […] Nigel’s likes and dislikes, aversions and sweet-toothed weaknesses form a fascinating and often amusing backdrop to this incredibly moving and deliciously evocative memoir of childhood, adolescence and awakening” (Nigel Slater, Introduction, 2003).
My favourite passages of the book:
“Cake holds a family together. I really believed it did. My father was a different man when there was cake in the house. Warm” (Slater, 2003, p.4)
“You can’t smell a hug. You can’t hear a cuddle. But if you could, I reckon it would smell and sound of warm bread-and-butter pudding” (Slater, 2003, p.7)
Happily, two weeks after my request, the library contacted me and sent me a link where I could watch “Toast” online. The movie was great too. This story is just perfectly related to my topic of food linked to family.
Slater, N. (2003) Toast the story of a boy’s hunger. London: Fourth Estate.
Bobnational (2016) Toast the story of a boy’s hunger. Available at: http://bobnational.net/record/298170 (Accessed: 2 June 2016).
You could technically get a person DNA tested and then create a recipe that they are genetically pre-disposed to liking, and, as genes are inherited, there is a big chance that their parents and grandparents will like it too. So you might find that an old family recipe matches this already – which is why is has naturally become a family classic.
And how cool to go to a Restaurant “DNA Dining” where you turn up, put in your genetic data, and they give you the food which they know you’re going to like the best!
These guys in California have done just that – but for making a wine that you will genetically be suggested to like: Vinome
All taken from 23andme report: (these are things about food they can tell you if you take their test)
Response to Diet:
“What you eat has a huge impact on your health, but how you respond to your diet is influenced by many factors. Researchers are learning that genetics plays a large role in how people perceive flavors and in their eating behaviors. Genetics also influences how your body metabolizes and uses different foods, perhaps helping to explain why some people can eat as much as they want and never gain weight while others can’t seem to lose weight despite their best efforts.”
Bitter taste perception:
“Sensitivity to bitter tastes is highly heritable. High heritability means that the trait is controlled almost entirely by your genes—environmental factors play little or no role.”
“An adult’s ability to produce the lactaseenzyme is determined almost entirely by his or her genes.”
Coriander (Cilantro) aversion:
“A study of roughly 76,000 individuals of European ancestry who participated in 23andMe research surveys identified a genetic marker associated with disliking the taste of fresh (not dried) cilantro.”
Sweet Taste preferance:
“A study of roughly 120,000 individuals of European ancestry who participated in 23andMe research surveys identified a genetic marker associated with preferring sweet foods over salty or savory foods. The marker rs838133 is located within a gene called FGF21 that plays important roles in metabolism. Individuals with the AA genotype at rs838133 had about 1.1 times higher odds of preferring sweet foods, compared to individuals with the AG genotype. Individuals with the GG genotype had about 1.1 times lower odds of preferring sweet foods.”
Brief articles about genetics and food preference:
A glimpse into the thriving business of family history
“Family history is a lucrative business. The main reason is people are passionate about it and it is very meaningful in their life. … Anything that people are passionate about, which involves a lot of word of mouth, has to be good business.”
Gilad Japhet launched MyHeritage.com out of his garage in 2005. He mortgaged his home, poured all his money into the business, and was not afraid to take a few risks.
Almost a decade later, the startup MyHeritage has revenues in the tens of millions of dollars, continues to see significant growth and has more than 160 employees. Its 75 million users have built 1.5 billion profiles and millions of family trees in 40 different languages.
So, yes, business has been good, Japhet, MyHeritge’s CEO, said in an interview with the Deseret News at RootsTech in February.
“Family history is a lucrative business,” Japhet said. “The main reason is people are passionate about it and it is very meaningful in their life. … Anything that people are passionate about, which involves a lot of word of mouth, has to be good business.”
Japhet’s story illustrates how many family history/genealogy businesses are thriving today.
Tim Sullivan, CEO of Ancestry.com, and Annelies van den Belt, CEO of FindMyPast.com shared business reports similar to Japhet’s as they discussed factors of success, challenges and new advancements in genealogy technology. Smaller family history businesses have also found sustainable models in preserving individual life stories and experiences.
There is also tremendous room for growth, Japhet said.
“Family history is an activity you can do for life,” Japhet said. “Once you have a customer, and you are giving that customer a great service, they become a customer for life.”
Factors of success
Founded in 1983, Ancestry.com has grown into the largest genealogy company in the world. According to its website, the company has 1,400 employees worldwide, including 1,000 in Utah. Revenues have increased from $166 million (2007) to $586 million (2013). Ancestry has also benefitted from its sponsorship of the family history reality show “Who Do You Think You Are?”
The company estimates that 83 million people in the United States are interested in using an online family history service, Sullivan said, and as a result, Ancestry has aggressively invested in digitizing new content.
“There is a universal interest in who we are and where we come from,” said Sullivan, who was also interviewed by the Deseret News at RootsTech.
Investing in digitized content and creating a positive user experience are two factors that have contributed to Ancestry’s success, Sullivan said.
A third way is creating technology that helps users find and share content with their family members.
“The size and scale of our community — 2.7 million subscribers, 10 million people visiting the site at any given month — is a tremendous opportunity for collaboration with distant cousins,” Sullivan said. “It really comes down to always providing our subscribers with new discoveries. If we can continue to add content … improve our technology and tools to help people find that discovery … we can keep our subscribers engaged on the site for many years.”
Similar strategies have been beneficial for the United Kingdom-based FindMyPast.com, van den Belt said.
“Technology helps us to be connected,” she said. “This is about opportunities. The industry has seen significant growth in the last couple of years because digital tools have made it easier for people to find records.”
Catering to 40 languages, developing family tree matching technology and giving free access to one subscriber’s entire family have been major parts of MyHeritage.com’s business plan, Japhet said.
“You cannot address genealogy well by catering to one market, and even if you cater to the important U.S. market, people in America arrived here from somewhere. They have relatives in other nations,” Japhet said. “You need to support users from other nations. That has allowed us to become the leader in many markets worldwide.”
The matching-record technology was designed to save time for researchers and carries a 97 percent accuracy rate, even with different name spellings and languages, Japhet said.
When a person subscribes to MyHeritage, that person’s family is granted free access to the website and its resources.
“We are about socializing, sharing and collaborating. It spreads the word and … they infect, in a good way, their family members,” Japhet said. “They get hooked on genealogy.”
Like any industry, there are a number of ongoing challenges in the family history business. There will always be a need for more records. There is a need to develop new technology. Perhaps the two biggest challenges, the CEOs agree, is continuing to fine-tune the user experience and appeal to a younger generation.
Ancestry is always looking for talented technology engineers with innovative ideas, Sullivan said.
“Without question, the single biggest challenge is creating a user experience that is easy and intuitive,” Sullivan said.
FindMyPast and MyHeritage both want to bring family history to the masses. For now, that means appealing to a younger generation of users with mobile devices.
“You see too many people with gray or no hair. How do we get younger generations hooked and engaged?” Japhet said. “We have to do it with excellent mobile applications. We need to compete for their short attention span.”
Dennis Brimhall, the CEO for FamilySearch.org, a nonprofit family history organization owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and based in Salt Lake City, expressed concern about another challenge. Some members of the LDS Church around the world don’t have access to a computer or the Internet. For these people, FamilySearch has created a booklet called “My Family: Stories That Bring Us Together,” in which they can record family information by hand.
Each company mentioned continues to devote a significant amount of its resources to technology development.
Ancestry has been in the DNA business for more than a year and in that time has created a database of more than 300,000 people. Many subscribers have already used this new technology to unlock family mysteries and make new family connections.
“Traditionally, Ancestry has been about our ancestors. DNA is now bringing that experience of connecting with living people,” Sullivan said. “That’s a powerful new way people are going to be able to explore their family history. We think DNA will be an incredibly great way for people to get started in family history.”
Brimhall said FamilySearch is interested in creating a texting app that will enable users, primarily teenagers, to build their family trees.
StoryWorth.com is a family history business that was recently featured in the New York Times. According to StoryWorth, a user selects a list of questions. Each day one of the questions is emailed to loved ones who in turn reply with a story or experience. The stories are then collected, preserved and shared with family members.
It’s an easy way to write a little bit each day, StoryWorth founder Nick Baum said in the article.
According to the article, 31-year-old Baum founded StoryWorth in 2012. Since then, subscribers have generated more than 10,000 stories while paying an annual fee of $49, which covers a family of up to six members and provides an unlimited amount of data storage. Baum didn’t tell the New York Times about his company’s revenues, but he did say it was profitable.
In the first 25 years of his business career, Tom Taylor said he interviewed hundreds of people to analyze information and write about their business strategies. At one point, Taylor realized he was more interested in the people and their individual lives.
So Taylor started a business called Pictures and Stories, which helps clients preserve their life stories and experiences in custom books and videos. It didn’t hurt that his wife and business partner, Alison, had a background in photography, art and graphic design. Pictures and Stories, a full-time business for the Taylors, has been going strong for about a decade now.
“We’re not getting rich, but we make a respectable living,” Tom Taylor said of the Salt Lake City-based business. “We love our work. It’s a fascinating and wonderful experience. We become close to our clients and they feel like family.”
The Taylors estimate they have completed hundreds of projects over the years. They are busiest in the months leading up to Christmas. They work closely with each customer to make sure the project is progressing correctly, and they say they have never had a dissatisfied client.
“We know we’ve done a good job when we show a client the final product and they cry,” Alison Taylor said. “We want to give them something that will last.”
What do family history’s smaller businesses, such as Pictures and Stories, have in common with the global genealogy websites? Everyone has a family heritage and a story to tell.
“You might think your life is not that interesting, but everyone has an interesting story,” Tom Taylor said. “It’s always an adventure.”
Text is copied and not rewritten or altered yet.
Family history and genealogy businesses like Ancestry.com, FindMyPast.com and MyHeritage.com are among many that are thriving today.
Anna Del Conte who is originally from Italy, is a chef and author.
Already 70 years ago, Anna introduced Italian cooking to a broader English audience when she moved to UK. Her exciting life as a child in war times she writes down her life story of looking for shelter in ditches when there had been an airstrike and also about her time in jail twice. However, “Risotto with Nettles – A memoire with food” is not a usual biography – she tells her memories by means of food. While through her adventurous life story there are recipes, foods and tastes that remind her on those special moments.
She even gives a very personal and detailed insight into her family story. Every few pages you find a recipe that is incorporated in the stories she tells as well as personal photos of her time in Italy, UK, and particularly her family.
Those features make Anna Del Conte to a perfect reference for my project.
“I ate well every day of my life until I came to England”
Telegraph (2016) I ate well every day of my life until I came to England. Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/9585089/I-ate-well-every-day-of-my-life-until-I-came-to-England.html (Accessed: 2 May 2016)
Fig. 1: Huber, M. (2016) Book Store Observation [Photograph]
List of key contacts I got in touch with. Hopefully I will receive some helpful responses.
Heston Blumenthal (Chef)
only could find out about his management; there is no personal email address available
Von Diaz (chef)
there is no personal email address available, so I contacted her informally via Instagram
Bompass + Parr (food artists)
one of the only food artists I could find with a non-commercial but artsy approach, lots of science involved
Adrian David Cheok (Director of Imagineering Institute, Malaysia and Professor at City University London dealing with digitalized senses)
Sissel Tolaas (Designer, Smell Expert, scientist)
only found the contact of a design lab she cooperates with; there is no personal email address available
Charles Spence (Professor at Oxford University)
specifically interested in taste perceptions and gastrophysics
Iona Inglesby (founder of dotone company)
Family binding design outcomes to strengthen family bonds
Camilla Catrambone (photographer)
“Family Portrait” – photography series with food to depict her family
Anna Del Conte (Chef and Author of “Risotto with Nettles – A memoire with food” that guide through her life and family bye specifically linking to her Italian roots and Italian food) there is absolutely no contact data, management, or website available – so I failed to contact her
Bestseller author, executive TV producer and global warming activist Laurie David talks in her TedTalk about a private concern – the family dinner.
The Talk is interesting and it is very interesting and entertaining to hear her talking. Therefore, I would highly recommend those 10 minutes and listen through the talk as there is so many incredibly informative facts and content in there:
Facts about a family dinner
an average meal today lasts less than 20 min.
more than 50% of our ready meals are purchased outside the house
fast food makes up 33% of what we are eating
contrary to the times 100 years ago, there are masses of people who consume meat three times a day that consists antibiotics and hormons
people tend to eat fast, unhealthy and alone
way more expensive than self cooked meals
Social Benefits of a family dinner
studies showed that everything that parents are bothered by can be made better by a family dinner
a two-decades ongoing study showed that merit students had at least three times a week a shared family meal (without exception)
it is the best way to share values
it passes on family history
an authentic place to discuss different point of views
it improves and builds a vocabulary
manners are developed
strengthens the bond within families
Health Benefis of a family dinner
fewer overall health problems
Laurie David also states that she enjoyed family dinner with her children and husband. When she got divorced, this time was crucial to help to come together over this difficult time. Up to now, even her ex-husband joins the family dinner time on a regular basis.
This makes her think of family dinner as a valuable and important time for all kind of family structures.
“Dinner rituals have nothing to do with class, working women’s busy lives or any particular family structure … it is the art of human companionship.”
(Text is not yet rewritten and taken from the Tedx Talk)
Tedx Talks (2011) Dinner makes a difference: Laurie David at TEDxManhattan. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzB0BDstCI0 (Accessed: 28 April 2016).
Journalist and historial Von Diaz who lives in NY gives an insight in her family history via an emotional and enthusiastic TED talk.
Key points of her talk:
As an immigrant, Von Diaz often struggled to identify where she actually belonged to. Her grandmother’s food helped her to feel stable and to identify herself.
After her grandmother suffered from Alzheimer, the roles shifted and Von Diaz became the cook. This seemed to be the most efficient thing to do for her grandmother in order to give her something heart warming, something she can remember via taste and sth. that does her good.
Diaz also mentiones the cookbook her granny used to use and recooked every single recipe out of curiosity, to make her cooking skills live on, to honor her and “to soak up every bit of taste memory she had” (Tedx Talks, 2015).
Even if Diaz works on full-time basis, she loves to cook that food that reminds her on her granny and on where she actually comes form. She also mentions, that it all started for her by being curious about one single dish.
Quotes from the Talk:
“… to build a deeper understanding of how what you eat is so much more than just what you like – what we eat says so much about where we are from and even more about who we want to be”
“Today I am working on a cookbook with recipes … in part to honor her in each of it’s pages but also to share this incredible gift she gave me to connect to my history and culture through cooking.”
A very similar talk is from Carino Cortez where she describes food as the main linking device between her an her family. Furthermore, she mentiones that sweet moment of a certain taste that takes you back to a certain event or moment.
Tex Talks (2015) Every Dish Has a Story: Mapping My Food History | Von Diaz |. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxywTmkvN3g (Accessed: 28 April 2016).
Fig. 1: Tedx Talks (2015) Every Dish Has a Story: Mapping My Food History | Von Diaz |. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KxywTmkvN3g (Accessed: 28 April 2016).