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Abstract

There is an increasing interest in food within the HCI discipline, with many interactive prototypes emerging that augment, extend and challenge the various ways people engage with food, ranging from growing plants, cooking ingredients, serving dishes and eating together. Grounding theory is also emerging that in particular draws from embodied interactions, highlighting the need to consider not only instrumental, but also experiential factors specific to human-food interactions. Considering this, we are provided with an opportunity to extend human-food interactions through knowledge gained from designing novel systems emerging through technical advances. This workshop aims to explore the possibility of bringing practitioners, researchers and theorists together to discuss the future of human-food interaction with a particular highlight on the design of experiential aspects of human-food interactions beyond the instrumental. This workshop extends prior community building efforts in this area and hence explicitly invites submissions concerning the empirically-informed knowledge of how technologies can enrich eating experiences. In doing so, people will benefit not only from new technologies around food, but also incorporate the many rich benefits that are associated with eating, especially when eating with others.
The Future of Human-Food Interaction
Jialin Deng
Exertion Games Lab, Monash
University, Melbourne, Australia
Ferran Altarriba Bertran
Social and Emotional Technology Lab,
University of California, Santa Cruz,
USA
Katherine Isbister
Department of Computational Media,
University of California, Santa Cruz,
USA
Yan Wang
Exertion Games Lab, Monash
University, Melbourne, Australia
Rob Comber
KTH Royal Institute of Technology,
Stockholm, Sweden
Charles Spence
Crossmodal Research Lab,
Department of Experimental
Psychology, Oxford University,
Oxford, UK
Carlos Velasco
Department of Marketing, BI
Norwegian Business School, Oslo,
Norway
Marianna Obrist
Department of Computer Science,
University College London, London,
UK
Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller
Exertion Games Lab, Monash
University, Melbourne, Australia
ABSTRACT
There is an increasing interest in food within the HCI discipline,
with many interactive prototypes emerging that augment, extend
and challenge the various ways people engage with food, ranging
from growing plants, cooking ingredients, serving dishes and eat-
ing together. Grounding theory is also emerging that in particular
draws from embodied interactions, highlighting the need to con-
sider not only instrumental, but also experiential factors specic to
human-food interactions. Considering this, we are provided with an
opportunity to extend human-food interactions through knowledge
gained from designing novel systems emerging through technical
advances. This workshop aims to explore the possibility of bring-
ing practitioners, researchers and theorists together to discuss the
future of human-food interaction with a particular highlight on the
design of experiential aspects of human-food interactions beyond
the instrumental. This workshop extends prior community building
eorts in this area and hence explicitly invites submissions con-
cerning the empirically-informed knowledge of how technologies
can enrich eating experiences. In doing so, people will benet not
only from new technologies around food, but also incorporate the
many rich benets that are associated with eating, especially when
eating with others.
CCS CONCEPTS
Human-centered computing; Interaction design;
KEYWORDS
Food, eating, human-food interaction
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CHI ’21 Extended Abstracts, May 08–13, 2021, Yokohama, Japan
© 2021 Copyright held by the owner/author(s).
ACM ISBN 978-1-4503-8095-9/21/05.
https://doi.org/10.1145/3411763.3441312
ACM Reference Format:
Jialin Deng, Yan Wang, Carlos Velasco, Ferran Altarriba Bertran, Rob
Comber, Marianna Obrist, Katherine Isbister, Charles Spence, and Florian
‘Floyd’ Mueller. 2021. The Future of Human-Food Interaction. In CHI Con-
ference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Extended Abstracts (CHI ’21
Extended Abstracts), May 08–13, 2021, Yokohama, Japan. ACM, New York,
NY, USA, 6 pages. https://doi.org/10.1145/3411763.3441312
1 BACKGROUND
“One of the very nicest things about life is the way we
must regularly stop whatever it is we are doing and
devote our attention to eating. Luciano Pavarotti
Food is an essential part of life. From birth to death, we spend
hours procuring, preparing, eating and digesting food [
41
]. Its prepa-
ration, consumption and even mere sight can bring immense joy
[
9
,
30
]. French gastronome Brillat-Savarin argues that the pleasures
associated with eating constitute some of life’s most enjoyable ex-
periences [
8
]. Recognizing this seems to be an upward trend, as
most millennials identify themselves as “foodies” [42].
With advancements in technology, there has been an increase
in the use of digital technology in regard to food-related practices
ranging from how we grow, cook, present, eat and dispose of food
[
26
]. Food practices are dened as any human activity in which
food is involved, ranging from agriculture, food preparation, eating,
gifting food, sharing meals and cleaning up. These are studied in
HCI under the term of human-food interaction (FHI), dened as
“the interconnection between the self and food” [12, 15].
Human-food interaction researchers have begun experiment-
ing with emerging technologies like computational gastronomy
[
57
], food printing [
25
,
46
], virtual reality [
4
], capacitance sensing
[
53
,
54
], robotics [
31
], electrical muscle stimulation [
34
] acoustic
levitation [
51
] and shape-changing interfaces [
52
] to illustrate new
ways of interacting with food. These works highlight the increasing
convergence of food and technology leading to new possibilities.
At the same time, researchers in the elds of gastrophysics [
45
]
and molecular gastronomy [
3
] have explored new ways of how
restaurants can innovate in food design. These developments are
supplemented by smart kitchens [
33
] and appliances [
29
,
46
] that
CHI ’21 Extended Abstracts, May 08–13, 2021, Yokohama, Japan Jialin Deng et al.
enable enhanced food preparation processes. At the same time, so-
cial media like Instagram and Facebook support the photographing
of meals and sharing of cooking videos [
11
]. Practices of person-
alized nutrition [
20
] and DIY food sciences [
28
] are also gaining
traction.
It is important to note that an HCI perspective on human-food
interactions needs to consider the transdisciplinary nature of food
research. For example, prior works from a range of elds have in-
vestigated human-food interactions, such as anthropology [
23
,
32
],
medical sciences [
24
,
44
,
56
], psychology [
5
,
17
,
37
,
40
], and sociol-
ogy [
43
,
55
]. In consequence, we would like to create an interdisci-
plinary space for researchers to discuss human-food interaction, in
an integral, comprehensive manner. We invite and welcome par-
ticipants from such elds. We also recommend HCI researchers to
consider references outside their immediate eld.
Human-food interaction researchers have already collected prior
work in workshops [
13
,
14
,
16
,
22
,
28
,
39
], resulting in an online
summary of existing research [
7
]. There are also emergent com-
munities, for example, the FoodCHI Special Interest Group [
26
],
the SIGCHI foodCHI network, and the ACM Future of Computing
Academy working group on Computing and Food [
38
], and the
Feeding Food Futures (FFF) network [2].
Several of the workshop organizers have been previously in-
volved in conducting such workshops. For example, there was
a workshop on “designing recipes for digital food cultures” [
22
]
at CHI’18 that focused on recipes as part of human-food interac-
tions. At CHI’17, there was a workshop called “digital health &
self-experimentation [
21
] that explored, amongst other topics, how
to support health through food tracking. At the same conference,
there was also a Special Interest Group (SIG) called “Future of Food
in the Digital Realm” [
26
] that briey brought human-food interac-
tion researchers together at CHI. Outside CHI, related conferences
and associated events have also experienced workshops and sim-
ilar activities around the topic of food or eating, some of them
run by organizers of this workshop. This includes workshops at
ICMI [
35
,
36
,
48
-
50
], DIS [
18
,
19
,
47
], UbiComp’13 and ’14 [
14
], CHI
Play’19 [6], EFOOD’19 [1] and at IDC’20 [10].
These past activities highlight that there is an increasing inter-
est in the merging of interactive technology and food, which has
attracted attention in a variety of venues by a range of dierent peo-
ple from dierent backgrounds. However, what has not yet taken
place is a workshop at CHI that focuses exclusively on the topic of
human-food interaction from a holistic perspective and hence con-
siders not just individual aspects such as instrumental perspectives
(e.g. health), but also welcomes submissions by people interested
in the rich experiential perspectives and how to design for it, pay-
ing homage to the diverse community that CHI has been able to
attract and bring together over the years. As such, this workshop
takes a holistic approach to human-food interaction and highlights
that there seems to be an underexplored area within prior work-
shops around the design of experiential aspects of human-food
interactions and hence explicitly invites submissions concerning
these.
To complement these prior approaches that were often limited
by venue capacity, time and/or thematic focus, we are planning
a full day of activities around human-food interaction at CHI’21.
Given the increasing interest in human-food interaction, and the
initiatives by dierent subgroups in the eld, we believe it is time
to join eorts and provide the foundations for this eld of inquiry.
With this workshop, we aim to bring together a diverse group of
scholars to critically discuss past, present, and the future of human-
food interaction, as well as how technology design can contribute
to food futures that are increasingly stimulating, sustainable, just,
and socio-culturally rich.
1.1 Topics of interest
The topics of interest for the workshop include theories, technolo-
gies, and applications related to human-food interactions from an
HCI perspective. We also encourage contributions that do not neatly
t in existing categories.
1.1.1 Theory, Methods and Aims. Theoretical topics of interest
include, but are not limited to:
Articulations of theoretical aspects of human-food interac-
tions within existing HCI theories, such as embodied inter-
actions
Links to theories from non-HCI domains, such as health,
multisensory perception, and food science
The use of theoretical understandings to inform the design
of human-food interactions, in particular experiential per-
spectives
Critical reections on the potential of, and risks derived
from, integrating technology into our food lives and the
food system at large
Methods for co-designing food futures that are socially just,
culturally and emotionally stimulating, and sustainable
1.1.2 Technology. We are also interested in contributions related
to how technologies such as capacitance sensing, camera-based
detection, etc. along with emerging techniques such as machine
learning and articial intelligence can be leveraged for sensing
eating and associated activities around food. Such technology topics
of interest include, but are not limited to:
Sensing food
Detecting eating
Ingredient analysis
Articial intelligence and food
1.1.3 Applications of Food Technology. Applied topics of interest
include, but are not limited to:
Augmenting eating interactions
Supplementing and enriching multisensory experiences
Taste as feedback mechanism
Food visualization
Edibalization
Food games and play
Designing for restaurants, canteens and other food outlets
Working with the hospitality industry
Novel approaches and mechanisms for working with food
Designing cyber food as part of human-machine integration
The Future of Human-Food Interaction CHI ’21 Extended Abstracts, May 08–13, 2021, Yokohama, Japan
1.2 Goals of the Workshop
The most important goal of the workshop is to provide an enduring
community and networking platform for researchers who are in-
terested in the coming together of food and interactive technology.
Other workshop goals are to identify and articulate relevant theo-
retical insights and guide future research, understand synergies at
the intersection of emerging technologies and current knowledge;
nurture the growth of a cross-disciplinary research community
around the topics and develop plans for subsequent activities (e.g.
a journal special issue on the topic); and promote HFI design and
research practices that are critical and sustainable from a social,
cultural, and planetary perspective.
2 ORGANIZERS
2.1 Jialin Deng
is a PhD candidate from the Exertion Games Lab in
the Human-Centred Computing department at Monash University,
Melbourne, Australia. Her research on interactive eating looks at
the future of computational integrated food for an understanding
of the design of a synergistic interplay between food and digital
technology, as well as the impact of design and technology on
the eating experience reecting human subjectivity, culture, and
identity. Jialin has a multidisciplinary background having worked
at the intersection of art, design, and the food innovation industry.
jialindeng.wixsite.com/whispery-savoury.
2.2 Yan Wang
is a PhD candidate from the Exertion Games
Lab in the Human-Centred Computing department at Monash Uni-
versity, Melbourne, Australia. Her research focuses on exploring
how technologies might enrich eating experiences through aug-
mented multisensory interactions and how playful designs could
be developed to enrich eating experiences in everyday life. She has
published extensively in the HFI eld, demonstrated HFI inventions
at CHI previously and has extensive workshop experience from
SIGCHI conferences.
2.3 Carlos Velasco
is an associate professor at the Department
of Marketing, BI Norwegian Business School (Norway), where he
co-founded the Centre for Multisensory Marketing. Carlos received
his D.Phil. in Experimental Psychology from Oxford University. His
work is at the intersection between Psychology, Marketing, and
Human–Computer Interaction, and focuses on understanding, and
capitalizing on, our multisensory experiences and their guiding
principles.Carlos has worked with a number of companies from
around the world on multisensory experiences. carlosvelasco.info/.
2.4 Ferran Altarriba Bertran
is a PhD candidate in the So-
cial and Emotional Technology Lab at UC Santa Cruz, USA. His
research explores how future technologies might support increas-
ingly playful relationships between people, and how situated co-
design methods could be leveraged to develop them. As part of
his research, Ferran speculates increasingly playful human-food
interaction futures, looking at how technology can enable novel
exciting forms of playful engagement with, through and around
food that bring about positive social, cultural, and emotional out-
comes. Ferran co-initiated the Feeding Food Futures network and
co-organized several HFI workshops at DIS, CHI Play, IDC and
EFOOD. ferranaltarriba.com.
2.5 Rob Comber
is Associate Professor of Communication at
KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden. His re-
search lies at the intersections of food, democracy and sustainability.
His work is increasingly concerned with the interconnected nature
of our food practices and the social and societal consequences of
how we design for it. He was a founding member of the Human-
Food Interaction community in SIGCHI, and has organised work-
shops on food in HCI at CHI’12, ’13, ’14, ’15 and ’16, DIS’12 and
UbiComp’13 and ’14. He was guest editor of the 2014 Special Issue
on Designing for Human-Food Interaction in IJHCS.
2.6 Marianna Obrist
is Professor of Multisensory Interfaces
at UCL, Department of Computer Science, and Deputy Director
(Digital Health) for the UCL Institute of Healthcare Engineering.
She is investigating touch, taste, and smell as interaction modalities
for HCI. She is a co-founder of OWidgets Ltd, a University start-up
developing novel software and hardware solutions for smell expe-
rience design. She is an inaugural member of the ACM Future of
Computing Academy and was selected Young Scientist 2017 and
2018 to attend the World Economic Forum. She is a Visiting Profes-
sor at the Royal College of Art and has recently published a book
on ‘Multisensory Experiences: where the senses meet technology’.
multi-sensory.info.
2.7 Katherine Isbister
is a Human-Computer Interaction and
games researcher who creates and studies digital games and other
playful computer-supported experiences. She is currently a full
professor in the Department of Computational Media at the Uni-
versity of California, Santa Cruz, where she directs the Center
for Computational Experience. Her focus is emotion and social
connection–understanding the impact of design choices on these
qualities, and getting better at building and evaluating technology
that supports and enhances social and emotional experience.
2.8 Charles Spence
is a world-famous experimental psychol-
ogist with a specialization in neuroscience-inspired multisensory
design. He has worked with many of the world’s largest compa-
nies across the globe since establishing the Crossmodal Research
Laboratory (CRL) at the Department of Experimental Psychology,
Oxford University in 1997. Prof. Spence has published over 1,000
academic articles and edited or authored 15 books including, in
2014, the Prose prize-winning “The perfect meal”, and the interna-
tional bestseller “Gastrophysics: The new science of eating” (2017;
Penguin Viking) winner of the 2019 Le Grand Prix de la Culture
Gastronomique from Académie Internationale de la Gastronomie.
He works in the interaction between food and technology, and
has organized many workshops in this space, including being a
co-organizer for the last four ICMI Food-Technology symposia.
2.9 Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller
is Professor in the Human-Centred
Computing department at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia,
where he directs the Exertion Games Lab. His research sits on the
intersection between the human body, technology and play, aiming
to help people live a fullling life, which includes savoring food. He
has co-authored a “Foundation and Trends” treatise on human-food
interaction [
27
] and researches how to experience eating as play.
He has co-organized nine workshops at CHI previously and was
general co-chair CHI’20.
CHI ’21 Extended Abstracts, May 08–13, 2021, Yokohama, Japan Jialin Deng et al.
3 WEBSITE
The workshop website is at: humanfoodinteraction.org
The workshop website contains more details and the call for pa-
pers. It also promotes the workshop and presents relevant research
results to date. All accepted contributions will appear on the web-
site. Following the workshop itself, videos, photos, and results from
the workshop activities will be added, with participants’ consent.
4 PRE-WORKSHOP PLANS
We will publish a call for participation on the workshop website and
circulate it widely to individuals and communities interested in the
topic of the workshop. It will be open to both academic researchers
as well as industry professionals and independent researchers. The
call for participation will also be posted to mailing lists (includ-
ing chi-announcements), social media and directly emailed to re-
searchers in our networks. Participants will be expected to have
done small tasks based on our brief before the workshop and to
arrive with relevant questions and discussion points.
5 WORKSHOP STRUCTURE
CHI 2021 will be an entirely virtual conference because of the
ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It has given us an opportunity to run
a very dierent kind of workshop. We have modied the structure
and ow of the workshop to suit synchronous and asynchronous
participation for attendees from multiple time zones, and it will
be taking place virtually via Zoom or similar platforms. We will
send through an email invitation with guidelines of attendance
prior to the workshop. The duration of this online workshop will be
approximately 4 hours in total. Activities in each session include:
1) Themed presentations:
The themed presentations involve
creating a shared understanding around the related theme of
Human-Food Interaction in HCI and amongst the workshop group.
The themes will draw from the growing research in Human-Food
Interaction, which have focused on rather independent areas: Sens-
ing Food, Design with Food, and Design around Food. The themed
presentations will be given by at least one organizer (as theme
facilitator) for each theme respectively, followed by group activities
by participants.
2) Group interactions and exercises:
The group-based inter-
actions and exercises will be carried out in 3 small groups of around
6 people, each group will be assigned 1-2 organizers as facilitators.
The group will brainstorm on at least one novel scenario or idea
that focuses on novel human-food interactions, particularly consid-
ering experiential perspectives under the particular theme assigned
to the group.
3) Showcasing and discussion:
The deliverables will be a short
write-up with drawings or illustrations to show how future tech-
nology could assist in the contexts and activities in question. Lastly,
the concepts will be showcased and shared by each group, and then
discussed. The organizers will provide working materials (white-
boards and working sheets) via online collaboration tools (e.g. Miro,
Mura, and Google Docs). The whole process of this online work-
shop will be recorded and posted online with each participant’s
consent.
5.1 Tentative Workshop Agenda:
10min: Opening
15min: Introduction and ice-breaking activities
Session 1
Theme 1: Sensing Food
10min: Presentation (one guest speaker)
20min: Group activities (ideation)
10min: Summary&discussion (Q&A)
Theme 2: Design with Food
10min: Presentation (one guest speaker)
20min: Group activities (ideation)
10min: Summary&discussion (Q&A)
Theme 3: Design around Food
10min: Presentation (one guest speaker)
20min: Group activities (ideation)
10min: Summary&discussion (Q&A)
10min: Virtual coee break
Session 2
60min: Group activities (action)
10min: Virtual coee break
30min: Showcasing and discussion
20min: Summary and closing
Total: 5h 10min
6 POST-WORKSHOP PLANS
Workshop papers will be listed on the workshop website. A report
on workshop activities, as well as selected photos and descriptions
of outputs from the group activities (subject to authors’ permis-
sions) will also be published on the workshop website. We also
aim to include social media platforms for continuing knowledge
sharing based on the preferences of the community. A variety of
post-workshop academic publications will be considered based on
the content of the accepted submissions and the outputs of work-
shop sessions. These include, but are not limited to, a report to be
submitted to a venue that is relevant to the CHI community (e.g.
ACM Interactions), a full paper submission to a relevant SIGCHI
conference based on synergies between individual eorts presented
at the workshop, and a special issue of a journal informed by the
research agendas articulated at the workshop.
7 CALL FOR PARTICIPATION
Human-Food Interaction, that is, the merging of interactive tech-
nology with food practices is becoming increasingly prevalent and
popular, fueled by technical advances that make it possible to sense
what and how people eat. Knowledge from a wealth of disciplines
is required to design for these experiences, and communication
between these disciplines is essential to positively inform future
human-food interactions. To this end, the interdisciplinary work-
shop “The Future of Human-Food Interaction” aims to bring to-
gether diverse opinions and expertise to oer a platform for re-
searchers and practitioners to learn from each other, highlighting
the design of experiential perspectives of engaging with food. We
welcome diverse contributions, including empirical research, engi-
neering investigations, design concepts, theory, opinions, and re-
views. For more information, please see: humanfoodinteraction.org
The Future of Human-Food Interaction CHI ’21 Extended Abstracts, May 08–13, 2021, Yokohama, Japan
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... Human-Food Interaction (HFI) research has been growing steadily in recent years (e.g., Deng et al., 2021). Research into multisensory interactions designed to create, modify, and/or enhance our food-related experiences is one of the core areas of HFI (Multisensory HFI or MHFI, Altarriba Bertran et al., 2019;Velasco and Obrist, 2020). ...
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