THE NO-MESS HALL

What the fu­ture of com­mu­nal din­ing will look like, ac­cord­ing to de­sign group Hy­dra.

Preview (Philippines) - - Mood - BY AU­DREY CARPIO

One hun­dred years from now may be hard to imag­ine, but the fu­ture is al­ready talk­ing to us through our dig­i­tal as­sis­tants like Siri and OK Google, which are but pri­mor­dial ver­sions of the ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence to come. And re­al­ity? That’s so last cen­tury. The world as we will ex­pe­ri­ence it will be more aug­mented, en­hanced and lifted than a Belo am­bas­sador. What will be­come of eat­ing out, our na­tional pas­time, now that we’ve reached peak food ob­ses­sive­ness?

Let’s consider the once-hum­ble food court—with its plas­tic trays and cheap ‘n’ fast fare—which has evolved into the food halls as we know them to­day: epi­curean des­ti­na­tions housed in his­toric build­ings, in­door mar­kets with hy­per­local, uber-ar­ti­san foods, or gath­er­ings of chef­driven eater­ies tucked un­der one roof. In 2117, food might be more of a con­cept, maybe even a me­mory. Cli­mate change, over­fish­ing and soil degra­da­tion will have a huge im­pact on our nat­u­ral re­sources if left unchecked—but tech­nol­ogy will make up for it in novel ways. Asked to en­vi­sion what the food hall 100 years from now might be like, Hy­dra, the mul­ti­headed de­sign firm com­prised of Acid House, Inksurge, KM De­sign and Plus63 De­sign Co., imag­ines it as a place where

peo­ple con­sume “food” to­gether through cap­sules and an IV, which are ac­ces­si­ble from a “Food­hall Cloud.” All the nu­tri­ents you need will be de­liv­ered di­rectly into your sys­tem—with none of the bad stuff. But what about the sen­so­rial ex­pe­ri­ence of din­ing? The smell of roasted toma­toes, the crackle of crispy chicken skin, the tex­ture of fresh uni?

Not to worry: Din­ers will be on VR and they can choose to go any­where in the world they want, alone or with their friends. Wait­ing sev­eral months for a reser­va­tion at Noma pop-ups will lit­er­ally be a thing of the past. In an in­stant, you can be sam­pling the street del­i­ca­cies in Bangkok or even in­dulging in a his­tor­i­cal repast, say a royal meal in 17th-cen­tury France. The cap­sule you take will act like a drug, trig­ger­ing your dif­fer­ent senses so that you are com­pletely im­mersed, not just vis­ually, in the full-body plea­sures of a de­li­cious meal. Peo­ple will be eat­ing widely, tast­ing more types of food than ever be­fore, and noth­ing will be out of reach—ex­cept, of course, the dish it­self.

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