We eat like kings. Whether you’re shopping at Whole Foods or Walmart, the global scope of produce is remarkable: pineapples from Hawaii, avocados from Mexico, and even simple water bottled and shipped from a small island across the globe.
InfObjects, by Johannes Tsopanides of Shapes in Play, take this idea to its extreme. A series of 3-D printed serving vessels—a potato pie on a plate, a bowl of vanilla pudding and a mug of shandy—visualize the precise CO2 impact of the food and drink they hold.
Typically porcelain-smooth dinnerware becomes freakishly mutant. It grows long roots to represent a dish’s energy consumption, and it even develops holes to mimic the ozone. The project isn’t meant to be appetizing; it’s meant to do the exact opposite, to force you to consider the impact of what you ingest.
"The objects are clearly not intended to be objects for daily usage. They play with the image of tableware, asking why an object of utility, for example, has holes," design partner Johanna Spath tells Co.Design. "That almost provocative unfunctionality is also part of the concept and wants to raise attention for the content." In other words, by making it more difficult for you to eat, you can get a sense of just how difficult it’s become for you to eat.
In this way, the studio considers these plates to have "function beyond usability," a diligently, scientifically mapped irony. It’s tablecloth-staining, pointy-poking art that someone at the dinner table couldn’t possibly ignore. But it does beg the question: If I just bought my produce at a local farmers market, do I get to eat off a normal plate tonight?
[Hat tip: Creative Applications]