Transformative Appetite


Prerequisites: The course welcomes students from diverse backgrounds to explore a wide variety of user scenarios. Undergrads and grads who are passionate about design and food, and curious about how to combine these two subjects, are welcome. No specific major is required. 

Load: 2 P.M. - 5 P.M. on Jan. 9 -12; 1 P.M. - 5 P.M. on Jan. 13, 17, 18 and 19; 5:30 P.M. - 9 P.M. on Jan. 19 (Eight 3-hour or 4-hour sessions plus final event in evening of final day)

Time Outside Class: 2-4 hours in total


This course teaches the theory, design, and fabrication of shape-transforming food by hydration or dehydration processes during making, cooking and eating. It is based on recent research by the Tangible Media Group at the MIT Media Lab, which explores edible, composite-structured food. The course will include lectures and hands-on design workshops as well as a final exhibition highlighting group projects.

Course Activities:

During lectures, students will learn about design concepts related to transformative materials as well as the underlying principles of materials science and mechanical engineering. Students will also learn to use Rhino and Grasshopper software for 3-D design and some basics of the hardware (3D food printer system).

In the design workshop, the classroom will become a food lab. Students will work with both physical edible material toolkits as well as a digital software simulation toolkit. Concepts of future food will be explored, and students will transform their edible ideas into reality under the instruction of a team of experts that includes a chef, food texture expert, material scientist, designer, software architect, and mechanical engineer!