Imagine when you’re sitting at the table with Christmas with your whole family. There is delicious food on the table and everybody is drinking a nice glass of wine. And you’re sitting at that table looking at everyone with an empty plate and an empty wine glass in front of you, because you’re getting your food through tubes that pump the food into your stomach. 5000 people every year in the Netherlands have a feeding tube installed. And will not be able to eat or drink again.
What is it?
Louise Knoppert, a young product designer from the Netherlands wants to bring people with a feeding tube back at the table. She has developed a set of tools with different flavours and textures. To give back something that a lot of us take for granted, eat and drink. It’s designed for various eating and drinking problems, for the people who cannot obtain nutrition by mouth, are unable to swallow or need supplements. For them she developed a box with flavours, which are aesthetic ornaments with different shapes and colours at the tip. The box can be a particular cuisines or event; like that they can relate to what the rest on the table is having. You can choose the Italian kitchen or the Chinese.
The box contains different sensations, flavours, feelings, movements and actions.
VAPOR: An ultrasonic atomizer technology creates smoke from a flavourful liquid.
TINGLE: This piece sprinkles a liquid on your tongue, which melts and tingles as it spreads the flavour.
FOAM: This piece must be shaken to create foam. It is flexible so that you can squeeze out the foam, which will then make its way onto the textured surface. The foam creates a burst of flavour, leaving a tingly sensation and sound when it disappears.
ICE: You can create a tiny layer of ice around between the shape and the cap of this piece, which serves as a mould for a flavourful liquid. After freezing it, you can take off the cap and enjoy the cold sensation with flavour and texture.
PINCH: A pinch of powder that melts on your tongue.
MIST: Squeezing this piece will spray a mist, leaving a pleasant sensation and flavour.
ROLL: You can use this piece to roll the flavour onto your tongue and lips, which provides a massage and allows you to roll the flavours directly onto your taste buds at the same time.
SPONGE: This piece absorbs a liquid that can be squeezed out by using your mouth. The sponge feels soft, and the liquid inside is juicy.
DIP: This flexible piece is for dipping. After dipping it into a paste you can either lick it or brush it onto your tongue. The flexible arches make for a pleasant texture, and allow you to play with it.
– (Louise Knoppert)
Why is it cool?
A friend of Louise will soon have a tube to feed her. This was one of the things that made Louise develop these tools. This is her way to give people an opportunity to be part of the dinner table again. So they can feel the experience again. “These tools give you the power and creative freedom to create a new food experience” Louise Knoppert says. Like this she creates an experience economy for the people who lost that experience. If this will be mass developed a lot of people will get a little bit of the eating experience back.