Food futures is a scenario building experiment and edible pre-enactment. We use futures techniques to look at how the relationship between food, health and the environment might evolve in the future.

The first installment of Food Futures we designed as a tasting dinner for LateLab Open Sauces at the Edinburgh Science festival in April 2014, curated by Amanda McDonald Crowley. The second installment was a reception at the opening of the Future Fictions exhibition at Z33 in Hasselt, Belgium, curated by Karen Verschooren. Find out more about the Future Fictions Menu and Future Fictions Recipes

LateLab - Open Sauces

Photo by Chris Scott


Food Futures at Z33

Food futures scenarios in 2014:

Design Process

We began by defining the context for Food Futures:

  • The region is North-western Europe.
  • The focus is on the relationship of food, wellness and the environment (including growing, producing, distributing, consuming, tasting and disposing of food).
  • The context is a science festival, public understanding of science, looking at food systems and cycles, as well as infrastructure.
  • The timescale is 0-60 years in the future.

We looked at a range of change drivers or food horizons:

  • categorised the drivers into STEEP (social, technological, environmental, economic and political) categories
  • clustered the drivers thematically into “industrial, intensive and global”, “small, slow and local” and “open, transformative and translocal”
  • analysed the three clusters based on causal layered analysis

Based on the drivers and CLA derived myths we created four food scenarios (using 'four generic futures' method of the Manoa School). For each scenario we designed a 'toast' or a short speech that would introduce each dish in the language of the scenario.

The four scenarios were translated into a series of dishes, combined according to the panarchy model into the flow for the latelab menu and future fictions menu


Concept and sound design by Nik Gaffney and Maja Kuzmanovic of FoAM. Scenario design by FoAM (Nik Gaffney, Maja Kuzmanovic, Michka Melo and Rasa Alksnyte).

Late lab Open Sauces

The event in Scotland was curated by Amanda McDonald Crowley. Menu design by FoAM and Ginny Hunter of Blue Sky Catering. Sound design Nik Gaffney with sonic fragments by Stevie Wishart. produced by Mark Daniels and Roween Suess of New Media Scotland. Chris Scott was the photographer. A team of volunteers from the Edinburgh science festival were our gracious table hosts and waiters.

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Photos by FoAM and Chris Scott

Future Fictions

Future Fictions is curated by Karen Verschoren of Z33. Menu design by Rasa Alksnyte and Maja Kuzmanovic. Production and presentation Rasa Alksnyte, Maja Kuzmanovic, Pieter De Wel, Nik Gaffney, Jura De Wel and Faust De Wel.


Photos by Jura de Wel, Nik Gaffney and Rasa Alksnyte.

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  • Last modified: 2021-12-16 11:19
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