Bio Designing the future food

Week 11- 12

When I think about futuristic food, I think about the food we ate in the past, and one example is jam. But I also wanted to use fruit that are normally wasted, especially ugly fruit.

In order to explore this topic, I went to Trader Joe’s, Whole foods and Union Square green market. I wanted to use an ugly apple which can be wasted and is not worth buying. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find any in the three markets I went to, so I decided to buy an organic fruit.

I started to make jam and I searched history of Jam. Jam usually keeps for a long time. In the past, there were no refrigerator and people couldn’t store fruit for a long time, so they would preserve fruit in order to retain the flavor and nutrients.

I chose a organic pink lady apple and made a pink lady apple Jam for this week. The reason why I chose a pink lady apple is because it is a fruit with a reddish-green skin and a sweet flavor. It is high acid and high sugar. Basically, when you make a jam you should put in a lot of sugar, but If you use a sweet fruit you can get sugar from the fruit.

So here is my recipe.

Prepare sugar, 6 apples, 1 lemon, cinnamon powder and 2 jars.

While I boiled the jars to sanitize them, I cleaned the fruits with baking powder. I peeled off the skin of the apples then chopped the apples.

I used one bowl of sugar for every two bowls of apple. Wait 10min for it to boil. Put a bit of lemon peel and a bit of cinnamon powder in for flavor. Stir the pot often for 20min, to not burn the jam. When you are done put it into the jar.

The goal of this week is for making packaging peanut by using orange peels. Here is what I tried to do.

I put dried orange peels in the mixer and use a bit of  water and mixed it. I mixed with flour, and make dough. I divided the dough into two pieces. One is for mixing with baking soda, salt, grapeseed oil. The other one is for mixing with lotion.

I wanted to explore if I put them in a microwave, how it is going to change. The two on the top are just using the microwave for 2 min, and the two on the bottom are boiled, and then using it for 2 min.

This is basically, I got an idea from the packaging peanuts usually made with styrofoam. These are not good for environment so I am still figuring out how I can make a flexible and light material.


Week- 10

Here I used a dehydrator to maintain the orange’s color. Compared to what I used before, which was baking soda and salt, using the dehydrator was much more effective. I am trying to find out how I can merge them without water(because I already dried them).

Week- 9


7 days have passed, the first result was the peels having become rotten from the process. This was not the result that we had anticipated. so we decided to try other methods to prevent rotting. We are going to try to use a food dryer, to dry them and then we will use a blender to maintain the color of the peels.


Week- 8

We decided to make food packaging by using fruit peels, and this week we will start the first experiment. To begin, Xitong and I have each prepared our own sets of fruit peels that we will experiment with individually. I plan on starting with tangerine peels and orange peels, while Xitong works with onion peels. I bought baking soda and sea salt, which will be used to preserve the fruit peels. This mixture of baking soda and sea salt creates a chemical reaction that slows the aging process of the fruit peels. On March 27th, I prepared two jars each with a mixture of two cups of salt and two cups of baking soda. Ten tangerine peels and two orange peels were placed in each jar. Each day, I will take a picture documenting the progress of the fruit peels and the effect that the mixture has on them.


Salt   / Baking soda

Left- Orange / Right – Tangerine

Week- 5-7

Timeline for project progress

Mar.1      Research and idea proposal

Mar.8      Idea proposal  & Presentation, Collecting fruit peels from the floor.

Mar.15     Spring break ( Try to finalize ideas and materials during this period)

Mar.22    Material experiment  —- paper from fruit -1

Mar.29    Material experiment  —- paper from fruit -2

Apr.5       Material experiment  —- paper from fruit -3

Apr.12     Material experiment  —- try tannin and rasin

Apr.19     Build and design   —– Packaging and outlook design

Apr.26     Build and design  —- Debugging and finalize

May.03    Final presentation

Week- 4

For my biodesign projects, I had some idea of making flat surfaces for my work. I would like to build a material using some foods which have tough or durable structure. Basically, I came up with this idea from Korean paper. When I studied Eastern painting, I was always astonished when I went to the museum and saw how the paper lasted so long even though it was created more than one thousand years ago. This paper has a lot of endurance and it’s made from a plant called the Dak tree. When analyzing this plant with a microscope, it has a knotted structure so it makes paper lasts longer. By making paper through with multiple process, for a long time people could use the paper. For me, I have painted on tons of Korean paper and each time I bought paper from art supplies stores. If I do this, I feel that my artwork isn’t unique. So I would like to make my own paper by combining different food.

  Currently, there exists biodegradable paper such as banana and plantable paper, but I was curious how I could simplify the process of creating new paper using fruits as the materials which have their own structure. The fiber structure of fruit could resist color pigments from soaking in such as when painting on wax paper.

The reason why I want to use different materials is to affect the structure in a beneficial way so my paintings appear peculiar way. For instance, watercolor paper is made by being compacted so when you paint with water color, ink spreads on the surface of paper instead of soaking in. On the other hand, with Dak paper ink sinks into the paper structure. Both types of paper present different results.

If I could develop paper from fruit, my artwork would appear in a different fashion depending whether I use carrot paper, grapefruit paper or basil paper. Furthermore, it might be possible to use this organic structure not only for paper but to be used to create something like an AC filter. Basically, Dak paper is soluble so it shrinks and expands depending on atmosphere.

How to make – korean paper

Week -3

I want to address why we can’t see air but we can feel whether air is clean or has pollutants. Sensitive people who have an allergy to these pollutants will feel especially sensitive. In my case, I had an allergy for a few years now, so my nose and throat react negatively to dust. But actually, what I’m interested in is how we could raise organic food in cramped or small spaces since organic plants will be more affected by pollutants than humans. In my opinion, because of organic food’s possible exposure to air pollutants while growing, I can’t always trust its quality. So in this project I want to find out how to measure air pollutants and how to find dust in the air that I can’t see with my eyes. Furthermore, by using these measured values, I want to create an artistic project which could reflect practical environmental problems.

Week -2

Our class provides shelving and lightening for an indoor farm. I was wondering if there’s a difference from raising plants in the sunlight versus in artificial light? I have not tried yet raising plants with artificial lighting via LEDs. Does indoor farming  have an effect on the plants being raised such as taste, or what makes up the plant? I want to compare both of these by raising some small plants in sunlight and some in artificial light. The other idea is that I want to get some plants’ wave data so that I could use that information in my visual works. People communicate with their pets but plants can’t show their expressions to us so I think my project would be making images from plants.

Week -1

In the bio design for future food class, we talked about the our food system. This made us think about how food comes to our table, and considered monoculture and permaculture.

I was raised in South Korea, so I noticed that the food system here in the United States is different from my own. I noticed that people here in the united states prefer naturally grown and organic food over GMO foods, even though they are more expensive. I hesitate to buy organic foods because of the price. What if I was instructed on how to properly grow my own organic garden in my room?

When I buy food from the store, I usually check the appearance of the fruits, the pictures on the packaging, and the pricing.I learned that you should throw away deformed foods from supermarkets. People don’t  like to choose weirdly shaped produce. I thought this was a great point, and it made me think about what criteria would be needed for a food system.

Why is the future food system important to me? Traditionally, food comes from a farm, to the city. However, there are many new diverse farming methods, such as indoor growing, urban farming, and sensor technology on farms. These methods are becoming more popular now, and they will continue to grow in popularity as time goes on.

2 thoughts on “Bio Designing the future food”

  1. The papermaking video is great (Week 4) but you need to draw a connection between what you are thinking related to your project . Map out ways in which this process (or elements of this process) is acting as inspiration, methodologies, a blueprint etc…

    This way I can help you shape your project and provide resources for you to access.

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