In the near-future, the effects of climate change will take its toll on global food production. Changes in seasonal rain patterns increase the risk of flood and drought, suppressing avocado, cereal and rice production in affected regions. In addition, shorter winters will influence the production of tree fruit, such as apples, oranges and cherries. When imagining a future that’s faced with greater food shortages, we need to ask how we might adapt our own appetites and lifestyle in the present. In response to this, we created HALF / FULL, a set of tableware designed to alter our everyday diets to future proof our appetites. Each piece in the set utilises mirrors to trick our perception of fullness, thus reducing the amount we eat. Through this we can gradually adapt our appetites to require less of the common foods that the future will compromise.
The design of HALF / FULL is based on current research around our behaviour at the dinner table. A study led by the University of Tokyo revealed that the apparent volume of food can influence one’s satisfaction from a meal. If the quantity of the food appears greater, the feeling of satisfaction is greater. Another study showed that eating in the presence of a mirror increases self-awareness, influencing people’s behaviours to eat less. Applying these findings, we devised a simple and playful approach to alter our appetites for the future. HALF / FULL takes the form of common pieces of tableware, including a plate, bowl, cup and utensils. However each piece integrates a mirror into their form, effectively doubling the amount of food present. Through this, HALF / FULL tricks our visual perception of what we eat, increasing our satisfaction while enabling us to consume less. Although the concept is yet to be formally tested, we believe HALF / FULL has the potential to change our eating habits for the better, while acting as a visual probe that raises our awareness around the impacts that climate change will have on our food and eating culture.