from edible clouds to mussel-derived ceramics, plat institute transforms the future of food

from edible clouds to mussel-derived ceramics, plat institute transforms the future of food

Innovative Culinary Solutions by Plat Institute

 

At Plat Institute, the future of food is taking shape through innovation, sustainability, and cutting-edge technology. From the edible clouds that the attendees at the DAAily Bar in 2022 were able to taste, to mussel-derived ceramics and ‘mixed reality’ cocktails, this Barcelona-based team is dedicated to crafting transformative food-focused solutions that serve as foundations and guides for creative experimentation and ecological transitions, leaving a positive impact on society and the planet. ‘Plat Institute is your partner in shaping a better world through innovation and sustainable solutions. Together, we can turn dreams into reality and pave the way for a brighter, more resilient future,’ the team shares. To learn more about Plat Institute’s gastronomic endeavors and the future of food, designboom spoke to the CIO of Plat Institute, Nacho De Juan-Creix. Read the full interview below.

 

from edible clouds to mussel-derived ceramics, plat institute transforms the future of food
all images courtesy of Plat Institute

 

 

interview with Nacho De Juan-Creix Umbert 

 

designboom (DB): Can you provide a brief introduction to Plat Institute, including when and how it was created, as well as its goals?

 

Nacho De Juan-Creix (NDJ-C): Plat Institute (find more here) is a platform created in 2015 where creativity, innovation, and knowledge interact with technological singularity to disrupt the future of food and face the most pressing challenges that we have as humanity. We work with multidisciplinary professionals and specialize in emerging disciplines of food, such as food design, food tech, social food, sustainability, and circularity. Our work as an observatory of futures allows us to keep track of society’s changes, scientific advances, and new trends. With all this knowledge we develop studies and research papers that serve as foundations or guides for innovation, future projects, product development, ecological transitions, and much more.

Plat is composed of two main pillars: Firstly, the Sci-Fi Food Lab, where we focus on research and disruptive innovation while looking for the commercial potential of creativity. Secondly, the Institute, where we develop learning experiences by implementing avant-garde methodologies (including our own). In order to inspire and help talent grow. These two pillars nourish each other and create a perfect ecosystem for creativity and innovation in the food sector.

from edible clouds to mussel-derived ceramics, plat institute transforms the future of food

 

 

DB: Can you explain the role of the Sci-Fi Food Lab at Plat Institute and share some examples of tangible ideas it has produced, such as Augmented Packaging?

 

NDJ-C: Science Fiction is transformed into the Science of tomorrow. The Sci-Fi Food Lab is where we advance innovation through our disruptive research and develop ad-hoc projects for educational institutions, governments, companies, and brands. Our approach is based on design fiction. We use design as a tool to inspire the science of tomorrow. And through fiction, we are able to explore and work on seemingly impossible ideas. This allows us to draw and reflect on future scenarios, a key process in developing creative strategies and implementing disruptive innovation projects for today’s businesses. 

 

Our Lab is a mixed media space that offers the latest technologies to research and create prototypes, with a specific focus on sustainability, health, food design, and food tech. This combined with our methodologies and design fiction approach provides a very unique environment to solve most of the big problems we are facing in the industry.

Some examples of tangible ideas we have produced are Augmented Packaging, Interactive Points of Sale, G-Astronomy Dinners and Immersive Innovation Safaris.

from edible clouds to mussel-derived ceramics, plat institute transforms the future of food

 

 

DB: Does the lab create actual dishes?

 

NDJ-CU: As a matter of fact we do! Nowadays gastronomy and food require multidisciplinary teams. There are many profiles such as interior designers, product designers, tech developers, etc., that help Chefs and cooks achieve their mission. As a lab that specializes in emerging disciplines such as food design, food tech, and sustainability, we create actual dishes -as in design for food objects- that aim to enhance the food’s perception and enjoyment. We also create culinary dishes, through ingredients and preparation methods we express ideas and concepts with the purpose of sparking thought and reflection amongst our audiences.

from edible clouds to mussel-derived ceramics, plat institute transforms the future of food

 

 

DB: Can you share more about the ‘Edible Cloud’ endeavor? How did this idea of an edible flying cloud come about and how does it work?

 

NDJ-C: Being a Sci-Fi Food Lab, we have many interesting research lines that might sound impossible or even unbelievable. One of those research lines is called Non Gravital Food. Born from our interest in the Future of Food and the possibilities humans have of visiting space, we started researching Space Food (how and what astronauts cook/eat) and looking for ways of bringing the outer space experience into the consumer experience of today. 

Our first focus was floating food. We have studied and developed several techniques and technologies, like magnetic levitation, acoustic levitation, and gases. Being creatives, it is through inspiration that we give purpose to the work we do. In everything we do, there is a mix of poetry, design, science, and technology. By trial and error, lots of learning and experimentation, we developed a technology able to safely encapsulate helium in edible foams.

from edible clouds to mussel-derived ceramics, plat institute transforms the future of food

 

 

DB: Like many other professionals in the field of gastronomy, you also have an interest in 3D printing and its application in the world of food. How do you foresee the progression of the connection between food and design?

 

NDJ-C: We use the latest technologies as tools to create architectural imaginaries, scenarios, and products, trying to bring to reality the more abstract dreams, and for all of this we use 3D printers among others. We started working with Foodini, Ultimaker, or Prusa but now we are composing and testing systems to be able to print new materials. For this reason, Prusa continues to be the most used tool in the Food Lab. We are testing with organic waste to be able to use a bio-composite filament, we are very interested in understanding how to use bio-polymers as Limonene to create bioplastics. In another case, we use marine food waste such as mussel shells, oysters, and scallops to create bio composites like porcelains. Another research is Glass: we destroy bottles to create sand. This material created by crushing used glass bottles, can be transformed back into sand, and this material is able to create new designs for tableware. The possibilities of creating with these surpluses and ceramics leave us with a wide range of possibilities; we are in the process of understanding the materials constantly.

from edible clouds to mussel-derived ceramics, plat institute transforms the future of food

 

 

DB: The FarmFoodLab project on food and energy sovereignty launched in the summer of 2023. Could you provide more details about the project, including its location and scope?

 

NDJ-C: FARM FAB LAB is our new HQ in Spain. Based in Empordá region (North Catalonia) with more than 30,000 sqm dedicated to research and development of Food and Health innovation, Material Flow, and Circular Design, FarmFabLab was born this summer from the Plat Institute with the intention of researching and designing solutions in relation to food and energy sovereignty.

 

It is the right of conscious individuals, communities, and people to make their own decisions regarding the generation, distribution, and consumption of energy, so that these are appropriate to their ecological, social, economic, and cultural circumstances, as long as they do not negatively affect third parties. FarmFabLab has a calendar of research that will explore with the best experts around the world these topics: The Kitchen of the Future / From combustion to heating technologies, Cooking with your own energy / Food Design, Kinetics and heat technologies, ZeroWaste Lab / New WasteFablab on your kitchen, Regenerative and biodynamic agriculture, UX Experience, VideoGames and Food Delivery.

edible-clouds-mussel-derived-ceramics-plat-institute-transforms-future-food-interview-designboom-full-02

DB: Do you have any gastronomic endeavors on your bucket list? Additionally, what can we anticipate from Plat Institute in the future?

 

NDJ-C: In the near future we are working to be able to associate with a group of pioneering companies and open a Food Design and Food Tech HUB in Spanish territory. The project is trying to raise 10 Million and had an opportunity to change the waste management system improving better results with the integration of AI with hyperspectral light technology combined with a circular design approach and advanced creativity.

 

We are preparing for this November an exhibition at FOODTURE Summit sponsored by Ikea about the future of Kitchens and preparing a National Contest to help a National Brand called CONSUM supermarkets to fight against Zero Waste Movement with a program to empower solutions from students and empower their ideas with investment vehicles.

from edible clouds to mussel-derived ceramics, plat institute transforms the future of food

edible-clouds-mussel-derived-ceramics-plat-institute-transforms-future-food-interview-designboom-full-04

from edible clouds to mussel-derived ceramics, plat institute transforms the future of food

from edible clouds to mussel-derived ceramics, plat institute transforms the future of food   from edible clouds to mussel-derived ceramics, plat institute transforms the future of food from edible clouds to mussel-derived ceramics, plat institute transforms the future of food

from edible clouds to mussel-derived ceramics, plat institute transforms the future of food from edible clouds to mussel-derived ceramics, plat institute transforms the future of food  

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