Design Trust Seed Grant

New Ultimate Imperial Feast II

Dual Double Design

As the choices we make around food consumption is increasing seen as an environmental and social responsibility, the ethics of its production are now coming in conflict with many of the cultural traditions that surround the meals we eat. Instead of abandoning these traditions in favour of alternative lifestyle trends, the ‘New Ultimate Imperial Feast’ uses the history of China’s most extravagant banquets to bring cultural heritage and radical food production techniques together.

Based on the ‘Manchu Han Imperial Feast’—a meal from the Qing dynasty that consists of at least 108 unique dishes that united the Manchu and Han Chinese cultures—the New Ultimate Imperial Feast is a series of dining experiences that bridges developments in biotechnology and agricultural systems with cultural traditions to broaden our perception of what future food systems could look like. Examining the notion of locality, rarity and luxury in traditional dishes from around the world, this ongoing project proposes new cultural practices that can unite us in the face of global ethical dilemmas, such as environment pollution, animal cruelty, and mass extinction.

About Adelaide Lala Tam

Adelaide Lala Tam (Hong Kongese, based in the Netherlands) graduated from the Design Academy Eindhoven, Food Non-Food Department. She is a designer who dismantles industrial food production systems to gain a critical understanding of our modern relationship with food. Through designing food experiences, objects and stories, she communicates the complexities and nuances of this relationship in accessible ways that allow her audience to reconnect themselves to food ecosystems. Recently, her vending machine and video work ‘0.9 Grams of Brass’ won the Future Food Design Award 2018 for both the jury and audience categories, and Award 360 concept design of the year in 2019.

About Kuang-Yi Ku

Kuang-Yi Ku (Taiwanese, based in the Netherlands and Taiwan) finds synergy between his three degrees of dentistry, communication design and social design, exploring the intersection of the human body, sexuality, interspecies interaction and medical technology. In this hybrid practice of bio-art and applied design he creates speculative and provocative works to question how bodies can be reinterpreted within environments that are being dramatically altered by new technologies. “The Fellatio Modification Project” and “Tiger Penis Project” have received multiple international awards, and his works have also been featured by New Scientist, The Huffington Post, Elephant Magazine, DAMN° Magazine, Dezeen, Designboom, VICE, Dazed Digital, Daily Mail, New York Post.

About Dual Double Design

Kuang-Yi Ku and Adelaide Lala Tam harness each other's specialities in a new collaboration of design research. Through bringing together knowledge in food culture and emerging technologies, they investigate the potential to create new forms of harmony between human and non-human entities in the era of the Anthropocene, reacting to the environmental and social pressures that derive from our exploitation of biological ecosystems and resources, and its effects on culture and tradition. Their latest proposal of “New Ultimate Imperial Feast” bridges different food traditions with developments in biotechnology and agricultural systems, proposing new cultural food practices that explore the ethical dilemmas we face while producing and consuming food today.