Smart Tray: Speculating The Future New Zealand Dining Experience
This research proposes a design solution that embraces New Zealander’s proclivity for pervasive digital technology and that aims to meet the needs and desires of the future Kiwi dining experience. This research proposition is directed by an approach that situates itself between future forecasting and speculative design, whereby the design output is viable while simultaneously capable of provoking critical reflection about the future of design as it relates to domestic dining appliances. The development of a design solution, the Smart Tray, encapsulates these aims and has been guided by a comprehensive investigation into the points of connection that exist between culture, technology, design and social behaviour. The Smart Tray seeks to acknowledge New Zealand’s history while embodying its contemporary domestic dining culture in proposing an appliance-device that embraces digital technology as part of the everyday dining experience. This research has been supported by the application of various methodologies inclusive of the critical review of academic literature that has functioned to frame and support the scope of the research proposition; case studies in which a selection of Kiwi households have been interviewed, observed, and their behaviours analysed in order to gain a greater understanding of contemporary dining habits and their relationship with pervasive digital technologies at home; and iterative design development inclusive of concept sketching, sketch modelling, experience prototyping, and user feedback. Although this research is contextualised within New Zealand, the general research outcomes are applicable to a wide market. The outputs produced as a result of this research, including the exegesis and design of the final Smart Tray, are intended to offer a valuable critical perspective and viable future design solution that will aid in furthering the professional field of dining design.