Papers now available

The submissions to the workshop are now available to download. Happy reading!

Lucy Buykx and Helen Petrie. Sharing Family Recipes: Initial results from our research with younger and older cooks.

Sarah Cantor Aye and George Aye. Designing a Next-Generation Public School Cafeteria.

Natalie DeWitt. Food and Interaction Design: Virtual Food and Digital Cultures.

Carl DiSalvo. The Growbot Garden Project: Participatory design for envisioning technologies fro small-scale agriculture.

Jill Freyne, Gregory Smith and Shlomo Berkovsky. Experiences with recommender systems for dietary planning.

Catherine Grevet, Anthony Tang and Elizabeth Mynatt. Description of a prototype for a social awareness system used during dinner.

Jaana Hyvärinen, Sampo Teräs, Kirsikka Vaajakallio, Johanna Fräki, and Virpi Roto. Enhancing the transparency of the local and organic food supply network.

Stacey Kuznetsov. Food, scale, and DIYBio.

Martin L. Myrup, Mikael B. Skov and Jan Stage. Will You Have Dinner With Me Tonight: Eating together apart.

Jeni Paay, Jesper Kjeldskov, Mikael B. Skov, and Kenton O’Hara. More Spooning in the Kitchen.

Aditi Raghavan. ‘That’s the way the Foodie crumbles’: Exploring food related experiences online.

Andrea Tartaro and Kerstin Blomquist. The Role of Social Technology in Addressing Disordered Eating and Obesity.

Francisco Torres Vázquez, Anais Rivera Balderas, Víctor M. González, and Viridiana Silva Rodríquez. Kuautlán: An interactive technology system for sustainable food at home.

Diane Tucker. Chains of Food.

Chen Wang, Jettie Hoonhout, Annemieke van Boeijen, and Maria Saaksjarvi. Lovable Kitchen Appliances: Having Fun In Your Kitchen. [Awaiting final version]

Jun Wei and Ryohei Nakatsu. Foodie: Edible interface for communication and entertainment.

Food and Interaction Design workshop

Food and Interaction Design: Designing for Food in Everyday Life

The experiences of growing, buying, storing, cooking, eating, sharing, and throwing away food are changing rapidly in most cultures. Food-related behaviors respond to a complex of situational factors and choices that people make in these steps are neither always consistent (microwave dinner on one day, elaborate meal at the weekend), nor easy to understand. Various physical, social, cognitive and physiological factors [6] have to be considered when designing for what we grow, eat and throw away. These factors are influenced by our own values, social norms, culture and socio-demographic backgrounds. Moreover, ‘what constitutes food is determined by the social and cultural milieu of the potential consumer’ [2, p.1]. This requires interaction designers to consider food-related behaviors within the social environments in which they occur. Thus, Food and Interaction Design presents an interesting challenge to the HCI community in attending to the pervasive nature of food, the socio-cultural differences in food practices and a changing global foodscape.

Interaction designers have recently begun to explore the area of human-food-interaction and its implications for design [e.g. 1, 5, 8, 10]. However, to design for meaningful and positive interactions [1, 8] it is essential to identify daily food practices and the opportunities for the design of technology to support such practices. This workshop brings together a community of researchers and practitioners in human-food interaction to attend to the practical and theoretical difficulties in designing for human-food interactions in everyday life.

The workshop will invite submissions that address issues in human-food-interaction in one or more of four areas:

Health and wellbeing

Food consumption patterns are changing worldwide. This is leading to a diverse range of health issues in both developing and developed nations, ranging from malnutrition (including obesity), diabetes, increased risk of cardio-vascular disease and more. The appropriateness of the HCI community’s response to the complexities of health related behavior change, and particularly for nutrition, has been questioned [11]. The changing nature of food consumption towards convenience and fast foods suggests that a response which positions behavioral change within the activities of everyday life can better adapt to the individual and their circumstances. Furthermore, food related behaviors, such as shared meals, food experiences and so on, can be considered to form an integral part of social and personal wellbeing. Extending the growing literature in this area, we look to widen the range of the current response by examining the role of food in supporting positive physical and mental health, with a focus on the social and situated nature of food interactions.

Food experiences

Food is not simply a source of nutrition, but is also, among others, central to the production of community life, a site for personal and shared reflection and story-telling [3], a medium for social interaction and a symbol of personal identity. Meal time, shopping, and other food practices provide opportunities for reflection, sharing, creativity, relaxation, connectedness and expressions of identity [8]. Food preparation and sharing in particular provide opportunities to support the creative, sensory, aesthetic and social nature of human-food-interaction. Existing intersections between food and technology in the form of food blogs and social network sites, and recipe, food, and restaurant recommender applications, bear witness to the shared experiences that individuals construct through and around food. We explore how technology can be used to further enhance and support these food and food related experiences.

Technology can also play a disruptive role in food experiences, such as eating in front of TV or mobile phones and laptops at the table. Thus technology can serve as a barrier to the collaborative work of family and social life. Such a proposition suggests further attention is required to fully understand the role of technologies to support human-food interaction in social settings. Therefore we are also interested in a broader scope of community and collaborative actions in food related behaviors, and the potential impact upon them of technologies for human-food-interaction.

Ecological sustainability

What we buy and eat has a great impact on ecological sustainability. First avoiding food waste in production and consumption will have an enormous impact on our environment [9]. Second a plant-based seasonal, organic and local diet avoiding long food miles supports ecological sustainability [7]. There are many parallels between an ecological sustainable and a healthy diet, whereas one difference is that the aim in sustainable food practices is health for the environment and for the single person. Alternative food cultures of consuming and producing are tightly connected to sustainable food practices as well. Technology can help to raise awareness of ecological issues, and also provide support for ecologically friendly behaviors. Existing applications in the area of ecologically sustainable food practices often aim to achieve sustainable food purchasing habits in a supportive way, such as providing information how to buy locally, enhancing the transparency of the supply chain, or providing seasonal recipes for cooking. We want to further understand everyday behavior in the context of sustainable food practices, generating design ideas for how technological interventions can support them.

Alternative food cultures

Increasingly, people are choosing alternative perspectives from which to view food practices. These may include the promotion and use of local food production, community gardens, food co-ops, freegan movement[1], slow food movements and more, supported by interactive technologies [4]. Additionally, the growing number of people outside of traditional farming cultures involved in planting and harvesting of self-grown foods presents a similar challenge to understand and support. Alternative food cultures provide a perspective through which HCI can reflect on traditional food practices. Engaging issues of ethical responsibility combined with food connoisseurship, alternative food cultures are also, in themselves, an arena for design intervention. We explore the growing potential for technology to support alternative food cultures in their everyday practices and communities.

Submissions from other areas will be considered depending on their relevance and unique contribution to the workshop and the field. We are looking for contributions in the field of food, HCI and design in the following areas:

  • Perspectives from multiple disciplines
  • Food and ecological sustainability, alternative food cultures, food experiences, healthy diets and wellbeing
  • Studies on daily practices, values and social norms
  • Behavior change (models) and community actions
  • Measurability of food consumption and waste
  • Design frameworks for human-food-interaction

Workshop goals

This one-day workshop brings together HCI researchers and practitioners involved in studying the human-food-interactions. The workshop calls for 2-4 page position papers from 10-15 workshop participants. The workshop will be organized with a poster session to foster discussion for the first half, followed by a working session that will include collaboration with a local food co-op to capture local food related practices. This will involve visiting the food co-op to engage in design workshops with members of the community. At the end of the workshop we aim to discuss the role of food in HCI, to better understand daily food practices within existing environments and develop design proposals aiming to support production and consumption of food towards health, ecological sustainability and alternative food cultures.

[1] Freeganism refers to activism such as taking food out of the trash, as a practice of anti-consumerism.

About the authors

Rob Comber is a Marie Curie Research Fellow at Culture Lab, Newcastle University. His research interests include the social practices and relationships in human-food-interaction, the psychology of behavior change and persuasion, qualitative research methodologies for design and user experience.

Eva Ganglbauer is a researcher and PhD student at the Institute for Design and Assessment of Technology (HCI Group) at Vienna University of Technology. Her research interests include ecological sustainability in HCI and human-food-interaction, research through design approaches and design theory and practice.

Jaz Hee-jeong Choi is an ARC Australian Postdoctoral Fellow (Industry) at the Urban Informatics Research Lab, Institute for Creative Industries and Innovation, QUT. Her research interests are in playful technology and current research explores designing and developing playful ubiquitous technologies to cultivate sustainable food culture in urban environments.

Jettie Hoonhout is a senior scientist at Philips Research in the Netherlands. Her research interests include the emotional experience of product interactions, ways to support consumers in decisions about food and nutrition, and in achieving the right balance between food and physical activity – aiming for applications that are motivating and more appealing than yet another diet-fitness regime.

Yvonne Rogers is a Professor of Interaction Design and director of UCLIC at UCL. Her research focuses on augmenting and extending everyday learning and work activities with a diversity of novel technologies. She has published widely, from her PhD work on graphical interfaces to her recent work on public visualizations and behavioral change.

Kenton O’Hara is a Senior Researcher in the Socio Digital Systems Group at Microsoft Research in Cambridge, UK. His research explores everyday practices and social behaviors relating to mobile and ubiquitous computing and digital displays in public spaces.

Julie Maitland is a Research Officer in the People-Centered Technologies group at National Research Council of Canada’s Institute for Information Technology. Her research interests focus on the user-centered design of technologies for health and health promotion.


[1]    Bell, G. and Kaye, J. Designing Technology for Domestic Spaces: A Kitchen Manifesto. Gastronomica 2, 2 (2002), 46-62.

[2]    Belton, P., and Teresa, B. Food, Science and Society: exploring the gap between expert advice and individual behaviour. Springer; 1st Edition, 2002.

[3]    Bhömer, M.t., Helmes, J., O’Hara, K. and van den Hoven, E. 4Photos: a collaborative photo sharing experience. In Proc. 6th NordiCHI ’10. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 52-61.

[4]    Blevis, E. and Morse, S. C. Sustainably ours: Food, dude. Interactions, 16:58–62, March 2009.

[5]    Choi, J. H., Foth, M., Hearn, G. N., Blevis, E. and Hirsch, T.. Hungry 24/7? HCI Design for Sustainable Food Culture (Workshop). In OZCHI 2009.

[6]    Conner, M. and C. J. Armitage. The social psychology of food. Open University Press; Philadelphia, 2002.

[7]    Eshel, G. and Martin, P. A. Diet, energy, and global warming. Earth Interactions, 10(9): 1–17, 2006.

[8]    Grimes, A. and Harper, R. Celebratory Technology : New Directions for Food Research in HCI. In Proc. CHI 2008 (ACM), pp. 467-476.

[9]    Gustavsson, J. Cederberg, C. and Sonesson, U. Cutting food waste to feed the world global food losses and food waste. United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, 2011.

[10]  Hirsch, T., Sengers, P., Blevis, E., Beckwith, R. and Parikh, T. Making food, producing sustainability. Ext. Abstr. CHI 2010 (ACM),. pp. 3147-3150.

[11]  Maitland, J., Siek, K.A. and Chalmers, M. Persuasion not Required: Improving our understanding of the sociotechnical context of dietary behavioral change. In Pervasive Healthcare 2009.