During my first class at ITP, my physical computing professor asked us to form groups and come up with an idea for an ultimate “fantasy machine”, a machine that didn’t have to adhere to the laws of physics, or technical and monetary restrictions. My group devised a “Tea with Mum portal”, inspired by our longing to connect with our family overseas in a more meaningful way. It allowed two users to be scanned before entering their own booths, each equipped with scanned tea cups. They could then see each other and their cups as holograms and change their scenery to wherever they’d decide. The ability to see each other’s drink was key – beyond heightening the feeling of presence or enabling interactions like “cheersing”, it would set the tone for a communication based on a fundamental and cross-cultural experience of having tea, or coffee, or a drink of any kind with someone.
Based on this initial inspiration, for my culinary physics final, I want to explore social and cultural constructs around consuming food and beverages based on a shared assumption of reality. By taking a simple interaction of sharing a drink with another, I’m interested in shifting the context of reality by changing the setting to a virtual environment in order to see if any sense of social cohesion could carry over.