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Object Mediated Interactions

Mengtian Zhang

Mengtian Zhang is a product designer who is exploring the emotional relationships between people and objects. Before coming into RCA, She worked as a part-time workshop assistant in Shanghai for 2 years and developed a strong hands-on skill.

She used to design for function. After coming into RCA, she has more chances to try design in different areas and develop her design identity.


Education

MA - Design Products, Royal College of Art, 2019-2021

BE - Industrial Design, Tongji University, 2014-2019

Awards & Exhibitions

RCA*LOGITECH Grand Challenge: 1st Prize Winner (Concept team), 2020

Design SHANGHAI, 2019

Sonic-seasoning is a Tableware Collection that provides sound feedback from interactions with food to enhance flavors and texture.

They can be used to aid enjoyment of eating after a loss of sense of taste (particularly post-Covid) or to rebuild a healthier eating habit such as using less sweetener, or enjoy a communal meal full of surprises.

 

For me, the emotional interactions between people and objects are more attractive than sticking on designing the physical interactions. How objects shape people's behavior, bring in expectation and record memories... It seems like objects don't really have life, but how we treat them shapes each others' personality and this is what I want to play with in my design.


Filling in the objects with magic is what I'm always interested in.


Performance based on the user test insights

Sonic-seasoning is a Tableware Collection that provides sound feedback from interactions with food to enhance flavors and texture, which creates a playful multi-sensory eating experience. The project builds on insights gained from ASMR experiences and synesthesia to create experimental interactions where pitch, timbre and modulation are used to enhance sweetness, sourness, crispiness or chewiness.

They can be used to aid enjoyment of eating after a loss of sense of taste (particularly post-Covid) or to rebuild a healthier eating habit such as using less sweetener, or enjoy a communal meal full of surprises.

 

 


The performance video is based on the result of user tests. A Synesthesia Questionnaire is designed to explore how people link sound with taste and emotion, with sound experts' review and scientific research.

  1. HIGHER PITCH sound - SWEET, SOUR & CRISP flavor, LOWER PITCH sound - SALTY, BITTER & SOFT flavor.
  2. People’s APPETITE will be affected by EMOTIONS & FLAVORS from sounds
  3. People are easy to follow TIME DURATION or SOUND SPEED.


[untitled]

Sound design, interactions & product appearance are developed together to be matched with each other.

Modules
1. Hand Tools - Pitch & Chord
How to transfer FLAVOR into SOUND?
2. Food Containers - Sound Filter
3. Seasoning Devices - Sound Effects

The tableware collection is modular, and consists of different sound elements to allow people to sequence new eating experiences.