The Future of



Exploring the possibility of future human-food interaction

with a focus on the design of experiential aspects beyond the instrumental.



The Workshop

There is an increasing interest in food within the HCI discipline, with a number of interactive prototypes emerging that augment, extend and challenge the various ways people engage with food, ranging from growing crops, cooking ingredients, serving dishes, eating together, and disposing the leftovers. Grounding theory is also emerging that in particular draws from embodied interactions, highlighting the need to consider not only instrumental, but also experiential factors specific to human-food interactions (HFI). Considering this, we are provided with an opportunity to extend human-food interactions through knowledge gained from designing novel systems emerging through technical advances.

This workshop aims to provide an enduring community and networking platform for practitioners, researchers and theorists who are interested in the coming together of food and interactive technology, to explore and discuss the future of HFI with a particular highlight on the design of experimental and experiential aspects beyond the instrumental. Furthermore, with this workshop, we hope to identify and articulate relevant theoretical insights and guide future research, understand synergies at the intersection of emerging technologies and current knowledge; nurture the growth of a cross-disciplinary research community around the topics and develop plans for subsequent activities; as well as promote HFI design and research practices that are critical and sustainable from a social, cultural, and planetary perspective.


Call For

Participation (Closed)

This is an online virtual workshop organised as part of the ACM CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, 2021. We aim to bring together diverse opinions and expertise to offer a platform for not only the research community, but a broad range of industry practitioners to learn from each other, highlighting the design of experiential perspectives of engaging with food.

We aim to extend prior community building efforts in this area and hence invites submissions exploring human-food interactions from a plethora of aspects, including but not limited to empirical research, engineering, food science, design, theory, and art. Similarly, topics can include, but are not limited to:


Theory and Methods:

  • Articulations of theoretical aspects of human-food interactions within existing HCI theories, such as embodied interactions

  • Links to theories from non-HCI domains, such as health, multi-sensory perception, and food science

  • The use of theoretical understandings to inform the design of human-food interactions, in particular experiential perspectives

  • Critical reflections on the potential of, and risks derived from, integrating technology into our food lives and the food system at large

  • Methods for co-designing food futures that are socially just, culturally and emotionally stimulating, and sustainable  



  • Sensing food

  • Detecting eating

  • Ingredient analysis

  • Artificial intelligence and food

Applications of Food Technology:

  • Augmenting eating activities

  • Supplementing and enriching multi-sensory experiences

  • Taste as feedback mechanism

  • Food visualisation

  • Edibalisation

  • Food games and play

  • Designing for restaurants, canteens and other food outlets

  • Working with the hospitality industry

  • Novel user experience mechanisms for working with food

  • Designing cyber food as part of human-machine integration

  • 2-page short paper or project statement including references following the CHI Template.

  • A description of your design, theory, opinion, concept or insight. Where relevant, discuss the broader context and questions that your work promotes reflection upon.

  • Include a short bio and picture of each author, for inclusion on the workshop website.

Submission deadline:

February19th, 2021 at 12pm (noon) PT – Pacific Time(Closed)

* Submissions will be reviewed by the workshop organisers based on relevance to the workshop and the potential for contributing to discussions. Accepted submissions will become the basis of workshop discussion. 

* A paper on workshop outcomes will be submitted to a relevant venue. At least one author must attend the workshop. Attendees must register for the workshop and at least one day before the conference. 

Recycled Paper
WeScream player
WeScream player

Yan Wang, Zhuying Li, Robert S. Jarvis, Joseph La Delfa, Rohit Ashok Khot, and Florian Floyd Mueller. 2020. WeScream! Toward Understanding the Design of Playful Social Gustosonic Experiences with Ice Cream. In Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference (DIS '20). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 951–963.

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Space Food Experiences
Space Food Experiences

Obrist, Marianna, Yunwen Tu, Lining Yao, and Carlos Velasco. "Space food experiences: Designing passenger's eating experiences for future space travel scenarios." Frontiers in Computer Science 1 (2019): 3.

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Cyber Food
Cyber Food

Jialin Deng*, Patrick Olivier, and Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller. 2021. Design of Cyber Food:: Beginning to Understand Food as Computational Artifact. In CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems Extended Abstracts (CHI ’21 Extended Abstracts), May 08–13, 2021, Yokohama, Japan. ACM, New York, NY, USA, 6 pages.

press to zoom
WeScream player
WeScream player

Yan Wang, Zhuying Li, Robert S. Jarvis, Joseph La Delfa, Rohit Ashok Khot, and Florian Floyd Mueller. 2020. WeScream! Toward Understanding the Design of Playful Social Gustosonic Experiences with Ice Cream. In Proceedings of the 2020 ACM Designing Interactive Systems Conference (DIS '20). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 951–963.

press to zoom


Jialin Deng
PhD Candidate at Exertion Games Lab
Monash University 
Food Designer and Researcher
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Jialin's research on interactive eating looks at the future of computational integration within food for an understanding of the design of a synergistic interplay between food and technology, and the impact of design and technology on the eating experience reflecting human subjectivity, culture, and identity. Jialin has a multidisciplinary background having worked at the intersection of art, design, and the food innovation industry.


Yan Wang
PhD Candidate at Exertion Games Lab
Monash University
Interaction Designer, Engineer and Researcher
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Yan's research focuses on exploring how technologies might enrich eating experiences through augmented multi-sensory interactions and how playful designs could be developed to enrich eating experiences in everyday life. She has published extensively in the HFI field, demonstrated HFI inventions at CHI previously and has extensive workshop experience from SIGCHI conferences.

Carlos Velasco
Associate Professor at the Department of Marketing
BI Norwegian Business School
Co-founder of Centre for Multisensory Marketing
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Dr. Carlos Velasco's work is at the intersection between Psychology, Marketing, and Human–Computer Interaction, and focuses on understanding, and capitalizing on, our multisensory experiences and their guiding principles. Carlos has worked with a number of companies from around the world on topics such as multisensory experiences, food and drink, branding, and consumer research. 


Ferran Altarriba Bertran
PhD candidate in the Social and Emotional Technology Lab
University of California, Santa Cruz
Interaction Designer and Researcher
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Ferran's research explores how future technologies might support increasingly playful relationships between people, and how situated co-design methods could be leveraged to develop them. As part of his research, Ferran speculates increasingly playful human-food interaction futures, looking at how technology can enable novel exciting forms of playful engagement with, through and around food that bring about positive social, cultural, and emotional outcomes. Ferran co-initiated the Feeding Food Futures network and co-organized several HFI workshops at DIS, CHI Play, IDC and EFOOD.


Rob Comber
Associate Professor of Communication
KTH Royal Institute of Technology
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Dr. Rob Comber's research lies at the intersections of food, democracy and sustainability. His work is increasingly concerned with the interconnected nature of our food practices and the social and societal consequences of how we design for it. He was a founding member of the Human-Food Interaction community in SIGCHI, and has organised workshops on food in HCI at CHI’12, ’13, ’14, ’15 and ’16, DIS’12 and UbiComp’13 and ’14. He was guest editor of the 2014 Special Issue on Designing for Human-Food Interaction in IJHCS.

Marianna Obrist
Professor of Multisensory Interfaces
University College London
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Prof. Marianna Obrist is investigating touch, taste, and smell as interaction modalities for HCI. She is a co-founder of OWidgets Ltd, a University start-up developing novel software and hardware solutions for smell experience design. She is an inaugural member of the ACM Future of Computing Academy and was selected Young Scientist 2017 and 2018 to attend the World Economic Forum. She is a Visiting Professor at the Royal College of Art and has recently published a book on ‘Multisensory Experiences: where the senses meet technology’.


Katherine Isbister
Professor in the Department of Computational Media
University of California, Santa Cruz
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Prof. Katherine Isbister directs the Social Emotional Technology Lab and the Center for Computational Experience. Her research team creates interactive experiences to heighten social and emotional connections and wellbeing, with over 100 peer-reviewed publications. Their research-through-design practice often includes elements of games and play. Industry support includes Intel, Google, Mozilla, and others, with federal support from NSF and NIH. Isbister is a recipient of MIT Technology Review's Young Innovator Award, and is an ACM Distinguished Scientist.


Charles Spence
Professor of Experimental Psychology
Head of Crossmodal Research Laboratory
University of Oxford 

Professor Charles Spence is a world-famous experimental psychologist with a specialization in neuroscience-inspired multisensory design. He has worked with many of the world’s largest companies across the globe since establishing the Crossmodal Research Laboratory (CRL) at the Department of Experimental Psychology, Oxford University in 1997. Prof. Spence has published over 1,000 academic articles and edited or authored 15 books including, in 2014, the Prose prize-winning “The perfect meal”, and the international bestseller “Gastrophysics: The new science of eating” (2017; Penguin Viking) – winner of the 2019 Le Grand Prix de la Culture Gastronomique from Académie Internationale de la Gastronomie.

Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller
Professor of Human-Centred Computing
Head of Exertion Games Lab
Monash University
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Prof. Florian ‘Floyd’ Mueller's research sits on the intersection between the human body, technology and play, aiming to help people live a fulfilling life, which includes savouring food. He has co-authored a “Foundation and Trends” treatise on human-food interaction and researches how to experience eating as play. He has co-organised nine workshops at CHI previously and was general co-chair CHI'20. 

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Image:  Cyber Wagashi, by Open Meals via



The CHI 2021 will be an entirely virtual conference because of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It has given us an opportunity to run a very different kind of workshop. We have modified the structure and flow of the workshop to suit synchronous and asynchronous participation for attendees from multiple time zones, and it will be taking place virtually via Zoom or similar platforms.

We will send through an email invitation with guidelines of attendance prior to the workshop. The duration of this online workshop will be approximately 4.5 hours in total. Please download Participant Guidelines for more information here.


We will share our insights on this website as well as social media platforms for continuing knowledge sharing. We also aim to encourage participants to collaboratively write research papers about the themes discussed during the workshop.


A variety of academic publications will be considered based on the content of the accepted submissions and the outputs of the workshop. These include, but are not limited to, a report to be submitted to a venue that is relevant to the CHI community (e.g. ACM Interactions), a full paper submission to a relevant SIGCHI conference based on synergies between individual efforts presented at the workshop.

Calling for submission for our Special Issue on the Future of Human-Food Interaction:

Our call for the Special Issue on Human-Food Interaction for the International Journal of Gastronomy and Food Science is now live, please consider submitting your paper on the Future of Human-Food Interaction. This special issue derives from this workshop (The Future of Human-Food Interaction) and aims to create an interdisciplinary space for research on The Future of Human-Food Interaction.