LONDON – Taiwanese architect Rain Wu teamed up with designer Shikai Tseng and chef Chung-Ho Tsai to create Eataipei, an experimental culinary experience consisting of five dishes that feed both mind and stomach.
What do you hope to achieve during your residency at the Design Museum?
RAIN WU: I have set out to challenge the traditional exhibition. My goal is to establish a formula that has a stronger resonance with gallery visitors. My background is in architecture, so I often think about wondrous places. I want to re-create this feeling into memorable moments for audiences.
Without giving too much away, what can visitors to London’s Design Museum expect to find there?
They will experience an installation through senses that are usually silenced by our visually dominated world, namely smell, touch and sound.
Is that why you use food as a storytelling device?
When it comes to food, our survival instincts tell us to examine before we eat. I see food as the perfect vessel for encapsulating concepts. Eataipei and Eatopia are both ventures into the use of food as a medium for communication. What interests me is the idea that information can be remembered through experience, which offers a way of learning that is sensual rather than logical.
What design advantages do you get from triggering more than one sense?
The result is something that resonates with the body and not just the mind, so that the audience remembers more. Similar to art, design can sometimes come across as nonsense. Yet every now and then it speaks to you and, when it does, you have resonance – the design becomes part of you. It stays with you.
You take a multidisciplinary approach to your work. Do you think we will see future designers going in the same direction?
Yes, especially when we compare them with designers belonging to previous generations. In the past, manual skill determined everything. Now that we are assisted by tools of all kinds, it’s our synthesizing skills that determine the outcome.
This project was featured in Frame issue #113. Please find a copy in the Frame store.