Designing Recipes for Digital Food Lifestyles

Workshop @ CHI 2018, Montréal, Canada

Dates: April 21-26, 2018


Digital food technologies such as diet trackers, food sharing apps, and 'smart' kitchenware offer promising yet debatable food futures. While proponents suggest its potential to prompt efficient food lifestyles, critics highlight the underlying technosolutionism of digital food innovation and limitations related to health safety and data privacy. This workshop addresses both present and near-future digital food controversies, and seeks to extend the existing body of Human-Food Interaction (HFI) research. Through scenarios and food-tech prototyping navigated by bespoke Digital Food Cards, we will unpack issues and suggest possible design approaches. We invite proposals from researchers, designers, and other practitioners interested in working towards a complex framework for future HFI research.


This workshop seeks to extend the existing HFI research by addressing personal, socio-political, and environmental consequences of digital food lifestyles. More specifically, our focus is on digital technologies used in food making (e.g. 'smart' kitchenware, digital and Machine Learning cookbooks; diet planning (e.g. diet tracking devices and personalized nutrition services); food sharing (food sharing apps and IoT sensors); dining (e.g. social dining services and interactive dining tools); and also food play (celebratory technology, food based games).

While approaching digital food cultures as a contested area navigated by stakeholders from corporate, governmental, as well as private and NGO sector, we want to critically unpack issues surrounding digital food technologies, and address questions such as: What advantages and challenges does digital food technology bring into the day-to-day lives of users? What are the present digital food trends and controversies and how will they look in the near future? How can HCI help scaffold these developments and support playful but also sustainable, safe, and just digital food practices? Building on our inaugural SIG foodCHI meeting at CHI 2017 and workshop at Interact 2017, our aims are to develop a stronger HCI community surrounding digital food themes.

For more details read the full proposal:CHI 2018 workshop proposal

Workshop structure and activities

This full-day workshop will be interactive, involving a mix of presentations, digital food technology demonstrations, and small group activities. The workshop activities will consist of a scenario session focused on the workshop themes, followed by hands-on making of digital food prototypes to embody the scenario outcomes in actual edible form. The activities will be navigated by specially designed Digital Food Cards showing 24 examples of both existing and near-future digital food lifestyles. Participants will work in small groups (2-4 people) to address individual, social, political, and environmental challenges related to each card and develop scenarios of related eating, cooking, and dietary routines. The scenarios will be embodied in an edible form, as digital food prototypes crafted from available ingredients and props. The outcomes and findings will be subjected to discussion and experiential evaluation.

Call for submissions

Technology design is increasingly contributing to people's everyday food lifestyles and offers promising yet debatable food futures. Diet-tracking devices, food sharing apps, 'smart' kitchenware and other food-tech create both opportunities and risks related to users health, food literacy, and social life. This workshop addresses present and near-future digital food controversies, and seeks to extend the body of Human-Food Interaction (HFI) research. We invite researchers interested in HFI issues to submit position papers reflecting on food-tech implications in following areas: ( but not limited to):

Personal Implications

What are the impacts of digital technology on user's food-related literacy, decisions and actions? What are the advantages and risks of digital technology used for experimental diet personalization? How is technology reflected in the emotional aspect of human-food relationship?

Social Implications

How does digital food technology impact user's social life and capital? What changes does it provide to user's mundane dining habits and commensality experiences? How does it affect traditional culinary practices and techniques? How can we include traditional food knowledge to design culturally aware food technologies?

Policy Implications

Which stakeholders are involved in the development digital food technology? What kind of data is produced and shared within digital food cultures, by whom, and for what ends? Who has access to and who is excluded from digital food practices? What are the existing and potential uses of digital technology for food activism?

Environmental Implications

To what extent can digital technology support sustainable food practices? What are the opportunities of digital technology in advancing user's environmental consciousness? How can we design for playful, but also critical user engagement with sustainable food practices?

Instructions for authors

We invite academic researchers and industry practitioners interested in the digital food themes to submit abstracts of position papers articulating the core workshop themes. Submissions need to be formatted in the ACM CHI Extended Abstract format (2 pages max.), and should be should be mailed to:

Use this as subject line: CHI 2018 HFI workshop submission

We will focus on ensuring an ongoing discussion and sharing of resources among workshop participants and other interested parties. This will be comprised of scenarios, prototypes, and other media content created during the workshop to be shared on the workshop website. To extend the outcomes of workshop activities to the wider HCI audience, we will invite selected participants to contribute towards a special issue on digital food in a leading HCI journal.

Important dates

18 February 2018
1 March 2018
21 April 2018

Submission deadline.
Notifications of acceptance.
Workshop date.

About the Venue

The workshop will happen in Montréal, Canada.
Info about accommodation, transport and attractions will be available soon.



Markéta Dolejšová
National University of Singapore, Singapore

Markéta Dolejšová is PhD Candidate in the Communication and New Media at National University of Singapore, specializing on health and diet self- experimentation in citizen science communities. She has published in CHI and CSCW and organized workshops on food design experimentation at hackerspaces, foodCHI'14 and art spaces globally. She runs several critical food design projects exploring themes around human-food performativity, data edibilization and food design for social good.

Full Bio


Dr. Rohit Ashok Khot
Exertion Games Lab,
RMIT University, Australia

Rohit Ashok Khot is the Deputy Director of the Exertion Games Lab; and VC Postdoctoral Fellow in the School of Media and Comm. at RMIT University, Australia. Rohit leads the node on ‘Data and new materialities’ within the Design & Creative Practice ECP, where he is exploring the implication of food printing and molecular sensing towards personalized nutrition and improving food literacy.

Full Bio


Dr. Hilary Davis
Swinburne University of Technology, Australia

Hilary Davis is a Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Social Impact, Swinburne University of Technology. Her work investigates the role digital technologies play in people’s work, social activities and home lives. She is interested in how digital cookbooks, and digital technologies generally, might impact on intergenerational familial relationships at mealtimes (

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Hasan Shahid Ferdous
Microsoft Centre for SocialNUI, University of Melbourne, Australia

Hasan Shahid Ferdous is a research fellow in the Microsoft Research Centre for Social Natural User Interface at University of Melbourne, Australia. His current research focuses on dining experiences and the sociality and interaction among the family members in the shared family space (

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Andrew Quitmeyer
National University of Singapore, Singapore

Andrew Quitmeyer is a Professor at the National University of Singapore. He researches ways to design digital media in natural environments. He is also a proponent of exploring novel food technologies including digitally enhanced foods and new forms of entomophagy.

Full Bio