Department: School of Design
Degree programme: Industrial and Strategic Design
Author: Agustina Lagomarsino
Title: Kitchen Album
Level: Diploma Work
Number of pages: 99

Abstract:

This diploma work concentrates on the communication that takes place in the kitchen. It aims to explore ways of incorporating media technologies in this environment, as well as to generate a product concept which incorporating media tools, could enhance the communication in it, and shorten the distance between people who are far in time or space. Three scenarios describe different use situations of the Kitchen Album concept, along with how to operate some of the interactive facilities it provides. Three versions for different kitchen spaces are briefly introduced. A fourth scenario showing how the concept could be used in everyday life, and its persistence through generations, is also considered.

A starting point is the identification of the need and interests of people in improving the way of sharing recipes. This was discovered through a confrontation done between the evolution of the kitchen space and the passage of recipes, combined through user research. After the implementation of different research phases, I define recipes as the media elements for the communication in the kitchen. On those bases I explore new ways to support and enhance the passage of recipes: to provide people with possibilities of using existing and new media technologies to collect, share and preserve recipes from their family or friends, became the main focus.

As kitchen and recipes are socially very significant for people, it is essential to implement user-research methods through the development process. The research included observations and contextual inquiry. These were done mainly in Finland in an international environment. A phase which focused mostly on the verification of presumptions was implemented through questionnaires in Argentina. The most relevant phase of user research was implemented by asking users to "play with the imaginary tools" which were represented through mock-ups, cardboard or software prototypes, and complemented by digital equipment provided by Mediaspaces project.

The user research contributed to understand people's needs during cooking time and concerning the passage of recipes. The findings confirm the interests towards incorporation of media technologies that could help people collect, preserve and share recipes. The positive and enthusiastic response from the participants towards the concept proposed verifies its potentiality in enhancing communication between people. It also reveals the commercial potential of having such possibilities available in the kitchen.

Materials: Written document
Keywords: Kitchen, passage of recipes, interaction, food preparation, family heritage, media tools, user research
Where deposited: University of Art and Design Helsinki (library and Industrial and Strategic Design)
Confidential until: