Alimentary Experiments: How Science Got Into Our Kitchens

  • Natalie Neumann Parsons, The New School of Design
  • Romy Raad Parsons, The New School of Design
  • Mihai Ciobanu Parsons, The New School of Design
  • Selim Budeyri Parsons, The New School of Design
  • Thomas Schmidt Parsons, The New School of Design
Keywords: Molecular Gastronomy, Diffusion of Innovation, Spherification, Science and Food, Haute Cuisine, Molecular Cooking, creative cuisine, modernist cuisine, Radical Innovation.

Abstract

Often considered only the domain of electronics and technology, innovation applies in every realm of human endeavor. This paper investigates the evolution of Molecular Gastronomy as a field that demonstrates the principles of innovation. It examines this disciplineΓÇÖs origination, diffusion, and widespread adoption. Four consecutive phases in its development are thus identified as: (1) Technology and Efficiency; (2) Experimentation with Food; (3) Haute Cuisine; and (4) Available for Everyone. These phases and phase transitions are closely analyzed using D. A. Norman and R. VergantiΓÇÖs theory of Incremental and Radical Innovation as well as E. M. RogersΓÇÖ theoretical work on Diffusion of Innovation. As a result, Molecular Gastronomy can be named a field of radical innovation, where each change in phase can be directly related to a reduction in uncertainty. Further, its diffusion within each phase is examined amongst different social systems in order to depict possible trajectories of the future evolution of Molecular Gastronomy.

Author Biographies

Natalie Neumann, Parsons, The New School of Design
Natalie is a creative strategist and industrial designer currently based in NYC. After receiving a masterΓÇÖs degree in Strategic Design & Management from Parsons, she co-founded Metamenu, a lifestyle brand offering ready-made foods and beverages to boost ones energy and wellbeing, naturally. With her American drive, German mindset, and heart of a designer, she passionately merges the flavors and function of food to reimagine it from its essence up. Natalie has an eye for the detail. She loves to critically analyse a challenge, deeply understand all its aspects and transform it into an innovative solution. She values simplicity and quality and is passionate about collaborating, skiing and traveling.
Romy Raad, Parsons, The New School of Design
Born in Lebanon, Romy is a creative strategist and graphic designer based in New York City. Her most recent project is Metamenu, a lifestyle brand she co-founded, offering ready-made foods and beverages, that boost oneΓÇÖs energy and wellbeing, naturally. She received her masterΓÇÖs degree from the Strategic Design & Management program at Parsons, The New School for Design.
Romy has a thing for brands. She enjoys a particular curiosity to get to know them and understand their needs, in order to take them somewhere new, exciting and unprecedented. With a Lebanese sensibility for hospitality and cuisine, she is driven, inquisitive and wildly enthusiastic. She enjoys playing the piano and believes in cooking wholeheartedly, immersing her guests in a journey, really, a voyage of flavors.
Mihai Ciobanu, Parsons, The New School of Design
Mihai Ciobanu is a recent graduate of the ParsonsΓÇÖ Master of Science in Strategic Design and Management. Prior to attending graduate school, Mihai was actively involved in the music and visual design communities in Moldova. As a musician, Mihai co-founded an indie band and later managed all business affairs of the renowned Moldovan band FurioSnails. MihaiΓÇÖs passion and commitment for developing local emerging talent led him to organize the first music festival powered by solar energy in the country. Novelty is something that defines him as a person, so visual design was a natural next step and a rewarding experience. As a visual designer, Mihai worked at Flosites, a boutique agency with a global client base.
Selim Budeyri, Parsons, The New School of Design
Born and raised in southeast of Turkey, Selim Budeyri spent most of his ΓÇÿconsciousΓÇÖ life in Istanbul. This unique city, where two continents meet, inspired and shaped him with its magical blend of eastern and western culture. Istanbul ΓÇô the immense fusion of ideas, perspectives and paradoxes - also nurtured his passion for empathy and problem solving, which eventually led him to his brand management career in Procter&Gamble until 2013 and later to his current Master of Fine Arts education at Transdicsiplinary Design programme at Parsons.
Thomas Schmidt, Parsons, The New School of Design
Dr. Thomas Schmidt a faculty member in the undergraduate Business and Technology Management program at NYU's School of Engineering. He has pursued the intellectual life of what Nassim Nicholas Taleb called a flaneur in his book Antifragile. With a background in political science and a doctorate in computer science, he is an acolyte of Jane Jacobs, especially her insights in the fields of development and social order. Adding in the spirit of his native Brooklyn with an appreciation for the operatic works of Wilhelm Richard Wagner, his wide-ranging but deep knowledge is ably put to use in The BS in Business and Technology Management program, where he teaches two courses in progressive experiential style: Entrepreneurship, and Innovation Management. An academic administrator with over 10 years experience, he is fully engaged with NYU's mission of nurturing human capital.

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Published
2015-09-07
Section
Articles