Food Fictions

Fostering Climate Action through Design Research for Public Engagement with Science

Climate Action begins at breakfast.

„Food Fictions“ explores new approaches for public engagement and science communication through co-creative interdisciplinary design-processes and speculative (edible) narratives.


From Public Engagement to Planetary Health.
Feeding a growing population while making healthy food available to all social strata and preserving the planet’s resources, biodiversity and health is one of the most pressing challenges of our time and questions not only our current eating behaviours, but also cultural practices, possible solutions offered by research and food producers as well as policy making strategies.

Within just a few decades, our way of eating has evolved into a complex interplay of science, technology and culture – a jumble of different systems at both the local and global level. In the search for future-oriented alternatives, the question can no longer focus solely on WHAT we will eat. Product-oriented approaches, such as in-vitro meat or insect bars, only offer medium-term solutions as long as the systems they are embedded in remain the same.

Instead, it is the food systems in which we operate that must be questioned. This pertains to, for example, the basic principle of the supermarket as the central supply point, which has hardly changed since the 1930s, our relationship to farm animals and microorganisms as well as our culturally shaped understanding of nature and time.

To this end, FOOD FICTIONS deals with the question of HOW we grow, produce, process and share our food. How can we rethink existing food systems and the roles that wholesalers, restaurateurs, consumers and agriculturists play in it? Where are the boundaries between consumers and producers? And what role do eating cultures and traditions play? What is the role of bio economy approaches in fostering new solutions? And how can we bring stakeholders from science, society, policy making and economy on one table, to create holistic visions based on planetary needs?

Against this background, the FOOD FICTIONS exhibition presents five speculative future scenarios developed in collaboration with experts from research and development: Urban Food Market, Responsible Meat, From Leaf to root, Open Source Algae, Bacterial Food. The scenarios shed light on some of the bio economy’s „hidden champions“, such as trees and microorganisms, and question the boundaries between nature, technology and culture.



The Food Fictions project is realised in terms of my position at the Fraunhofer CeRRI and is being funded by the BMBF (Federal Ministry of Education and Research) as part of the „Wissenschaftsjahr 2020|21“.

The aim of the project is to develop and explore design-based methods for explorative formats of participatory science communication and explores „food“ as an object of investigation on the future.
The future scenarios in this project are based on a scientific foundation: In an interdisciplinary collaboration with scientific experts from the field, five different scenarios were developed and transferred in to speculative narratives for a participatory exhibition format, which was presented at Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin in September 2020.

Furthermore, the project investigates on immersive and multisensory speculative experiences: Together with Inés Lauber, the scenarios were translated into an edible menu, which was part of the „Cooking the Future-Workshop“.

Special thanks an credits in this project goes to the collaborating team:

Gesine Last
Studio Inés Lauber

And to our experts:

Stephan Becker-Sonnenschein, Global Food Summit
Prof. Nina Langen, TU Berlin
Dr. Tobias Brügmann, Thünen-Institut
Progressive Agrarwende
Edible Alchemy

*This project was realised in terms of Lynn’s former position at Center for Responsible Research and Innovation by Fraunhofer IAO