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Smiling Plates

How might we make finishing our food more fun and full of wonder? Give life to the plates!

Photo of Mansoor Fassihi
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In our research within Singaporean hawker centres, we found that there tend to be two peak pleasure points in the dining experience - the anticipation of consumption and the act of consumption itself. But what about the end? How can we make finishing the food another peak experience and thereby limit food waste?

Our idea is to transform every plate into an interactive object - but one that only becomes interactive once all of its contents have been consumed. 

We see this ideas with a lot of scope for different kinds of interactions depending on the audience: 

  • Your child finishes his rice and curry? The finished plate smiles back!

  • On a date? The finished plate displays a fortune!

  • An elder man finishes his fishball soup? The finished plate displays a lottery number!

In giving people something to look forward at the conclusion of their meal, we add another step into the food eating experience - and one that anybody can look forward to. 

What early, lightweight experiment might you try out in your own community to find out if the idea will meet your expectations?

This is where we seek the help of our materials science friends out there - we need low-cost 'smart'/programmable materials that would allow us to play with this idea. In lieu of expensive materials, we could start by experimenting by placing drawings/messages on plates after they are finished.

What skills, input or guidance from the OpenIDEO community would be most helpful in building out or refining your idea?

What materials could we use to experiment with this idea? What would YOU like to see displayed on your plate after a complete meal?

Tell us about your work experience:

Designer and educator based in Singapore.

This idea emerged from

  • A group brainstorm
  • An Individual

How far along is your idea?

  • It’s just been created! It’s existed for 1 day - 1 month


Join the conversation:

Photo of Talha Tanvir

I like your idea, you can remove the circle around the plate. It is better without the circle.

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