A Food Experience Center
Food represents a family’s tradition and culture. However, the increasing cultural gap between parents and children is affecting the cultural identity of India.
Ayurvedic food is an ancient Indian tradition. Ayurveda helped to develop various spices and herbs and recipes with the purpose of elevating the mind and the body. Due to globalization of food and various other socio-cultural phenomena, the principles of ayurvedic food are being affected.
Anna Katha is a food experience zone that gives the user a different perspective of food through traditional Indian stories and Ayurvedic principles. Traditional food has lost its identity due to globalization and various other socio-cultural phenomena. Anna Katha attempts to recreate the cultural symbolism of food.
Indian food is widely known for its diversity in cuisines and tastes. Every region has its own unique palette and flavours. The cuisine of each geographical region includes a wide assortment of dishes and cooking techniques.
Every regional dish represents the traditions, culture and mythological significance of that particular region in India.
Indian food is largely based on ayurvedic principles. The term Ayurveda comprises two words– ayu(life) and veda(knowledge). Ayurveda thus deals with various aspects related to our health and well being.
As Indian food is cooked with masalas that are a mixture of locally grown spices and herbs, the recipes of each dish are designed in a manner that compliments the family’s work, environment etc. This is a testament to how well thought out everyday Indian dishes are.
Indian Food is prepared through various techniques. There is no fixed framework for cooking a meal. Every household has its own method of preparing a dish. Masalas(mixture of spices and herbs) play a major role in creating different flavours in every household. If it wasn’t for masalas, Indian cuisine wouldn’t vary as much all over the country.
Traditional Indian recipes are passed down through the generations, typically from mother to daughter. As the quantities of each ingredient in a recipe are based on approximations, recipes evolve and adapt as they pass down from one generation to the next.
Food in the Indian household plays a different role for every member of the house. There’s one who cooks, which is usually done by the head of the kitchen. There’s one who procures the required raw materials (vegetables, spices, etc) which is done by the breadwinner of the house, and the one who carries down the legacy of the family through food recipes, which is done by the children of the house.
Children carry the legacy of the family through food recipes which are passed down by the parents, usually the mother.
While growing up, in the olden times, children used to spend their time in the kitchen playing with vegetables, studying, and sometimes even napping beside their mother as they cooked. Because children spent so much time in the kitchen while growing up, their senses developed faster and sharper. This made it easier for them to learn complicated recipes when they grew up.
Being in the kitchen at an early age helps in sensory development of the children.
Family culture isn’t being passed down the generation as both the parents are working and the grandparents aren’t present to take over their role.
Increase in cultural gap between the parents and children as both the parents are working and no one is able to pass down the culture & traditions of the family to the children.
Sensory development in children is hampered as parents have become too protective and prefer keeping children at home more than outside and keeping them away from the kitchen.
The culture isn’t being passed down the generation as both the parents are working and the grandparents aren’t present to take over their role.
Increase in cultural gap between the parents and the kid as both the parents are working and no one is able to pass down the culture & traditions of the family to the children.
Sensory development in children is hampered as parents have become too protective and prefer keeping the children at home more than outside and away from the kitchen.
The points above helped us discover how food played an integral part in establishing a family’s culture and how it is getting lost due to the various cultural shifts in the family and affecting the child’s sensory development at the same time.
To understand the problem better and its source we looked at the changes that have occurred over the time.
Increased food consumption and lower calorie expenditures have resulted in a rapid increase in the prevalence of obesity and other food related problems.
Traditional food has lost its importance along with its cultural relevance due to globalization of international food in India.
Traditional food has lost its essence of ayurvedic principles(usage of locally grown spices & herbs) due to the standardization of masalas.
Increased food consumption and lower calorie expenditures have resulted in a rapid increase in the prevalence of overweight, obesity and other food related problems.
Traditional food has lost it’s importance along with it’s cultural relevance due to globalization of international food in India.
Traditional food has lost it’s essence of ayurvedic principles(usage of locally grown spices & herbs) due to the standardization of masalas.
After looking at the insights we got from our research and seeing the changes, we speculated what the fututre of food as a culture is. If things don't cchange, India will lose a big part of its cultural identity.
If every house is missing a kitchen head, children will stop entering the kitchen which will slow down their sensory development
The cultural gap between parents and children will keep on increasing. Children will struggle to differentiate between different traditions and cultures.
Children will struggle with their own identity as no one will be able to pass down the family’s traditional food and legacy.
Children play an active role in the household. It doesn’t matter how old the child is, parents
always try to involve children whenever they can. As mentioned before, they are the ones to carry forward the legacy of the household. Children are given the utmost importance in the house. If children aren’t rooted to their culture and traditions while growing up, their cultural and sensory development will be affected.
What if we develop a service for sensory development among kids through food by using traditional stories?
Introducing Anna Katha, a food experience zone that brings out the cultural perspective of food through traditional stories for children.
Anna Katha’s kitchen ensures that the cultural essence of food is not lost by serving ayurvedic food in a manner that children can relate to. It is a service-based experience restaurant where parents understand the importance of the ayurvedic home-cooked food in a setting where children can enjoy it as an experience.
Branding was important as it sets the tone of the service and we wanted to make it relatable for the children and the parents.
The name of the zone is derived from sanskrit, which means: Anna - Food, Katha - Story.
The brand colours are earthy that represents the essence of ayurveda with the secondary colours being a little brighter to attract a younger generation.
Having a service chart is very important to understand the journey you want your users to go through to. It is easier to break the journey into stages for better understanding.
The Anna Katha website allows people to get familiar with the experience center. The website’s purpose is to let users pre-book their seats for a particular meal show and to let us know if the user has any special requests (for e.g Jain food only etc).
We created experiences focused on developing the child’s senses through food using gamification and traditional stories.
This project taught us how service design can create a huge impact on a system level and how user behavior can help design experiences. Learning about different user behaviours and applying it to a service is very important as it will make the user relate better to the service being provided.