London – Challenged to ‘make a toy that has a reason to exist,’ graduate designers at creative agency Mint Digital produced the Dough Globe, a computer game that is also a vessel for making a sourdough culture.
Built-in sensors measure chemical reactions in the dough and communicate the information to a computer. Characters in an on-screen game either thrive or languish depending on the health of the culture.
‘It is somewhere between a pet rock and a cat,’ Mint Digital creative director Utku Can told Co.Design. Like a Furby, the globe generates a digital response to nurture and attention, but in this case a living entity depends on human care for growth.
For Generation D, whose members may have more experience with Farmville than with bread-making, the Dough Globe is a clever way to link the logic of gaming with tangible rewards of a home-cooked meal.
For more on the changing nature of food, read our Food Futures report.