The object that I choose to focus on from Sara Hendren’s blog, Abler, is called transitional cutlery. As somebody who gets a lot of pleasure from food, this item naturally caught my eye since utensils are instrumental in the manner in which we consume our food. When I evaluate a meal that I had, I tend to think of certain things that contribute to my overall dining experience. Such components include the quality of the ingredients, the cooking technique, the creativity of the dish, the presentation, the service, and the ambiance. These are fairly typical measurements that people use to assess their meal. What most people overlook, myself included, is the manner by which food is transported from the plate or bowl to your mouth. We associate certain foods with using certain utensils, or none at all. For example, when you have soup, you use a spoon. When you eat a salad, you use a fork. To cut a steak, you use a knife. To eat a sandwich, you generally do not use any utensils. This may seem obvious because it is, and we take the ability to transport food to our mouth for granted.
For some people, they do not have the luxury of using cutlery to grasp food. Mikael Boulay has developed a special set of utensils for people that are developing motor skills for the first time and lack muscle tone and coordination. While aesthetically striking, Boulay’s solution simplifies what should be a thoughtless task. The cutlery manages to be completely functional for the target audience as well as intriguing from a design perspective.
If somebody accustomed to “typical” silverware were to use the transitional cutlery, they would be quite disconcerted. That being said, exploring with the method by which food reaches our mouths could be an interesting development. As restaurants are always looking for ways to innovate, maybe they need to step back from the food itself and reinvent the process by which it goes from the kitchen to our mouths.