Food Data

generative design for ceramic plates, based on a crumb-analysis

»Food Data« is a series of seven ceramic plates on the topic of data tracking in everyday life. Minimalistic crumb-compositions that emerge on plates while eating every day, are analyzed by a self-written computer application, to bring digital data tracking to the domestic sector in an artistic way.

The software captures and counts remaining crumbs on the plates and uses the obtained information for the creation of different generative artworks. The algorithmically developed graphics are then engraved into raw ceramic plates with a laser cutter. Afterwards, the engraved plates are glazed and fired in a ceramics kiln. This way, a new and unique plate is created for each analyzed original crumb-composition, even if the same graphical algorithm is applied.

»Food Data« elevates an everyday occurrence to the realms of art, while taking usual methods of data tracking to the absurd. The project encourages to contemplate on everyday life, but at the same time reflects on the advancing technization as well as practices of (self-)surveillance, that don't even stop at the private ritual of eating.

1. Eating

The first step towards the final plate is eating. After that, the remaining crumbs are photographed and fed into the software (openFrameworks).

2. Crumb-Analysis

The crumbs are analyzed with a contour finding algorithm. Their outlines and positions are used to generate algorithmic line graphics.

3. Finished Plate

The generated graphics are engraved into raw ceramic-plates with a lasercutter, which are glazed and fired in a ceramics-kiln afterwards.


Year: 2015
Media/Tools: ceramics, lasercutter, openFrameworks, openCv


»TR:15«, Hochschule Trier, Germany
October 2015

»Share Festival« – Casa Jasmina, Turin, Italy
May 2016


We Make Money Not Art — covering Share Festival

Comparing the crumb count of the 7 ceramic plates:

3639 crumbs ordered by size,
collected between 29.04.2015 and 18.05.2015: