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At The Mori Museum: 3D-Printed Sushi & Other Glimpses Of The Future

The Mori Museum’s current exhibit, Future and the Arts: AI, Robotics, Cities, Life – How Humanity Will Live Tomorrow pushes all my favorite buttons: food, fashion & WTF!

It’s a satisfyingly huge show, with installations ranging from utopian plans that harness cutting-edge tech, to darker commentary on how we’ll use technology to evolve in a world that’s not entirely changing for the better.

Here are my favorites:

This captivating concept (by the Dentsu team) is called “Sushi Singularity,” which imagines a machine that can 3D-print exquisite bites of food…
…and structures them in new and exciting forms and textures (I mean if you’re putting together the building blocks anyway – why not? It’s like, Molecular Gastronomy 10.0!)
They imagine a computer-driven design process that matches traditional flavors with new and exciting architectures, like (from left to right): Cell-cultured tuna, Powdered, sintered uni, Squid castle, Negative stiffness honeycomb octopus, Oze tick cucumber, Anisotropic stiffness steamed shrimp, Micro pillar eel, and (the final soup course) Dashi soup universe…
The sushi would be assembled by a combination of 3D printing, laser carving…
and vat-grown protein techniques…
…to produce perfectly tasty bites on demand

They even made a promo video for “Sushi Singularity,” the sushi restaurant of the future!

But crazy food wasn’t the only thing artists have ideas about. Fashion and design took a page from the biology notebook too.

These dresses are laser-cut designs based on systems of the body. From left to right, the lungs, the nervous system, ligaments & tendons (Artist: Amy Karle)
And this stool was grown from…mushrooms (Artist: Klarenbeek & Dros)
This elaborate Noh costume was woven entirely from silk made by genetically-altered silkworms, which produce fibers that glow in the dark (Artist: Another Farm)

This slightly creepier comment on global warming suggests genetic modifications to babies that would adapt future workers to function better in a world that’s much hotter than it is today.

Called “Thermal Epidermalplasty” this piece posits that extra skin on the head might dissipate heat more efficiently (Artist: Agi Haines)

There are tons more thought-provoking and conversation-sparking pieces, but (how well you know me!) the one I spent the most time with was this towering 2001-ish monolith, with its hypnotic digital skin.

Go see this show, if you have a chance. Even at ¥1800 a pop, it’s worth it.

Open: Every day, from November 19 (2019) – March 29 (2020)

Hours: 10:00 – 22:00

Admission: Adult – ¥1800; Student (High school-university) ¥1200; Child (4+) ¥600

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Jonelle Patrick View All

Writing mystery books set in Tokyo is mostly what I do, but I also blog about the odd stuff I see every day in Japan. I'm a graduate of Stanford University and the Sendagaya Japanese Institute in Tokyo, and a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Mystery Writers of America, and Sisters In Crime. When I'm not in Tokyo, I live in San Francisco. I also host a travel site called The Tokyo Guide I Wish I'd Had, so if you're headed to Japan and want to check out the places I take my friends when they're in town, take a look!

3 thoughts on “At The Mori Museum: 3D-Printed Sushi & Other Glimpses Of The Future Leave a comment

  1. This looks incredible jonelle, in Japan they will always be at the forefront of technology by the looks of it. The baby with the flaps on the side of its head just creeped me out. though. BTW there is something weird going on with your website, when I try to leave a comment on different posts, it has a lot of code errors and the buttons are all blank

    • Yikes, I’ll check that out! Thanks for letting me know. I’ve been having trouble liking and commenting on other blogs too, so I wonder what’s going on.

      And I’m totally with you on the baby – believe it or not, there were more of them, and that was the LEAST disturbing one! O_O.

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