A tangible experience at its core, ORAL is a project meant to explore the sensory interface of human intimacy. Using a series of prepared food products, we recreate intimate moments through taste as an on-demand service.
ORAL distills key intimate experiences, such as sex, into accessible gustatory immersion kits. Our carefully engineered kits require no setup, no uncomfortable human interaction, are 100% plant-based and certified organic. We believe everyone deserves an intimate experience as rich and immersive as the real thing — ORAL is affordable and can be found with select retailers or delivered straight to your door.
>> The challenge of designing for the senses
Taste and sex are some of the most personal and subjective experiences possible. Paradoxically, communication relies on a shared understanding of an input (e.g. vocabulary). Our challenge designing for ORAL was — if our senses are highly subjective, can we use sensory immersion as an effective means of implementing a designer’s intention beyond subliminal messaging?
We created a tasting panel where we invited a dozen participants to taste a wide variety of flavors, ranging from tapioca gel to pink peppercorns. Each person was given instructions to reflect on the emotions and memories (if any) of the taste and texture, rather than describing the taste itself. Distilling our insights, we developed affinity maps for the different flavor profiles leading us to identify unique combinations that we later packaged into our four distinct aspects of sex, the ORAL kit.
ORAL was presented at the sensory design exhibition at CIID in August 2018. A detailed documentation on the process and philosophy can be found on the oral medium article.
>> Critiques on the present
Oral is a provocation to question the existing services and products that help automate “basic human necessities.” Products that claim that life can be better if some “inconvenient” task is removed. ORAL is meant to be an extreme expression of a frictionless experience.
>> Thoughts on the future
There are two conceptual extensions of ORAL that we did not have the chance to explore. Although this documentation focuses on sex, the original intent was to explore various types of human intimacy. Another being kits that would take one person’s unique subjectivity around taste and map that to unique flavor profiles for different types of intimate experiences.