Speculative Design: “Is what we eat making us sick?”

We are living in a world where greed corrupts our food and healthcare industries. Were what we eat is making us sick, giving us diseases such as cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, increasing rates of autism, giving our children allergies. And if so why is the healthcare industry not helping us change our diet, but instead marketing us drugs and coming up with new pills that are only solving the symptoms of these problems and not the problems themselves. All for the single-minded motif of gaining profit.

My project looks at revealing the tragic indirect link between what we eat and the medicines we take. The research that I have done shows how bad things are right now and includes data and figures which allow the audience to speculate just how bad it could be when we are forced to live in a world where our current food industry is faced by the challenge of feeding 9 billion people.

Diseases, Causes and Cures

Cancer is one of the few illnesses that I have looked into. It seems there is an overwhelming amount of information about stage 4 cancer patients using “alternative” medicine to cure cancer. This information exists and is available for those looking for it. These alternative cures include:

  • Cancer patients have cured their cancer by changing the ph level of their bodies through what they eat. Cancer cells thrive in an acidic environment and cannot survive in alkaline & oxygenated environments. This basically means eating alkaline foods (most fruits and veg) over acidic foods (meat + dairy)
  • The dairy we consume contains growth factors (hormones) which act as a fertilizer for cancer cells.

Edward Griffin author of World Without Cancer suggests that cancer is a deficiency disease aggravated by the lack of an essential food compound in modem mans diet. This compound is Vitamin B12.

  • Ok so if there are these other possible solutions and if meat and dairy are so problematic for cancer patients why does the healthcare industry not encourage these methods as a cure.
  1. Meat and Dairy industry are a powerful industry that makes up a great chunk of several powerful countries GDPs.
  2. Big pharma will never seriously look into modifying diets as a cure but instead will spend all their money on coming up with newer pills, because this is where they make most of their money.

Along with cancer, GMO crop have been found to be linked with seasonal allergies, and rising rates of autism. It’s the glysophate (weed killer) that’s sprayed onto GMO crops, that causes all the trouble, it kills important bacteria in our gut, which causes many immune system deficiencies. Its also been linked with autism. Autism rates are currently 1 in 69 and are said to rise by 50 percent by 2025.

The outcome for the project

My proposed outcome for the project is to present my research findings. Documents with highlighted portions encouraging the audience to make the connection between the food industry and the pharmaceutical industry. This research also includes stats on how these problems are only increasing allowing people to project into what the future would be like if things keep getting worse.

Another plan for the outcome is to create film, which shares my research findings through a narrative.


When Apples Design Got Worse


In the article “How Apple Is Giving Design A Bad Name” the authors point out many of their frustrations with Apple.  They argue that Apple has actually gone worse in design in many ways particularly with IOS.  Apple used to be renowned for its simplicity but although at first glance users see the new Apple products as simple, when you dig deeper you actually see that to use advanced functionality is actually quite difficult for an average user who is using the devices without ever reading a manual.

They point out that although many people claim at how even elder people are now using iPads as they are so easy to use, there are still major design flaws that make things more complicated than they need to be.  For instance in the iPad, going beyond the simple operations such as pasting three photos somewhere can actually become more difficult than it is.  So many people using the devices don’t actually get the most use out of them as they don’t know that they have the ability to do something.  There is no manual and they argue that some things are getting so complicated that they actually now need a manual.

They pointed out how when you changed the keyboard on the IOS from upper case to lower case the letters would still be in upper case on the keyboard design but a up arrow (shift key) would change colour from black to white.  How should a user know which colour is upper case and which colour is lower case?

They point out that in many instances beauty has taken over from functionality.  For instance, some fonts are so nice looking but many people without the sharp vision of a 17 year old find them hard to read on the screen.  The beauty might have increased but for many the functionality decreased.

One of the biggest things missing in the IOS is the “undo” key.  This was one of the best features of the computer era in that users were safe with the knowledge that they could undo anything at anytime and so were free to experiment more.  In the earlier versions of IOS it didn’t exist and now that it does it is that you have to shake your phone to undo. Many apps don’t have this feature turned on.  And many users don’t know that this feature exists.  So there are many times the user is not sure what and where to click and might get linked through to a YouTube video which they can’t get back from.

Technology can make users feel dumb.  And the authors of this article highlighted many ways in which Apple was actually at fault and needs to fix its design issues so that they are continued to be seen as the best in design rather than simply the company that makes things look good.

Moving forward there will be many more copying of Google from Apple just as there will continue to be the copying of Apple from Google.  Usability experts like the authors advocate that designers should communicate and collaborate across departments rather than work in silos which can lead to inconsistency in the usability across the different products.