Not sure if tableware is necessary in the space environment, but I can be firmly sure that "The enjoyment of eating involves so much more than merely how the food on the plate tastes (Spence, C., 2014)".
Hence, for the wellbeing of life in the space, project Whispery Savoury was formulated as a series of experimental interactive eating providing multi-sensory experiences.
The aim is to create sensory stimuli for several senses simultaneously, specifically taste and hearing, that are normally experienced separately, generating a kind of synaesthesia. The audience are invited to play sound and music (corresponding to 5 basic tastes) whilst eating and drinking, using cutlery and specially designed tableware, with one piece for each taste: sweetness, sourness, bitterness, saltiness, and umami.
To establish how food lovers (e.g. spaceman) gain the maximum pleasure from the experience of eating, the project seeks to provide evidence of shared underlying properties between the auditory and gustatory sensory modalities, and to explore, apart from food itself, the various factors influencing our cravings and appetite. In addition, by accentuating each of the five basic tastes, the aim is to help revive some semblance of taste for individuals who, for whatever reason, have lost their sense of it.
Moreover, by examining notions from the science of multi-sensory experience in relation to food and dining, this project addresses the role of art and science in contemporary gastronomic narratives.
This project was in association with University of Oxford, and contributed to the research of Crossmodal Science, read through the cooperative paper here: https://flavourjournal.biomedcentral.com/track/pdf/10.1186/s13411-015-0033-1