Counter Culture

Co-designing restaurants of the future


Immersive experience


Genspace New Harvest



The success of cultured meat will rely on its public image - and it has an image problem

As humans, there is nothing we’re more picky about than what we put into our body. But when you see cultured meat referred to in popular culture, the go-to image is of a handful of mincemeat pushed into a petri dish. For cultured meat to succeed in the future, we have to learn ‘what works’ when communicating it to the public, and to explore new ways of making it attractive and desirable.

The hospitality industry so often shapes our food trends and cultures so we thought - why not make a restaurant of our own? Working with New Harvest, a leading funder of cultured meat research, we started a public facing exploration of how restaurants might use cultured meat in 30 years time, and what new cultures might emerge.

We created a pop-up restaurant serving ‘food from the future’

The restaurant, Counter Culture, hosted 50 members of the public to a futuristic tasting experience, offering simulated dishes from a world suffering from climate collapse. Each dish was introduced by the restaurant’s Head of Cellular Agriculture along with its history, tradition and tasting notes - all informed by research into climate change and global food trends.

The experience was followed by a workshop where diners discussed their changing perceptions of cultured meat. They used emerging technologies and social trends to imagine future restaurants, dishes and narratives around eating products derived from plant, animal and insect cells. Exploring culinary cultures of the future helped New harvest to anticipate new societal reactions that might arise from their work.

The experience made me consider social and economic dimensions of cultured meat that I had never thought about before.

Meera Zassenhaus
Head of Communications and Media at New Harvest
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