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A concept table-top insect farm that disguises the unfamiliar and explores how discursive design can change ingrained perceptions on entomophagy, or bug-eating.

Principal Designer:
Leon Brown

Course Lead:
Dr Larissa Pschetz

Video Assistant:
Joseph Revans

We often hear of the health and environmental benefits of indulging in the exotic perplexities entomophagy, or bug-eating. For thousands of years, insects have been an extremely efficient and healthy source of food, but adoption in the western world has been slow. How could design help us imagine an alternate reality and change our ingrained perceptions?

Pezt attempts to normalise insects in the kitchen by twisting our expectations of food normality and white-goods design. Pezt was built on a shared understanding of the familiar, and manipulates our understanding of product vernacular to introduce insects into the household. 

By taking traditional bug-farming techniques and packaging them into an everyday appliance, the power of media and fable to intimidate consumers into disliking insects is eradicated—and we can stop letting phobias rule our eating habits. Pezt formed part of my second-year study at the University of Edinburgh.

Alongside the Pezt was created a variety of accessories and visual media aligned with the mythology of Pezt as a tangible item. Pezt is glamorously advertised in a QVC-style shopping channel, and is accompanied by a step-by-step VHS tape guide to achieving the perfect mealworm environment.

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