Category Consumption

Japanese Miniatures: Hara Hachi Bu

In the west we start a meal by saying  ”Have a nice dinner” or “Bon appetite”. We refer to the quality of the eating experience but never to the quantity. In contrast, on the Japansese island of Okinawa, they say “Hara Hachi Bu” which means “Eat until you’re only 80% full”. It wishes us to [...]

Japanese Miniatures: One Rice Sushi

The Japanese have a natural pull towards miniaturisation that never seizes to inspire our investigation into shrinking the human species. Our series on Japanese Miniatures zooms in on this special quality.  It articulates a sensitivity for smallness that, through a process of abstraction, may ultimately help us attain the desire to downsize ourselves.
Sushi itself already [...]

Voluntary Simplicity

Voluntary simplicity is characterised by individuals being satisfied with what they need rather than what they want. The principles of voluntary simplicity are of interest to The Incredible Shrinking Man because of two main reasons. For one, if the human body were to become smaller we would need less. Therefor the systems that are in place [...]

Abundance Fantasies: The Alasitas Pathway

From an early age the miniature teaches us to want. During childhood toys in all sorts and shapes create the pathways for  a grown-up desire for material abundance. The promise is right there, in the palm of your hand: toy cars, doll’s houses, miniature cattle and food. And in the mind it materialises into the real [...]

Abundance Fantasies: Giant Sushi Roll

Our desire for tallness is strong and deeply rooted. So deep it is difficult to imagine the change towards a general desire for shorter stature. However, the human species is not the sum of just one or two desires but many. In the Abundance Fantasies we focus on the strong universal desire for abundance, and [...]

Abundance Fantasies: Baby Burrito

Mexican restaurant Gorditos prides itself in serving a burrito the size of a baby. It’s customers have taken up the habit of taking a photo with their new born next to the burrito and putting the image up on the ‘baby wall‘. More than a frivolous prank the restaurant’s photo wall of newly borns exhibits [...]

Abundance Fantasies: Cornucopia

In the Abundance fantasies we explore the origin and contemporary meaning of symbols, stories and tropes of abundance. People have an insatiable desire for more, but in reality we constantly have to cope with scarcity. Perhaps the activation of an abundance iconography will help further ignite our desire for abundance and, because of this, our desire [...]

Force-Feeding Milk

On the occasion of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation’s World Milk Day the Thai Ministry of Health’s director-general Jedsada Chokdamrongsuk revealed an ill conceived plan to boost Thai’s youth milk consumption from 14 to 60 litres per year. The reason for this? To  increase the average Thai male height from 167cm to 175cm and [...]

Guinea Pig Farm

The 1991 OFA report ‘Microlivestock: Little-known Small Animals with a Promising Economic Future’ introduces several alternative small animals for domestication and meat and dairy production. Small animals are easier to breed and keep, and are a quick way of supplementing a diet, especially in less developed countries. One of the species of great interest to [...]

Abundance Fantasies: The Grapes of Canaan

Our desire for abundance represents both the cause for the planet’s perilous condition and the incentive for a possible solution. If (despite Earth’s dwindling resources) we want to continue our present lifestyles, and the desire for abundance is stronger than the desire for being tall, eventually we’ll be forced to seriously consider shrinking the human body into [...]