Gum: A Speculative Design Project

The Future of Current Trends

The use of gum is a weak signal that indicates a need for specific human desires. This product is a routine, ready-to-hand service provider. When available, it can subconsciously influence behavior.

Mindset and Replacement

Everyday Ephemeral Meditation

Social Interaction, Status and Currency

For these different qualities of gum, how will they be appropriated to accommodate future desires?

When the gum is chewed, it collects a material memory. This analysis is currently be researched in order to see if the same quality of material can act as a sensor. This makes me think that gum can act as a form of identification; it exists in an intimate and vulnerable area of the body. Also metaphorically close to the mind and core self.


Gum as medicine

Self-dissolving gum

Oral care


Future of food

Concept 01

The act of chewing gum is a de-stigmatized practice that allows people to alleviate upsetting memories. Instead of replacing an active desire, this gum is able to temporarily remove/relieve passive motivators from the past. This can allow people to subtly shift an identity they want to align with.

This service can help with concentration, act as an instant stress relief, improve mental health, and take a break from the chaos of our past and present.

Questions to consider:

  • What is the experience of time while chewing this gum?
  • How is this different from smoking?
  • How is trust established of people are not their true selves?
  • What is the framing / brand of the service?
  • What are the interaction details, does the gum collect memory as well?
  • Who is the target audience? Is this meant for everyone — what does it say about you to chew this gum?
  • What is the new metaphor of gum? Is is a crutch, an rush of endorphins, a mask, a craving, a glass of water, a diary, an escape…
  • Through backcasting, what events influenced the arrival of this product?
  • Why does it need to access memories?
  • How can it be extremely personalized and social?

Mental State as an Environment

Gum as a Collective Identity

In a world were the individual can get lost, and their is a need to connect with the oversaturated network. People contribute to the larger community. Use it to connect with others — a common ground, reliability. Social currency. Does it tap into ideology? Is the gum an added intelligence?

Maybe to purchase there is an exchange of data — you accept you data to be used in the collective. Maybe it’s not influencing your brain — or maybe it releases endorphins when you do certain behavior, to


  • What is our current relationship with craving, addiction and desire?
  • What is the scope of this — what would you think of people
  • Would this be illegal?

What would the variables be? Is the feedback a color change? Would there be differently branded gum. What would the flavor be as a response? Maybe it’s a way to support brands — the gum is used to display which companies you support and give your data to.

“it’s normal to be continuously chewing — the default practice” Khat

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store