Mashed potatoes and gravy aren’t the most visually appealing foods in the world. Normally we shovel them down with a standard metal spoon (unless you use your hands, but no one’s asking). But what if spoons didn’t look like, ya know, “spoons”?

Jinhyun Jeon, a grad student from the Design Academy Eidhoven, created cutlery made to enhance the way we eat by stimulating more senses than just taste. She crafted the spoons (and other utensils) with five sensory elements in mind: color, tactility, temperature, volume and weight, and form.

The still shots of the nubby, bulbous, and colorful spoons may make you blush, but they’ve got some science behind their unconventional appearance. Jeon says she was inspired by synesthesia, a condition that blends some people’s senses. How’s it work? For synesthetes (the people that experience synesthesia) one sense can trigger another, like seeing a color when hearing a letterInside a synesthete’s head: A functional connectivity analysis with grapheme-color synesthetes. Sinke, C., Neufeld, J., Emrich, H.M. Clinic for Psychiatry, Social Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, Hannover Medical School, Germany. Neuropsychologia, 2012 Sep 18;50(14):3363-3369.. So by combining not-so-normal textures, colors, and shapes, these spoons stimulate the mouth beyond the textures and temperatures of food alone.

The spoons shown in the video are ceramic and have different colored glazes. Jeon crafted other utensils from stainless steel, silver, or plastic all with the same intention: bring more awareness to eating.

Jeon says challenging our senses, not just our tastebuds, can enrich the eating experience. She says the utensils help people eat more mindfully by focusing on each and every bite. The spoons are undoubtedly crazy looking, but would probably be fun to try out (in the privacy of our own homes). Fun bonus: the video’s got all sort of interesting projects for your perusal. We happen to think the spoons are especially cool, right?

Would you buy these unconventional spoons? Do you think they can really make a difference? Let us know in the comment section below or tweet the author @nicmcdermott.

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