Fermentation is at the centre of Korean food culture, and the fermentation process begins with the bacteria. Without bacteria, we would not have the variety of forms, tastes and foodstuffs such as yogurt, kimchi, cheese, and kombucha. We feel thankful for this and the existence of bacteria is precious to us. But bacteria can also cause illness and decay, and for that they have earned our fear and even hatred. The DIFD’s correspondent Su Hyun Park reports on two projects from an exhibition in Seoul, South Korea called ‘On Qyun, An existence that we don’t know about’ that explored the healthier side of our symbiotic relationship with microorganisms – fostering coexistence rather than eradication.
In a feedback session with our own correspondents, The DIFD has been taking stock of opportunities and new pathways in food design that have opened up during the COVID-19 situation of 2020 and asked how designers have been refocusing their work and developing interesting new initiatives.
The Dutch Design Week was held virtually this year and the city of Eindhoven’s restaurants were forced to close too. So the city’s marketing department came up with the idea of putting six chefs together with six different designers and creating a mini series of cookery programmes with a difference.
With their new project shown at Vienna Design Week 2020, designer Jakob Glasner and agricultural scientist Philipp Lammer aim to bring people from all along the food chain closer together. From tomato seeds to tomato soup, via rare plant breeders Arche Noah and pan makers Riess, Glasner explains the journey.
Anti-Covid measures have resulted in the cultivation of new behaviours and new routines when it comes to food but, say Anastasia Eggers and Philipp Kolmann, they could also result in the cultivation of new relationships – not only with our fellow humans, but with other species and (micro)organisms that we cohabit with.
The DIFD interviewed our Scotland correspondent Steph Marsden about how she used her lockdown time to expand on a project about individual eating, with your computer. Autodîneur is a computer-generated guide to an exploratory eating experience. Each time you visit you receive a new set of instructions to follow for a new kind of meal. The instructions help you use all your faculties to get messily in touch with your food.
Deep Food is an initiative by Cindy Chan and Heinrik Ng, which explores food design as a thought-provoking medium from an Asian perspective. Through creating various food design experiments ranging from tableware design, tasting events and tea gatherings, the team uses food as a medium to inspire discussion on a range of cultural and philosophical topics.
Gourmet Grubb is a brand-new food company based in Cape Town with an age-old idea - insects as a food source.
Through mass- production and consumption old techniques and crafts are fleeting. Anna Wieser is inspired to preserve tradition and craftsmanship. With her project 'Crafting Transformation', she wants to awaken people's curiosity by showing them the beauty that comes from using our bare hands. "We live in a fast-digital world where the physical connection between ourselves and the people around us is threatened by oblivion," Anna says.
After receiving her Bachelor's degree at the "Instituto Culinario de Mexico", Estela Gless went on to graduate from the "Zürcher Hochschule der Künste" with a Master of Arts in Design Trends and Identity. With more than ten years of experience in the culinary arts, she developed a sophisticated and, may we say, delicious project for her MA graduation: RE.TREAT, exploring physical and emotional sensory perceptions in the mouth. We asked Estela to tell us a bit more about her concept and how she developed it.
"By Hand" is a culinary experience resulting from the research of designer Giulia Soldati, who uses food as a tool to explore the relationship with our body, whilst trying to trigger new behaviors and question our beliefs.
BENDITAS (Ferran Gesa and Caterina Vianna) is a Barcelona based design studio specialised in what they call "furniture for food". The studio aims to create new products and services for the food sector from a unique point of view: designing products that are in dialogue with food.
Timm Donke, Leif Czakai and Nathan Fordy are collectively known as Optimismus, a commercial and social design collaboration that develops creative strategies and creates collaborations. Working for non-profit organisations they manage to tackle big issues with small-scale but impactful actions. Optimismus were asked by Hivos International to design a project and platform for the Open Source Seeds System program. They came up with a new brand to support sharing systems for seeds as well as promoting biodiversity. We talked with Leif Czakai about OSSS, an upcoming brand of seed snacks - introducing a new taste that aims to become a global snack produced on a local scale and with local ingredients.
Studio Inés Lauber is an conceptual food and design studio based in Berlin since 2012. The studio raises awareness on the subjects of sustainability, seasonality, locality and maintaining biodiversity through storytelling and conceptual design. Inés Lauber mainly works with local and sustainable produce and collaborates with projects and small businesses that have social and environmental sustainability high on their agenda. Experimenting with foraged ingredients and traditional preserving methods, researching on healing aspects and cultural values of food, the studio blurs the boundaries between forgotten and modern, traditional and new, offering food concepts to not only feed your body, but also your mind.
Food experience designer Eunkyung Kang in South Korea puts an emphasis on food as an eating experience rather than as an object. Her projects focus on interpersonal understanding, communication and behaviors. "Distance of InTEAmacy" is an ongoing project which started in April 2018 and uses tea time as a tool to observe how food works in order to change behavior in unfamiliar social situations.
Protein Fantasy is a food design fiction that suggests a different way of looking at the “natural” process of culturing meat and pushing the possibilities of producing food. It also visualizes a possible living context and new foods in the future, with the research on “clean meat”. Protein Fantasy is also designed to question industrialized food systems across the world today that prioritize high volume, low cost, unsustainable practices, and a lack of design diversity.
Teresa Berger is a young product designer based in Vienna, Austria. She aims at improving products and believes they can enhance our everyday lives, if they are well designed. She sees food as one of humankind’s greatest pleasures but also biggest struggles, as eating is heavily influenced by external elements of consumption through the tools and objects we use. “Size, color, and the usability have a tremendous influence on creating consumption patterns that might lead to negative eating habits. This is where I felt I could really make change as a product designer.” We talked to Teresa about her work around food and design and her upcoming exhibition at the Vienna Design Week.
Protein Fantasy is a speculative food design project that was created based on Cellular Agriculture and the technology of “clean meat”. The way we prepare food and eat it has affected the path of human evolution. This project takes a step forward in discussing the possible food futures and our relationship with new food technology and design.
Having just recently graduated from the Food Non Food Department of Design Academy Eindhoven, Alexandra Genis sees her work as critical food design - sometimes very critical. ‘If I look at food design today, I see a lot of direct problem-solving. Vegetarian meat, technologically enhanced cooking, design against obesity and recycling of food waste dominate the media when it comes to food. These are important tasks at hand, of course. However, it’s what the public demands to see and I am sceptical about that.’ Thus the work of Alexandra is often the exact opposite of what is officially stamped as desirable. For her graduation project ATOMA she has travelled a universe of aromatic molecules to shed light on the secretive world of flavour.
In October 2017, “Menu from the new wild” was selected as one of the top 20 projects to take on the antenna stage organised by Design Indaba and Dutch Design Week in Eindhoven, the Netherlands. Industrial designer Alexandra Fruhstorfer is tackling an essential ecological issue. Invasive plants and animals are threatening the stability and functionality of our wildlife. Her solution is to reduce their numbers by making them commercially viable. Clearly, the next step will be to integrate them into our business cycle by eating them!
With the Future Food Design Awards 2018 just weeks away, we are taking a look back at last year's 13 best entries from: Fernando Laposse, Marie Caye & Arvid Jense, Katharina Unger, Anastasia Eggers & Ottonie von Roeder, Carolien Niebling, Chloé Rutzerveld, Studio Playfool, Doreen Westphal, Leo Fidjeland & Linnea Våglund, María Apud-Bell, Mariet Schreurs, Mies Loogman and Yunwen Tu. Together they covered a broad range of relevant food&design topics - from autonomous kefir machines to urbanised agriculture, from gene modification technology to augmented reality supermarkets and from future farming to surreal sausages. We can’t wait to see what’s next!
Digital Seasoning by Laila Snevele
Laila Šnēvele is a recent graduate from the Design Academy Eindhoven. She sees her work as translations of food and human relationships. “Food is our common necessity, pleasure and culture. I am curious to explore the different roles that food plays in all of our lives. What is obvious for one, might be unacceptable for others. Where is the common ground?”, she says. Laila aims to explore people’s perception of food and how we look at things out of the norm. Her goal is to create edible experiences that are comprehensible, engaging and can improve our well being. With her new 3D visualisation of taste, "Digital Seasoning", she has done just that.
Totomoxtle by Fernando Laposse
Last year Fernando Laposse won the Future Food Design Awards with his circular design project Totomoxtle, by turning waste of coloured cobs of Mexican native corn into beautiful surfacing veneer for interiors and furniture. In the meantime his project is raising awareness about the rapid loss of the original species of corn in today’s globalised world. Read how his project evolved in the past year.
Human Hyena by Paul Gong
The Food Revolution 5.0 is now on show in Berlin at the Kunstgewerbemuseum. Our German correspondent Ines Lauber takes a look and tells us what to expect.
SAM - Marie Caye & Arvid Jense
SAM is a Symbiotic Autonomous Machine, designed by French-Dutch designers Marie Caye and Arvid Jense, but not owned by them.
Ever since food-delivery services like Deliveroo and Foodora started appearing in cities, spontaneous meeting spots have formed as well – places where the deliverers gather while waiting for the next order. For practical reasons, the spots are often central and highly visible, and could therefore be considered one of the major physical manifestations of the gig economy in cities across the world.
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