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Beyond Taste with Teresa Berger

Stacking different shapes and textures with "Beyond Taste"

Beyond Taste

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.

How did you come to food design and what intrigues you about it?

One day I started to dive into the world of Gastrophysics, an interdisciplinary science that applies principles from neuroscience, physics and chemistry to understand the connection between the worlds of gastronomy, cooking and eating. One aim of Gastrophysics was to unravel the sensory response while eating. And what was discovered, is that there is much more interplay between our senses than previously thought. You cannot consider one sense without considering the other senses too. All our senses are interconnected. So we do not only react to the food we taste but also to what we see, hear, smell and touch – the so-called the multi-sensory experience.

This got me thinking about why our culinary culture often neglects these sensorial experiences. I was wondering why food is still served from standardized plates. With my project “Beyond Taste” I wanted to explore the synergy of food and design and explore more unique ways to convey creativity – from the kitchen to the table – focusing on various shapes, colors, textures and other sensory stimulations that influence our eating experience.

The eight pieces of "Beyond Taste"

"All our senses are inter- connected. So we do not only react to the food we taste but also to what we see, hear, smell and touch – the so-called the multi-sensory experience."

What are you working on for the Vienna Design Week and how is it for you? 

For the upcoming Vienna Design Week 2018, I am working on a the production of a series of tableware called “Beyond Taste”. “Beyond Taste” was one of my graduation projects at the Design Academy Eindhoven, where I graduated from last January. It is a series of tableware that focusses on the multi-sensory eating experience and explores the synergy of food and design. I am also busy planning the layout of my exhibition space as well as the menu for tastings that will happen everyday during Vienna Design Week.

After moving back to Vienna it was hard to find my way into the design scene here – it is something that didn’t cross my mind when I decided to study abroad. The network of designers in the Netherlands, and especially in Eindhoven, is particularly great! After five years of living there I would know exactly where to get what done or how to get in touch with the right people. When I moved back to Vienna, I felt a bit lost at first, not knowing where to find materials or who to even contact for collaborations. Thanks to Lilli Hollein, the founder and director of Vienna Design Week, I got in contact with Sappy Rauth, a ceramic craftswoman here in Vienna, who is currently producing my tableware. It is very exciting to see the project come to life and also seeing it in a new context outside the “design-bubble” of Eindhoven. Once more Sappy Rauth put me in contact with two amazing chefs (einsundeinsdeluxe), with whom I am currently developing the menu for “Beyond Taste”. In the end it really is all about having a great network of creative people supporting each other.

The "Dripping Plate" consist of two parts. The bottom part acts like a strainer slowly releasing liquid into the bowl underneath.

The "Sound Donut" features an integrated mini bluetooth speaker. Spherical sounds make sweet food taste sweeter or enhance bitterness.

How do you experience the Food & Design scene in Vienna and how is it developing (or not)? 

Honestly I don’t feel very involved in the Food & Design scene in Vienna at the moment. This is probably because I just moved back to Vienna a few months ago and I lost track of what is going on while living in Eindhoven.

I noticed that the people I have meet during my preparations for Vienna Design Week are doing projects preferably in other parts of Austria. There is definitely a trend towards restaurants using custom designed tableware from local designers. But I feel like the most interesting and innovative things happing right now are not going on in the well established gourmet restaurants but in smaller pop-ups or during one-time events using locally grown food, rare herbs and old varieties of vegetables for example.

 

 

Text by Teresa Berger

Read more about Teresa on her:

Website: www.teresa-berger.com

Instagram: @teresaberger

LinkedIn: Teresa Berger