“I am interested in those intuitive moments”
Lotte is a Dutch food designer based in Barcelona. She invents culinary interactions which focus on the social nature of food. She uses play as a tool to enable her audience to focus on means rather than ends; the act of play allows people to try out new things, to revise, modify and explore.
How would you describe the field of food and design?
I would describe the field of food and design as emerging and dynamic and finding itself in the pending process of “to be defined”. The fact that “food” and “design” are such contrasting means; food being a natural and primal form of life and, design being an act in which we intentionally create a plan for the construction of objects and behaviours in our world, makes it a field highly open to experimentation. At this moment there is a huge desire for change in every single aspect of food. And because every radical change finds its start in the artistic world, I do not think it is a coincidence the two (food and design) came together so recently.
The influence of climate change, demographic problems and economic changes makes us question the future of food more than ever. Uncertainties about whether there will be enough food sources available in the future and how the way we deal with food impacts the environment are one of the biggest worries present in today’s society. We want to find new ways of eating and we want to change the way we look at food. I believe as food designers we have the responsibility to share our dreams and radical ideas to inspire farmers, chefs, scientist, food businesses and individuals working with food, for change.
Why does food and design interest you?
Food design is an in-depth study of people’s behavior. The fact that eating is a personal act that we perform everyday makes food design find its origin in the deep roots of cultures, routines and rituals. It makes food a very intuitive medium, which fascinates me. Not only is food an intuitive way to nurture your own body, sharing food is also an intuitive way to create social bondings.
The sharing of food has always been a part of the human story. Evidence found in the Qesem Cave near Tel Aviv uncovers a hearth in which families prepared their meals and gathered to eat together more than 300.000 years ago. Also when looking at our own experiences we can find lots of social food effects; we probably all have memories of moments in which the sharing of a meal buried anger or provoked laughter. Or a childhood moment where sharing a sweet with a friend sparked the feeling of intense closeness. In everyday food situations I am interested in those intuitive moments where we leave space for the unconstructed and the uncontrolled, where we let the magic of emotions and memories flow.