The Food & Design Manifesto

The Food & Design Manifesto

What can design do for food? This is the key question of The Food & Design Manifesto. This collection of world wide visions is not static. Like food. It will be living, decaying, blossoming and spreading seeds just like food does.

We are delighted to present the starting point of our Food & Design Manifesto. The international correspondents of the Dutch Institute of Food & Design share their views on “what design can do for food”.  At the Dutch Design Week 2018 we will be feeding the Manifesto during live interviews and the Manifesto Event at our micro-Embassy of Food. After this kickstart, the Food & Design Manifesto will be growing, be digested and changing: we will collect insights and visions worldwide, in cooperation with What Design Can Do. While the Manifesto grows, as will our map, illustrated by Su Hyun Park.

Marije Vogelzang, eating designer and initiator of the Dutch Institute of Food and Design, explains why this Manifesto is created: “The issue with food and design is that many people don’t know what it is exactly. That’s why the Food & Design Manifesto is a great starting point, a way to have all our voices together, making the intangible tangible and showing that we are a global movement linking many people from different fields together. It’s not like many other manifestos in that it is making one statement, but it’s actually showing that we’re there, “manifesting” a sign of life, which can help us amplify each other.

Our correspondents create the starting point, because they represent a larger area in design, and we can really look at it globally. They have experience as well as diverse knowledge and an overview on the topic, to make a base from which we can continue. Food, if you compare it to other parts of design, is cyclic – living and growing and decaying again. This is actually the reason why a lot of designers want to work with food, because it’s not static. The Food & Design Manifesto shouldn’t be static either – it should also be living, decaying, blossoming and spreading seeds just like food does.” 

Josephine Abou Abdo

If food shapes a whole culture, identity, and society then design revamps it. Design can provide present and future innovative solutions to the whole food process from production to consumption. Adding a touch of design to an ‘eating’ action transforms it into an experience. Design can use food as a tool to save the world; Everyone wants to eat. Design can help with creating better, innovative, future foods. Design can stop over-consumption.


Emilie Baltz

“To me, design is the scientific process applied to creativity. When design is applied to food it allows us to organize our process of creation by following the steps of research, observation, ideation and expression. Through this process we not only discover new solutions to problems in the food industry, but also communicate more fluently with each other while solving them.”



Tina Breidi

“Food today is mass-produced, cheap and unequally accessible. Design can give back food its real value by tackling global food issues and offering opportunities to improve our ethical, sustainable and ecological relation with food, for a healthier communal planet.”



Chieri Higa

“Design has the power to join the interests of environment, consumer, and industry. These three groups often seem to be at odds with each other: e.g., consumers want more food for less money, which the industry provides (at the expense of the quality of food), often at the cost of the environment. Designers can begin to close these rifts by creating a vision where the gaps have already been filled. By planting ideas, design can affect the way people look at and experience food, which will change the way they value it. A change in the attitudes of consumers will lead to changes in the way the industry provides food.”



Ines Lauber

“Design can serve as a bridge between problem and solution, using unconventional and innovative thinking to tell a story, make knowledge accessible, connect people or simplify complex structures. Good design can, for instance, help to understand and solve the issues created by today’s food system and eating habits.” 



Albert Fuster

“Design should raise awareness on human beings on how food relates them to the environment. The strength, radicality and frequency with which we interact with food is a media for design to leap to a desired and better future. Design can promote food to be understood as culture and, doing so, to enhance the meaning of our lives and our traces on the world. Every decision related to food should be designed, as long as every transcendental action of our life.”



Richard Mitchell

“For me, design provides a bridge between the different spheres of influence for food. It can allow farmers to understand consumers, consumers to understand the science for food or the wider population to better grasp the enormity of the impact of our current food system. It can also provide a connection between different scales of food production and consumption by highlighting how individual consumption patterns contribute to global food production. Design could (no, should) be at the centre of all of our food systems as it can be used to develop everything from new foodways and production systems to the renewal of commensality as a core part of community as we move into a post-capitalist world.”



Su Hyun Park

“Food is not a mere physical material but a tangled subject in the context of which designers can play various roles to accomplish their purpose. Designers in the food domain are not food experts but are observers to point out knotty problems and are facilitators to link all related professionals in the field in order to solve them.”



Pedro Reissig

“Just as form plays a fundamental role in many areas of design practice and theory (architecture, products, communication, fashion, etc.), for some reason it has not received much attention in regards to food, such a vital and transversal aspect of our personal and community lives. Looking at food from a perspective of design (food morphology in this case) opens up an immense universe for exploration and application ranging from the form that nature offers us food, to how we transform it through multiple and diverse processes of design. The form of food is relevant to better our bodies, be more meaningful in our lives, especially regarding function and identity. Food forms matter!”



Nataly Restrepo

“The unconscious presence of food on our lives, the extra functional-driven habits and the unnecessary convenience of the industry, reduced the symbolic importance of food, turning It into simple commodities without any emotional connections. We must use the best tools of Design to restore food’s profound meanings through deliberate and reasoned processes that will reshape our environment and our relationship with it. Design will create coherent, approachable and positive motivations that will certainly take us to a more human and empathic future for food.”



Yunwen “tutu” Tu

“When food meets design, it always turns into a discussion between nature and technology in different cultural or social context. Design allows us to discover interesting conversations and valuable challenges through holistic research and experimentation. We capture those meaningful moments and break down the abstract intentions into edible/visible artefacts. Design has the nature of communication and interaction. It invites general public to be aware of the food problems and facts in a more tangible way. Designers can use food as the natural and familiar media to create social impacts. Food design is the key to re-purpose tradition and shape of the future.”


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