Food as Art, and the Design of Eating

Eating Design Sugar Guns

Looking for an unusual wedding banquet? I may have found the answer for you- Marije Vogelzang and her food laboratory.

While contemplating the greater joys of food, I remembered hearing Marije Vogelzang speak at the annual PopTech conference last year. This amazing designer has created her own genre for food as art: Eating Design. After studying product design and worried about the wasteful use of materials, this Dutch designer turned to food. Viewing food as already perfectly designed by nature, she began focusing on creating unique and meaningful eating experiences.

Vogelzang’s edible art projects take on many forms, including installations, performance, and event catering. In every case, she explores cultural preconceptions of food, and attempts to change prior experiences or associations with what’s being eaten. At one catering venue for a large holiday dinner party, the designer took the tablecloth and hung the sides up instead of down, creating slits so diners were encompassed in this tent-like construction, transforming the relationship of the eaters to one another and to their food.

Color often becomes a prominent focus in Vogelzang’s work. In a project working with kids and their food perceptions, she arranged a series of healthy snacks according to color, and each color was associated with a feeling or meaning, such as red=energy or yellow=friends. Children then chose their snacks based on a desire for “happiness” or “energy” as opposed to the food itself, thereby removing their previous hesitancy or negativity toward healthy foods.

Other works include spoons made of sugar that melt into your coffee, candy “guns” that are meant to raise awareness that sugar is bad for you, and garden cress grown on clothing that can be used to garnish cocktails.

Eating Design Holiday Dinner Table

Eating Design at the Holiday Dinner Table

Eating Design Holiday Table

Eating Design Growing Water Cress