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Students at Design Academy Eindhoven design from different perspectives but the concept is always closely related to culture, society and economy. Concepts could involve basic needs or anything beyond that. Looking at the basics the subject ‘food’ touches many of us, hence designers. Examples are last year's graduation show projects by our students such as Tealightful, Bread Bowl and Peelpride. These students put their knowledge into practice after asking crucial 'why' questions since research is vital to opening one’s mind.

Research in the field of fooddesign is done by our students and alumni. DAE alumnus. Marije Vogelzang for example has become a wellknown fooddesigner since she graduated in 2000. Designers all over the world focus on this subject. The Austrian designduo Honey and Bunny launched two publications and share knowledge during exhibitons and conferences. The two designers were also present at What Design Can Do (May 10-11, A’dam) which was also attended by some of our students, teachers and heads. This Austrian design duo doesn’t take anything for granted. Soundbytes of what they have found so far?

Food is not only about taste. Senses which are crucial to our experiences can be categorized as Taste, Smell, Consistency, Optics and Sound. Taste only has four dimensions: sweet, salty, sour and bitter. At the same time our nose can differentiate 287 smells. It’s a challenge to combine these variables. Furthermore, why not focus on consistency? Almost 60% of the emotions we experience during eating are evoked by the consistency of food in our mouth. Think about whip cream or candy floss. Obviously these products are not really about taste: A white product made out of milk and sugar and just a spoon of sugar? It’s definitely not about the experience of taste and smell; it’s all about the consistency of the food. Explore and magic is about to happen: mix consistencies and seduction is at your service: icecream with m&m’s, candy bars with caramel, peanuts and chocolate or sushi with rice, cucumber, salmon and caviar.

Besides the sensitive part it’s essential to research the function of design. Why does a bagel have one hole in the middle instead of two? Did you ever see a French baguette shaped this way? And the squared ham for your toasted sandwhich? It’s easy in your toaster. So when will we have croissant-shaped ham or cheese?! And sound: did you know people make a money out of researching the sound of food when it cracks? What’s is the best sound to create magic (and turnover)!

According to designers all over the world we should start asking ourselves: WHY is our food designed the way it is? And why do we eat the way we do? Eating food with a knife while Japanese people use chopsticks. How come? And why do only icecreams have eatable cones. Wouldn’t it be great if we could eat our juice bottle? Turning WHY into MAGIC is what the foodindustry seems to do every day. Behind closed doors by non-designers. We are challenged to rethink our food habits: ask WHY and turn it into anything BUT magic. Real, natural and transparent, could that open doors?

Last Salone del Mobile (Milan, April) we also exhibited projects of students with a food design link. For example Time Restaurant,Taggie and Housewine. This June a new group of talented students will have their final terms and graduate at Design Academy Eindhoven*. Chances are food is one of the ingredients for work to be presented. If so, the WHYness could reach a new level. Let the designers decide.

*)a selection projects by DAE students who graduated in December 2011 and June 2012 will be shown at the Graduation Show October 2012

Published: 11-May-2012 14:53
  • Why Magic

    fooddesign xl (Honey and Bunny)