Marije Vogelzang : Love in the Food-Design Laboratory

Edible Future: Marije Vogelzang

Marije Vogelzang runs her own food-design laboratory, Proef, in the Netherlands. She is inspired by everything that surrounds the act of eating – from the stories and rituals surrounding food preparation to the emotional impact of the texture and color of specific foods. The result? Edible art installations that are at once provocative and intimate.

“To complete this trio of investigations into food, we’re going to shift perspective,” says Zolli. Marije Vogelzang “looks with an artist’s eye at what it means to bring mindfulness and artfulness to the act of putting this wonderful stuff into our bodies.”

CC photo by Kris Krüg.

Marije Vogelzang (Pop!Tech biohomepage) is part of the Edible Futures module. She studied design at Eindhoven Design Academy in Holland, where she went to workshops in ceramics and plastic molding. “In the end, I find myself back in the kitchen — I open my cupboards and say, wow, I have lots of materials here! I see my kitchen tools, these are my workshop tools. Food is a material to work with.”

Edible Future: Marije Vogelzang

People think this means she’s a food designer. She wondered: if she would be a food designer, would that imply that she designs food? Food is perfectly designed by nature. Imagine a red cabbage sliced in two: it’s perfect. “I’m more interested in the verb of eating, what food does to your body, what food does to your mind, what food does to people in general.” She wants to apply design ideas and creative thinking to these questions.

She started a company called Proef. They do edible art projects, performance, and installation. Restaurant and food business concepts. Event catering. Consulting for food industry and hospitals. And so on. “I base my work on whether something is an interesting project,” she says.

The first project she did, as a student at the design academy, came when her teacher told her to do something with the color white. In many cultures, white is the color of death. She thought about funeral rituals. “If you’re Dutch and you die, people go to your funeral, they dress in black, they say they’re sorry and drink a cup of coffee and eat a slice of sponge cake and that’s it!” In many cultures there are really rich rituals around funerals and food. “Food is comforting to you. Food is the first thing your mother gives to you, along with her love.”

PopTech 2009: Marije Vogelzang from PopTech on Vimeo.

For more, read her book Eat Love, and learn about her “Pasta Sauna” installation