Marije Vogelzang is a Dutch eating designer. She came to SA last year for the wonderful Spier Secret Festival and I was utterly inspired by her.
I chatted to Marije about how she got started, her projects and thoughts on food and design.
1. How did you get into eating design?
When I was a student there was no such thing as designing with food. I studied design at the design academy in Eindhoven and I tried to find the material that I could express myself in best.
Eventually I started working with food because it's nice you can eat it. I find it fascinating that it's ephemeral and that I make a design that you will consequently put into your body.
I did a white funeral meal as my first projects and then it took me some time to fully understand the potential of combining design and eating. Now I see that food is connected to everything in the world. That the world is shaped according to what we choose to eat every day. That food is connected to emotions and memories. That food can glue people together but it can also make a separation. food gives us meaning and nourishment but it can also make us ill.
All these things (and many more) are things that inspire me to work with food. It is the most rich and most important material in the world.
2. Do you feel a social responsibility to educate people around food?
Absolutely. People that have easy access to food seem to not value food as much as they should. This leads to waste.
Many people have forgotten how to cook, what real food is and to understand quality. On the other side you see poor people eating rubbish food. It's cheaper to buy food full of cheap fat and sugar than fresh produce. So you don't only need to educate people but also governments and food companies.
3. How do you go about making your projects a reality?
It depends on the specific kind of project but generally I choose a small team for every project and work as any other designer would.
4. How do you feel when you see emotion from people who have been touched by your projects?
Well that's the greatest gift there is.
5. How did you get your message out there to begin with?
I was doing everything I could get my hands on. And next to my design work I would clean toilets, work in factories at night and I was a mail (wo)man for a while.
I worked in a sushi restaurant and worked as a match maker for a dating-office (that was before internert dating) I was just doing and doing and doing.
When I started my first restaurant I got the chance to spread the word a bit faster.
To see more of her work, visit her website.
- Caro de Waal
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