“There’s so much wrong with food at the moment,” says Marije Vogelzang, head of Design Academy Eindhoven‘s brand new food department.
Immense waste, poor agricultural practices, a lack of engagement with our food systems—these are the kinds of issues that need to be addressed, she explains in an interview with Dezeen. And design is one way we can start to tackle them.
Which is not to say the Dutch academy’s new Food Non Food specialization is about saving the world or solving global hunger. But according to Vogelzang, our broken food systems need creative, conceptual thinkers. Who knows what could arise? Fast Company reports that graduates could one day work in a variety of sectors, such as restaurants, hotels, events, agricultural, packaging, and labeling.
“When I was a student at the Design Academy, food really was not a serious subject for design. I think that’s fascinating since designers always make things for humans and food is the very first thing a human needs.”
Vogelzang’s Bits and Bytes installation
A self-proclaimed “eating designer,” Vogelzang ran an experimental restaurant called Proef from 2004 to 2011, and has hosted unusual dining experiences like the 2005 Sharing Dinner where guests ate through slits in a vertical tablecloth, a 2006 Connection Dinner where the entire tablecloth was made of cooked dough, and 2010’s Bits and Bytes where a conveyer belt of balls ferried ball-shaped food around a table. But the Food Non Food curriculum, which is still being worked out, will be far broader and more holistic than that, says Vogelzang.
The one thing it will definitely not include is cooking.