20Q: Marije Vogelzang

As a child she wanted to be Santa Claus's helper. But today Marije Vogelzang brings a different kind of fantasy to people's lives.
Posted 16 Sep 10 By Design Indaba Food Design Interviews / Q&A Comments
Marije Vogelzang.
Marije Vogelzang.

Marije Vogelzang is a designer who created her own creative discipline, that of eating design after she graduated from the Design Academy Einshoven. Since then she's busied herself with food installations and events, restaurant concepts and eating experiences. Vogelzang has also collected a number of awards, published a book and opened her own restaurant.

1. What did you want to "be" when you were growing up? First I wanted to be a “Black Piet” (The helper of the Dutch Santa Claus). Then I wanted to be captain of a boat and later a psychologist.

2. How do you know when a design is complete? It is complete when the people that have eaten my food have experienced it and have taken the design to the toilet. Actually I design shit :)

3. Do you recycle? Very much. Of course because I work with food we have chickens and a wormery (a worm-compost bin). But I also recycle plastic, paper, glass and sometimes even ideas...

4. What's the most adventurous thing you've ever done? Having my daughter and starting Proef (both at the same time).

5. What is one thing that you know you do differently to most people? I don't really think about the dangers of undertaking something. I'm a bit stupid and very enthusiastic. A dangerous combination.

6. What is your most coveted item in your wardrobe? I don't know what the word coveted means. Sorry.

7. Are you persuaded by packaging or is it what's inside that counts? Yes I look at packaging but also at the inside, it's equally important. Would you fancy a piece of the very best lobster wrapped in an old newspaper?

8. How did you begin your career in design? I made a white funeral dinner when I was still a student at the Design Academy Eindhoven. At that time food was never a serious subject of design. Since that project I found a new path: Eating design; designing from the act of eating.

9. What is your favourite book? I like the books of Gabriel Garcia Marquez and I do cookbook porn.

10. Has design ever disappointed you? It disappoints me in very many different ways. A lot of design is a waste of material.

11. What is your favourite place on earth? To be in my head.

12. If you could live in any decade, which would it be and why? I like to live now. Other times can have an appealing sheer of romanticism but I'm happy that I live now, and that I am able to be an independent woman that can work and make her own decisions.

13. What's the best piece of design you've seen recently? The Vietnamese Summer Roll. A salad in a packet!

14. What are you passionate about? About the cleverness of nature, about food being ephemeral but the most important thing on earth.

15. Can design save the world? I'm not sure if design can change the world but creativity can!

16. Who is your ultimate creative hero? My daughter, Juni. She is the ultimate fantasy maker.

17. If you could have a dream client, who would it be? Actually I have to say I am already blessed with having great clients. But it would be great to have a super large-scale client that also gives me creative freedom so the positiveness of my ideas can reach a larger audience.

18. What has been your most exciting design-related experience? There are many. Maybe serving original World War II recipes to people that have survived the war and the food brought back memories of that time.

19. What do you do on Sundays? I don't really do anything regular.

20. What makes you laugh out loud? Benny Lava.


Watch the Talk with Marije Vogelzang