Marije Vogelzang describes herself as an eating designer. She transforms the act of eating into a holistic, sensuous and sensory experience—with a political message.
Dordrecht, 20 kilometres from Rotterdam, is a charming little toytown, with picturesquely crooked canal-side houses in red brick with classic roadster bicycles parked outside, narrow streets and lanes where cars are prohibited to protect the ancient cobblestones. An old warehouse at the heart of its historic centre is home to the experimental laboratory of the world’s first eating designer, Marije Vogelzang. It’s easy to find; the way is flagged up by a modern self-service vending machine for handmade ceramics, embedded in the 17th-century masonry. The ground floor of the laboratory is crammed with sizable worktops, ovens, stoves and vaporizers. Every corner is filled with off-beat objects that reveal something of her work; the pyramidal shelf standing against the wall is a remnant from Eggchange, a project created for poultry producer Twan Engelen in which visitors were invited to buy fertilized or unfertilized eggs as if they were investing in company shares and make business decisions with their newly acquired capital. By illustrating the chicken and egg question, Vogelzang cast a light on the production chain behind our food industry and also questioned the ethics of our economic systems. The spacious room with its heavy beamed ceiling is a combination of artist’s studio and kitchen, where Vogelzang is in her element.