Design visions on an invisible, edible world

Embassy of Food

Embassy of Food

The core of the Embassy of Food, hosted by the Institute of Food & Design, is the EDIBLE INVISIBLE exhibition. Here you can experience something you can’t see: microbes. Microbes are everywhere and influence our lives to a far greater extent than we thought until recently. Our gut flora and what you eat not only influence our physical health, but also our emotional well-being, our behaviour and even our taste. Will we soon be treating Alzheimer’s and depression with diets? And what can designers do with such knowledge?

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‘This year, the Embassy of Food is focusing on the invisible components in our food,’ says eating designer and programme curator Marije Vogelzang. ‘Which is why I want to call the Embassy the Micro Embassy of Food, also to indicate that this year the Embassy is quite a bit smaller than last year. The programme is definitely not less interesting, though. We focus on food and design in relation to micro-organisms. We investigate wat designers can do with all the knowledge about the role of micro-organisms in our digestive tract, in the soil and for agriculture. We increasingly realize, for instance, the importance of bacteria and fungi in the soil for our lives and that it therefore can be important to grow your own food. We will offer visitors to the embassy a wide range of ways to experience the role micro-organisms play in our lives.’

Designers in particular can help us develop this new way of looking at bacteria and food. Designers find ways of enabling us to experience what those invisible, intangible microbes do and what their significance is for life. The EDIBLE INVISIBLE exhibition at the Embassy of Food offers designers an opportunity to do precisely that. One section of the exhibition will be provided by students at the Food Non Food department of the Design Academy who create an interactive experience that will give visitors a sensory experience of how microbes affect us. The other section of the exhibition consists of at least six projects by designers who work with food. For example, German students will present an installation in which people can grow algae by feeding them with bacteria from their breath and saliva. Another project uses chocolate as a wrapper for various bacteria. In this concept people are initially sent a bonbon containing a nanorobot which analyses the bacteria in their gut. Based on the results they are then sent chocolates containing bacteria that will improve their gut flora. Visitors will also be able to listen to music produced by fermenting sourdough.

Exhibitants: Anthroponix, Hannerie Visser (Studio H), Ina Turinsky en Andreas Wagner, Maria Apud Bell, Ogura Hiraku, Olivia Ioannou, Roza Janusz, The Eatelier en de Studenten Food Non Food / Tom Loois.

Future Food Design Awards

Alongside EDIBLE INVISIBLE the finalists of the Future Food Design Awards will also be on display at the Embassy of Food. This is the second year the award will be presented. The prize was established by The Dutch Institute of Food & Design (DIFD) in collaboration with Agri Meets Design. During the DDW the public can vote for the audience award.

Tea Talks and Food Futures

In “micro” interview sessions, The Dutch Institute of Food and Design invites visitors to share their critical design visions or wildest dreams on the theme ‘what design can do for food’. Tuesday until Thursday 15:00 – 16.30 hrs.

EDIBLE INVISIBLE is a project of The Dutch Institute of Food & Design (The DIFD) and is supported by Dutch Design Foundation, Design Academyand The DIFD and the Future Food Design Awards are supported by Het BankGiro Loterij Fonds, Brabants Kenniscentrum Kunst en Cultuur (BKKC), Het Stimuleringsfonds Creatieve Industrie, Stichting Stokroos, Agri meets Design, Design Indaba, MOLD.



The Dutch Institute of Food & Design creates a global platform for designers working with food and eating. We explore how we create food and what, why and how we eat. We show the relevance of food connected to design and design connected to food. We ask critical questions about the discipline and link designers to each other and other sectors. The DIFD brings an emerging design discipline to the next level. With our final goal in mind: to enrich eating cultures and address the societal and environmental challenges around food using design as a tool to achieve this.