Designer Katinka Versendaal leads a multi-disciplinary, research driven design studio which uses speculative gastronomy as a tool to provoke an exploration of ideologies and ethics about who we are, where we are headed, and what that will taste like.
Building on the thought that ‘we are what we eat’ Katinka’s work investigates the historical, ecological and socio-cultural context of food and translates her findings into food experiences, products and installations in order to propose alternative visions for the future.
The studio’s ambition is to redefine the nature/culture divide, uncover the deeply interdependent and intertwined relationships between humans, the world and the beings surrounding us and envision regenerative and just futures of food.
It often seems almost easier to imagine an apocalyptic
future than the radical systemic changes needed for
a more livable and fair future. The logic and activities
of the capitalist system dominate our thinking and
strongly influence the way we perceive and experience
the world around us. As a result, they are subconsciously
intertwined with our ideas about the possibilities for
the future. In this context, the dualistic value system
has become dominant. It is a system formed around
the separation between humans and nature, where
the experience of nature is portrayed as something
“outside” of “ourselves”; a cheap, or even free, and
seemingly endless resource to take from and exploit.
This value system has led to where we are today;
in the midst of a planetary climate crisis and
a global health crisis.
Scientific research has shown that there is a direct
link between our diet, public health, food production,
climate and biodiversity. In this, food is the connecting
factor between so-called macro and micro levels;
between the local and planetary scales, between
individual choices and global behavior, and between
human health and planetary well-being. Food is
therefore the crucial topic and medium through
which we can initiate a redefinition of our current
dualistic value system and through which concrete
interventions can be made.