EINDHOVEN, Netherlands—We often talk about elevating ordinary objects to something more, but generally nothing quite in this direction or to this level. Let us introduce this series of dining tools (let’s be honest, toys) designed in a way which the designer Design Academy Eindhoven graduate Roxanne Brennen claims helps trigger the same brain activity as sexual foreplay.
“Our brain reacts to sexual acts and to the experience of eating in a very similar way. The pleasure centre is activated and releases endorphins. Having sex and eating are part of the human primary gratifications and animal instincts. They are basic needs influenced by the senses but also experiences enhanced by the loss of control, the discovery and the experimentation of the act.”
Presented during Dutch Design Week (October 21 – 29, 2017), the Dining Toys collection featuring sensuous eating objects, including irregularly shaped vessels, plates and utensils molded by hand from white stoneware. Each draws its user in on a experiential journey, maximizing food-derived pleasure by deliberately slowing down the process of eating, releasing endorphins in the same way that sex does.
Similar to losing oneself in a sexual experience, which can heighten, even transcend, that experience, the series encourages users to experiment with- and fully immerse themselves in- the spherical bowls, kidney-shaped spoons and plates with bulbous protrusions. Users may find themselves dipping their tongue, slurping and swirling it all around in order to fully experience each scrumptious morsel.
Originally from France, Brennen says she was struck by the formality and control of dinning etiquette in western civilization.
“The tableware that we use creates boundaries and comes along with many rules. Our behaviour on how we eat, what to eat and when to eat it, how to handle the cutlery, how to interact with others at a table, has been set.”
In controlling these parameters Brennen tells Dezeen diners are unable to fully arrive and be present in their own dining experience arguing, “we can experience and discover the taste, smell, texture and sound of the food but not the way of eating it anymore.”
“We have a set way of eating nowadays. Our etiquette restricts the brain, because our actions are being controlled. Eating is an animalistic instinct, but our current way of doing it minimises the experience.”
You can see more of Brennen’s collection here.
Dezeen writes “Brennen is now collaborating with a chef to create recipes that complement her tableware, and wants to create a pop-up in which the entire environment is optimised for pleasure, and where diners can chose their own utensils to eat with.”
Do you love or loathe these sensuous dining tools from the world of contemporary ceramic art and contemporary ceramics? Let us know in the comments.