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Sensorial Stimuli Cutlery was exhibited at Enozaal, Temporary Art Centre (September 21 – October 30, 2013 ) in Eindhoven, Netherlands by designer Jinhyun Jeon. The project’s goal is to create a richer experience of tasting through the creation of specific cutlery from porcelain, plastic and steel that stimulate the senses. The pieces are sensual and fetishistic: scientific and playful.
“Cutlery design focuses on getting food in bite-sized morsels from the plate to the mouth,” Jinhyun argues, “but it could do so much more. The project aims to reveal just how much more, stretching the limits of what tableware can do. Focusing on ways of making eating a much richer experience, a series of dozens of different designs has been created, inspired by the phenomenon of synesthesia. This is a neurological condition where stimulus to one sense can affect one or more of the other senses. An everyday event, ‘taste’ is created as a combination of more than five senses. ‘Tasty formulas’ with the 5 elements – temperature, colour, texture, volume/weight, and form – are applied to the design proposal. By exploring synesthesia we can stretch the borders of what tableware can do and the eating experience can be enriched in multi-cross-wiring ways.
The tableware we use for eating should not just be a tool for placing food in our mouths, it should become extensions of our bodies, challenging our senses, even in the moment when the food is still on its way to being consumed. Each of the designs has been created to stimulate or train different senses – allowing more than just our taste buds to be engaged in the act and enjoyment of eating as sensory stimuli; therefore, it leads the way to mindful eating which guides one to rediscovering a healthy and joyful relationship with food. How can we slow down the moment of each bite and taste enhanced sweetness while consuming smaller amounts of sugar? ‘Tasty formulas’, created by Jinhyun Jeon, helps us understand the fascinating ways in which we consume food with cutlery for enhanced temperature / tactility / color / volume / weight / form, interpreted in synesthetic ways.”
Jinhyun Jeon received her BA in Product Design and a MA in Spatial Design from Hongik University, Seoul, Korea in 2007 and 2009 respectively. She earned an MA in Social Design from Design Academy Eindhoven in 2012 where she established Studio Jinhyun Jeon. As the creative director of the inSTIMULI project Jinhyun has collaborated with Michelin two stars awarded restaurants and hotels in the Netherlands and abroad.
Jinhyun Jeon, Sensorial Stimuli Cutlery, 2013. All images courtesy Jinhyun Jeon
Mark Del Vecchio is a curator and collector. He is the former co-owner of Garth Clark gallery and is a Cfile.org contributing writer.