Dutch designer Marije Vogelzang has created a series of objects to trick diners into believing their plates are full of food, in order to prevent overeating. Behavioral research shows that our brain uses our visual capacities to register the amount of food we have eaten. For example, if we eat shelled peanuts and leave the shells on the table we will eat less than if we would take the shells away directly after eating the peanuts.
In the words of food psychologist Brian Wansink (Cornell University) we are not designed to actually keep track of how much we’ve consumed. Most of us seem to rely on the size – the volume – of the food to tell us when we’re full. We usually try to eat the same visible amount of food we’re used to eat.
The project Volumes is an attempt to influence our eating behavior and our eating culture. We have the tendency to overeat and are visually mislead by large plates and wide glasses. By adding volumes to your plate your brain will register more food than there actually is. Your stomach can’t count. Your brain will tell your stomach it had enough.
The shapes also enable you to place the food on your plate with more care and attention. They provide for playfulness and experimentation how to serve your food. They will direct attention to the plate for the eater to focus and therefore be more in touch with signals from the brain giving evidence that we should have eaten enough.
By giving more attention to the presentation of our food we might be able to change our mindless consumption behavior into a mindful experience. For centuries most of the tableware china consisted out of plates and bowls. These plates and bowls have grown together with our consumption behavior in the last centuries. We are adding the next step. Volumes to give body to your food and to keep your body healthy. This project has been created for the Food Revolution 5.0 exhibition at Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg, Germany.
all images courtesy of Marije Vogelzang