Caesarstone by Marije Vogelzang

Marije Vogelzang creates sensorial Seeds experience at IDS Toronto

Dutch designer Marije Vogelzang took IDS Toronto visitors on a journey narrated by a seed, through a forest of ribbons to reach hidden areas that stimulated all five senses.

Vogelzang's installation for quartz brand Caesarstone, titled Seeds, invited participants on an audio tour that took them to different stations tucked among the coloured ribbons.

Caesarstone by Marije Vogelzang

"It's a sensorial installation," the designer told Dezeen "It's really immersive, so it's not just to look at. What it looks like it really just a tool for the experience."

"Design just to look at is very boring, which is why I work with food, generally," added Vogelzang, who heads up the food department at Design Academy Eindhoven.

Caesarstone by Marije Vogelzang

Before entering the installation, each visitor was given a headset and asked to eat one of two seeds – an act that Vogelzang compared to choosing the red or blue pill in sci-fi move The Matrix.

Once consumed, the seed then "spoke" through the headphones, prompted by scanning the audio device when reaching a station.

These spaces were intended to activate the different senses. For example, flatbreads were kneaded, cooked and served at one – the smell wafting through the installation.

At another station, visitors were encouraged to feed each other. Two people stood either side of a Caesarstone panel, punctured with holes for one to put their hand through, holding an edible morsel for the other to eat.

Caesarstone by Marije Vogelzang

"It's kind of scary, but it's also a really nice experience to eat from someone's hand, and have someone eat from your hand," Vogelzang said. "We never do that, especially with strangers, but the wall in between makes you feel more anonymous."

Other parts of the installation related to the seed's lifecycle, like an overhead water fountain that visitors could drink from to encourage it to grow. However, the seed understandably got uneasy at the flour-grinding station, which comprised a Caesarstone plinth and tools.

Caesarstone by Marije Vogelzang

A spot for tasting pasta and another for meditation were also included between the groups of brightly coloured ribbons, which were hung from a honeycomb arrangement of wooden frames.

The act of walking through the satin strips was also meant to slow down attendees at the IDS Toronto fair, took place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre from 17 to 20 January 2019.

Caesarstone by Marije Vogelzang

"This is a celebration of the senses, and of simple things," said Vogelzang. "In design, the things you cannot see are equally important."

Her previous projects based around eating include strangely shaped tableware to trick diners into believing their plates are full of food, and a secret vending machine outside her studio in Dordrecht.

Caesarstone commissions a different designer each year to create installations for events around the world, using its products in unusual ways. Tom Dixon, Snarkitecture, Jaime Hayón and Philippe Malouin are among the brand's previous collaborators.

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Caesarstone by Marije Vogelzang
Caesarstone by Marije Vogelzang