FOOD exhibition at Design Museum Holon

13 Sep 2023

Design Museum Holon presents three exhibitions exploring the relationship between food and seduction. Now open until November 11, 2023.

Photo credit: Elad Sarig

Design Museum Holon is proud to announce its upcoming exhibition, "FOOD," which explores the crucial role of design in shaping the seductive relationship between humans and food. The exhibition features a diverse collection of over 200 works by artists and designers from Israel and around the world, presented through a range of mediums and creative techniques. These include art and design objects, everyday off-the-shelf products, interactive installations, and video works.

The exhibition includes notable highlights such as the "Large Chocolate Chip," meticulously crafted for an exquisite tongue sensation; the room-sized "Cloaca" machine, simulating the human digestive system; a knitted meat steak; and a captivating Junk Food Mandala.

Photo credit: Elad Sarig

The exhibition showcases works by esteemed designers and artists such as Wim Delvoye, Naoto Fukasawa, Ron Arad, Studio Lernert & Sander, FormaFantasma, Bompas and Parr, Mischer’Traxler Studio, Sigalit Landau, Reddish, and Omer Polak, among others.

"The idea of staging an exhibition concerned with food has intrigued me for years," explains Maya Dvash, Chief Curator of Design Museum Holon. "In 2016, we held an exhibition about vision and eyeglasses. In 2017, the exhibition 'Sound' was devoted to hearing. It seemed only logical that our next exhibition about the senses would be concerned with food. The exploration of food and the processes of its design and consumption reveal a range of design-related considerations, emphases, and choices while raising questions about the impact of food on culture, identity, and the emotions that shape our experience."

The museum dedicates its entire exhibition space to three distinct exhibitions that provide fascinating insights into the subject. The main exhibition, "Food," curated by Liora Rosin and Dana Benshalom, examines the elusive relationship between humans, food, and seduction, offering a captivating exploration of this intimate connection.

"The saying 'You are what you eat,' which points to the connection between food and health, seems truer today than ever before," said Liora Rosin and Dana Benshalom, curators of the "Food" exhibition. "Our culinary choices define and shape our identity, in our own eyes and the eyes of others. The food we consume reveals much about our set of values and beliefs, as well as our priorities. You are what you eat, and sometimes you are what others see you eat. The 'Food' exhibition explores the basic yet tangled relations between humans and their food and the complex role of design practices in this equation. It seeks to explore the various strategies of seduction activated both in the natural world and in the human world while delineating the sequence of transfers on the food chain. The hundreds of works featured in this exhibition are sure to awaken and excite both the stomach and the mind."

In the Peripheral Corridor Gallery, visitors can explore "Colored," an exhibition curated by Lior Hermoni-Gati, Director of Aharon Feiner Eden Materials Library, that explores the role of food colouring and how vision influences our interpretation of the colours of our food. The exhibition invites visitors to reflect on the cultural context of food and its taste.

The Design Laboratory features "A Taste of The Future," an interactive, AI-powered sensory installation curated by Talia Janover that examines the future of food. The exhibition encourages visitors to explore the relationship between scent and memory while appreciating the beauty of imperfection.

The exhibition presents special projects that emerged from Pais Art and Design Greenhouse, in collaboration with Design Museum Holon, created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.


About the exhibitions


Curators: Liora Rosin and Dana Benshalom

The relations between humans and their food are characterized by seduction: The sound of a sunny-side-up egg being fried in a pan, the smell of fresh bread, grill marks on a seared chunk of meat, or the feeling of holding a ripe avocado in one’s hand – these are just a few of how we are seduced by food. Surprisingly, taste is the last of the five senses to participate in our eating experience. The other four senses – hearing, smell, sight. and touch – means of protection from an evolutionary perspective – are responsible for the sense of desire or repulsion that food awakens in us.

Humans and their food entertain a reciprocally influential dialogue. The human cultivation of food began with our prehistoric ancestors, who gathered, hunted, and grew produce. It continues today with contemporary processes of enhancement, preservation, and development. Food, in turn, shapes, seduces and defines humans. We are catalogued personally, collectively, and socially as vegetarians, vegans, and carnivores, by the types of food we consume and how we consume them: organic or processed, home-cooked or ordered, alone or together. Food and our concern with it give expression to the set of values we adhere to in our everyday lives while shaping social and individual identity and self-perceptions, as well as the perception of others. We are what we eat, and sometimes what others see us eat.

In the design world, food is both an actual and a symbolic raw material. Designers today are involved in researching, developing, and designing various stages in the life cycle of food, while responding to contemporary consumer culture, at times even critically. The exhibition examines the basic yet tangled relations between humans and food, as well as the complex status of design in this equation, using three chapters: “Needs and Desires”, “Attraction and Repulsion”, and “Restraint, Preservation, and Liberation.” These dual concepts all exist in the term “seduction.” The works in the exhibition reveal different natural and artificial strategies of seduction while offering contemporary narratives about humans and their food – stories that stimulate both our stomachs and our heads.

List of participants

Aroma Retail (manufacturer), Alon Sarid and Anat Gutberg, Aram Gershuni, Astronaut Foods (manufacturer), Aya Bentur and Bili Regev, Bar Faber, Bompas & Parr, Carolien Niebling, Christien Meindertsma, Clémence Althabegoïty, Dan Perez and Natasha Boguslavsky, Einat Arif-Galanti, Eyal Pinkas, Formafantasma, Guy Mishaly and Rachel Boxnboim, Hamutal Hayun, Helmut Smits, ‎Hennessy Hammock (Manufacturer), Henry Hargreaves, HomeBioGas (Manufacturer), Kal-Kar Ein Carmel (manufacturer), Kellogg's (manufacturer), Kroonipuu (Manufacturer), Maya Ben David and Ori Ben Zvi, MAYU Water Art (Zeev Zohar and Shay Eden), Megahouse, Mela Foodart (Michal Evyatar, Carmel Bar), Michael Sperer, Michal Fargo, Mischertraxler Studio, Jenny van Sommers, Moon Seop Seo, Moreno Schweikle, Naoto Fukasawa, Next Nature Network, Nitsan Mayost, Noa Lamdan, Office Masaru Emoto, Omer Polak, Reddish (Naama Steinbock and Idan Friedman), Remy Labesque for Dandelion Chocolate, Ron Arad, Roni Landa, Shahar Kedem, Shira keret & Itay Laniado, Sigalit Landau, Simon & Jane Berry (ColaLife), Tim Llewellyn (PI Global), Steve Giralt, Studio Lernert & Sander, Vestergaard Frandsen (Manufacturer), Watermark Community Church, Wello (manufacturer), Wim Delvoye, Yonit Crystal, Yuval Harel


Curator: Lior Hermoni Gati

The cliché of “a visual feast” supports the belief in an inextricable connection between our sense of taste and our sense of sight. In contrast to other clichés, however, this argument is a carefully researched scientific finding. While the visual allure of food is amplified in the current age of consumption and is supported by displays on social media, this phenomenon is not unique to modern society; indeed, the sensory fusion between taste and smell was already acknowledged in ancient Greece.

What is the nature of colour? At the dawn of human civilization, hunter-gatherers relied on colour when gathering their food. In ancient Egypt, candy confectioners enhanced the colour of sweets using plant extracts and wine to amplify their seductive power. At present, foods with bold, bright, artificial colours create an expectation for bold, rich flavours. At the same time, growing awareness of the dangers inherent to industrial food products and synthetic food colouring has led to a demand for the use of natural ingredients, requiring food producers and marketing specialists to creatively select the colours and additives employed in the marketing of food.

And what is the taste of colour? In addition to an aesthetic experience, food colours and colourings carry a range of meanings related to our health, values, and cultural world. A combination of colours on the plate suggests a healthy, rich, and balanced diet. Red is identified with flavours and qualities such as sweetness and ripeness, while green is identified with acidity and freshness. But how dominant is colour in creating an expectation for a certain flavour? What is the flavour of a blue drink? What is the “right” colour for an egg yolk? And what does black represent in the context of food in addition to rot, mildew, and poison?

The “Colored” exhibition focuses on the ability of our sense of sight to read, interpret, and analyze the colour, flavour, and cultural meanings of different foods. Its five chapters explore a gamut of foods, ranging from food that has been stripped of its original colour, to foods whose fantastic colours do not exist naturally. It includes colourful packaging that alludes to the quality of the food, natural plant and animal-based food colourings, and the colour black, which alludes at once to an end and a beginning. These colours, which lack all nutritional value, are the cause, and sometimes also the result, of intentional or arbitrary technological and natural processes, as well as of marketing manipulations.

We invite you to explore conceptual and symbolic assumptions associated with different foods and colours and to reflect on the truthfulness of the saying that the appetite is awakened by the sight of food.

List of participants

Aurimas Kadzevicius, Bioforcetech, DAVID Miami and INGO Stockholm, Elaine Yan Ling Ng, Fabula, Ferrara Pan Candy (manufacturer), Isaac Monté, Jelly Belly (manufacturer) in collaboration with Warner Bros., Kosuke Araki, Krill Design, Lawrie Brown, Mizuiro Inc., Naama Nicotra, Pepsico (manufacturer), Rob Flowers, Shahar Livne, Sugar Lab, Tamar Kalif, Wrigley (manufacturer), Yulia Fitie

A Taste of the Future - An Interactive Sensory Lab

Curator: Talia Yanover

The impressive development of genetic engineering, artificial intelligence technologies, and new ways of studying the complexity of the human brain have not changed the essential need of humans over the past 200,000 years – the need to eat to survive. Humans have always been required to invest great efforts and resources to cultivate, gather, or hunt their sources of food, by their abilities and the resources available in their surroundings. What has changed significantly, however, is the relationship of humans to their environment. Whereas prehistoric humans knew they were a symbiotic part of the biosphere – both nourishing it and being nourished by it to survive – modern Western civilization is on a constant quest to conquer and subjugate nature. This behaviour is supported by the belief that Earth and its resources are intended to serve the needs of the human species, and ignores almost entirely the signs of distress emitted by nature – the ecological crisis we are currently experiencing.

Numerous human causes threaten our nutritional security in the current age, including accelerated population growth, pollution caused by the meat and fashion industries, overfishing, declining biodiversity, and more. The consequences of these actions include rising temperatures, changes to the concentration of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere, the growing acidity of the oceans, massive extinction of numerous species on land and at sea, rising sea levels, desertification, and the outbreak of diseases suffered by edible plants. In this context, it is difficult not to wonder what cultural and nutritional changes are called for so that humans may survive. What will be the role of insects, mushrooms, and seaweed in our nutrition? What techniques will we use to prepare the foods of the future, and what will they be made of? How can we enrich the sensory experience of eating using other senses? And how can heirloom seeds participate in restoring the delicate ecological balance for future generations?

The works on display in the Design Lab explore the future of our food through the prism of the senses. We were raised to believe that we perceive the surrounding world through only five senses – sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch. According to contemporary neuroscientists, however, humans have dozens of senses and sub-senses that work together to process variegated information in the brain. These include senses that transmit information concerning hunger, satiety, and thirst, a sense indicating where our different body parts are about one another, and even a sense of movement and acceleration, which enables us to understand the relation of our body to the space we inhabit.

Although the future has yet to arrive, scientists, researchers, and designers are already connecting the past and future, extending the limits of the human imagination and revealing the potential embodied in possible futures. We invite you to activate all of your senses as you experience a taste of the future.

List of participants

ReactionTie Collective (Limor Prertz Samia, Inbal Reuven, Doron Naama Gelfer, Nir Jacob Younessi, Olga Stadnuk), Rotem Nachoom, Hilla Shamia