Food Design

Philips Food Design Probes project, looking toward the future of food design

It’s Design Week again here in Milan: an inspiring conglomeration of creatives and designers from all over the globe that descend upon Milan for the world famous Salone del Mobile.

This year, I’m excited to attend the Food for Future project hosted by Milan’s Food Design & Art Museum. I thought I’d take this occasion to post about the fascinating world of food design, a relatively new and innovative field that can be quite confusing to describe. It’s currently a term that encompasses far too many products, ideas and philosophies to be easily defined.

Food Design makes possible to think of food as an edible designed product, an object that negates any reference to cooking, tradition and gastronomy.
Martí Guixé, innovator in the food design field

The website divided food design into several subcategories that help to better comprehend the subject. I’ve outlined these subcategories below, and added a few fun examples.
Design With Food is the design that decomposes, melts, swells, mixes and reassembles food as a raw material, transforming it to create something that did not exist before in terms of flavor, consistency, temperature, color and texture. Ferran Adrià and the other proponents of molecular cuisine are a great example of this discipline.

Ferran Adrià's "Hot Coffee Sphere," coffee that can be eaten like an oyster.
Grant Achatz's molecular creation "Tomato," for his Chicago restaurant, Alinea.

Food Product Design is the design of food to be mass produced. Recently, this category has been mixed with the “Design for Food” category, when the food itself also takes on the role of the utensil, container or packaging of food.

Spoonachos, the spoon-shaped nacho chips


Lavazza Cookie Cup - an edible espresso cup

Design For Food is the design of all the products useful to cut, chop, mix, contain, preserve, store, cook and present food. Packaging is an important part of this category, as it not only serves as a container, but as a means of communication.

Milk packaging concept designed by Julien De Repentigny and Gabriel Lefebvre
I love this idea for a cake tin, "Cake, reformatted" by Danklhampel

Dish Design is the design of the composition of the dish.

Obama Sushi Roll


Design About Food concerns the design of objects inspired by food. Check out my post from last year’s Design Week, entirely about hamburger-inspired creations.


Weird Clothing packages these shorts with a “Human meat” label.

Interior Design For Food is about products of interior design conceived for food spaces such as kitchens, bakeries, patisseries, bars and restaurants.


The WM Club (London)



Inamo: Interactive oriental fusion restaurant (Soho, London)


  • So HOW do you make those edible coffee cups? I’d love to try it at home…just to see if I can make it work Really neat!

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