Beyond Taste

Beyond Taste

29 May, 2019

Led by:

  • Katja Gruijters – specializes in food and drink design.
Intended learning outcomes (more on programme level)

Part of Marres’ Workshops ‘Training the Senses’.

Learning objectives (course specific)

Explore the boundaries of taste.

Objective statement (course description)

Can we overcome the boundaries of taste?
In this session, we explore the associations and boundaries of the sensory world through a multitude of questions. How do we store sensory impulses in our memory archive? What is the meaning of sensory overload? Are food sensations comparable to other sensations, including for instance those of sex?

Supervised by food designer Katja Gruijters, students at ArtEZ Product Design Arnhem address these and other questions in a spectacular hands-on evening full of experiences.

Type of course :

extracurricular course

Target group :

general audience

Teaching method:




As part of the Training the Senses program, students from product design Artez came with food designer Katja Gruijters to test a series of challenges revolving around the sense of Taste.

  • There are paper bags filled with different food placed on a table and each comes with small note of instructions. The participants each take one paper bag and must follow the instructions given one by one. There is a line of tape on the ground, indicating where the participant must be when following these instructions, and every participant takes turn, while others watch.


  • Participants take turns to stand with their heads in a box. The box has a round opening with a tinted glass over it, through which the participant sees through. They are given headphones and listen to sounds as they eat and look at the rest of the participants from the tinted glass.
  • Participants are given pieces of paper to put around their eyes so they can no longer look forward, but only below, down at their mouths. They are given small pieces of food and are asked to eat, while paying attention to their chewing. Some participants are put in pairs and must look at each other’s chewing.
  • There is a construction where the participants can look into and see food inside (?). They have to feed the other person on the other side of the construction with the food that they see.
  • The participants are told to put on noise cancelling headphones, blind folds and clips over their noses, so that all the other senses are blocked. Meanwhile they are given a taste of different liquids or foods and are asked to reflect on how it is to eat something without the engagement of any other sense other than taste.
  • Participants listen to voice memo recordings of different foods being eaten (?) such as popcorn, corn marzena, corn can, raw corn, raw soy bean, hard mice of corn.

Examples of the instructions that come with the paper bags.

E.g. 1:

Step 1: place yourself in the taped square

Step 2: leave the bag closed

Step 3: crunch the bag, as much as possible

Step 4: take the spoon

Step 5: open the bag. “SURPRISE”

Step 6: enjoy your meal 😉

E.g. 2:

Step 1: place yourself in the taped square and open the bag

Step 2: take out the chocolate

Step 3: warm up the chocolate within the paper. You can use your full body to make the chocolate melt. Feel free!

Step 4: wait till its really liquid

Step 5 take a cracker and dip it in the chocolate

E.g. 3

Step 1: place yourself in the taped square and open the bag

Step 2: take out the stroopwafel

Step 3: hold it in front of your face

Step 4: look at it and count down from 30 – then take a bite

Step 5: hold the waffle back in front of your face

Step 6: repeat and count again down from 30

Step 7: repeat till the stroopwafel is empty. Take your time, enjoy!

E.g. 4

Step 1: in front of you, you see a typical Dutch pastry. It’s known for its difficult way of eating.

Step 2: place yourself in the taped square.

Step 3: take out the chop-sticks.

Step 4: eat the tompouce with the chopsticks

“eet smakelijk”

E.g. 5

Step 1: place yourself in the taped square and open the bag.

Step 2: unwrap the candy

Step 3: take the nutcracker and crack the candy

Step 4: put the crushed candy in the yogurt.

Step 5: invite someone from the public who hasn’t seen what you did and feed him/her

Step 6: let the person guess what they are eating

Assessment of learning : N/A
Effect (witness account, evaluation of the course)
Additional biblio sources (available at Marres)

  • Varieties of foods, constructions, instructions; headphones, blindfolds, nose clips, chop sticks, etc.