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About Marije


I was born in the Netherlands in 1978 in a middle sized town in the east called Enschede. I am married and have 3 kids called Juni, Januari and April. We live in Dordrecht where I work as well.

As a child I was interested in food but it wasn’t my main focus. I did like to do tests with food though to find out about the behavior of our dinner guests. My real interest in food started at the Design Academy Eindhoven where I started to understand how food has such a powerful emotional influence and how it can be used in rituals. I remember that as a child I was a bit bored by the food and bland flavors of Dutch cooking. Traveling to me meant getting in touch with new flavor experiences and understanding culture trough the tongue. I feel grateful that my work takes me all over the world to experience a different place and connect trough food.

Image by Ilja Keizer

short CV

After graduating at the Design Academy in 2000 I didn’t instantly realize that food would be my focus. I worked for a year at Hella Jongerius‘ studio and tried to shape my professional life. Next to all my endeavours I would always work on food related projects. In 2004 I started a restaurant-studio together with Piet Hekker called PROEF in Rotterdam and expanded in 2005 to Amsterdam for another PROEF at the Westergasfabriek. In 2008 I published my EAT LOVE book. In 2009 the Rotterdam PROEF was sold and became PICKNICK. In 2011 the second PROEF was sold so I could focus on my design work. In 2014 I became head of the new FOOD NON FOOD department at the Design Academy Eindhoven. In 2016 I initiated the Dutch institute of Food&Design.

Image by Heidi de Gier

Things I’ve learnt in the past

Deciding to step into a new path of a design field that didn’t exist at the time might seem a courageous thing to do. But I have to say it was just the thing I liked most (and I am a lousy product designer so I had few other options). Still I have to be honest that I find it sometimes difficult to explain to people what it is I do. 10 years ago people would mainly think I would design new shapes of food or do food styling. Now I see that more and more people understand the urgency and see the potential of food and design. Having had two restaurants taught me a lot about human behavior, about entrepreneurship and about the possibilities and boundaries of a small company. I still feel I am learning and working in this field fuels me with excitement every day.

Image by Annie Collinge

What does an Eating designer do?

Changing perspective

Many people think that designers working with food are making new food items or new shapes. I believe that we already have enough food and that a new shape should always have a reason for being. The literal design part is a tool to get to a result. It is not the result itself.  When we look at food we see that globally our food culture is withering away. Design can help to understand the possibilities of food. It can help us to re-value food. Design can bring new perspectives on what we have. It can alter our behavior into a more conscious one and it can enable us to celebrate food and use it as a means to ritualize our life so we can find meaning and connection.




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