written by:
March 19, 2013
Designer Martí Guixé is well known for his conceptual food design and ex-designer approach as well as commercial projects like Camper sneaker shops. We met with Guixé at Design Indaba, where he last spoke a decade ago, when Flash was all the rage. "At that time, all the people were new media," he recalls. "For me it's strange that after 10 years, I came with the same work, just older. It's a pleasure that the work is still current." His new book, Transition Menu, is forthcoming in English and Italian from Corraini.
Marti Guixe with food design menu
The designer with food design menu #05. Photo by: Imagekontainer
1 / 3
I-cakes by Marti Guixe
Prototypes of I-cakes, 2001. The pie graphic indicates the ingredients of the cake in percentages. Photo via food-designing.
3 / 3
Marti Guixe with food design menu
The designer with food design menu #05. Photo by: Imagekontainer

I wish we were meeting for a meal rather than here in the lounge. Do you ever play with your food at mealtime?

No, no. It's very conceptual work. It's this idea of looking at food as an object and then making a design project with usability, economy, all these parameters.

Okay, of course I can play. Actually most of the objects are models.

In the mid 90s I was very interested in mass production. Our lifestyle is changing. We eat in front of the computers. Why does food have to be so conservative and so traditional?

I-cakes by Marti Guixe
Prototypes of I-cakes, 2001. The pie graphic indicates the ingredients of the cake in percentages. Photo via food-designing.

The whole industrial food that some people call food design, is engineering foods. It’s done to improving manufacturing. In a way it's not ethical, it's not healthy, it's just cheap. Food design should be something that is very good for you.

At the beginning it was very strange for food magazines, but now it's really booming. I've already closed it as a concept in 2001. Still I am doing things, but it's always the same thinking, just new pieces.

So in theory food design is not influenced by any particular culinary history. Yet you live in Barcelona and Berlin, which both have strong food cultures. Don't these cities, and the meals they serve, influence your choices?

Barcelona has a very strong food culture. Of course I follow what's happening in food. And I know most of the chefs in Spain and Italy.

In the Transition Menu book, it's very clear that gastronomy goes into tapas, because it's a kind of production. And it goes into food design. It’s logical sequence. Barcelona is a kind of tapas paradise.

In Berlin, the food is much more of the north. The perception of food is not so much pleasure; it's more functional.

transition menu guixe book

Can you tell me about your new project, the Transition Menu?

Last year I did a project that didn't work for a film based on a chef. I was working on a kind of menu, which was very strange for me because I work in food design but not in gastronomy. I was thinking of this idea that a chef quits gastronomy, and then starts with food design. I have this theory that gastronomy is obsolete.

The Mart asked me to do a project. So I was thinking, I will take this project of the transition menu. Transition because it goes from gastronomy to food design. It's a kind of menu where you feel that gastronomy is no longer interesting.

I did this menu of 23 elements that define the borders of gastronomy and food design. That’s presented in the museum in Italy and in the book.

What are some of those 23 elements?

For example, instead of having a plate like that [holds horizontally], you have a plate like in the museum [holds vertically]. It's a kind of mousse that sticks. The ingredients are all healthy and make sense with the character.

How do you choose your materials? Do you use all the senses to select the items?

I work with several people who help me with the ingredients. Chefs, food engineers, dieticians. Food has a certain complexity.

For me, the least important things are the taste, smell, or texture. Those are things for a chef. I make a context to the food. And then I design a ritual: how you have to eat it, or why you have to eat it. I set some parameters, like it has to be fresh, or it has to help you remember.

Join the Discussion

Loading comments...

Latest Articles

Concrete floor, white walls, Bend sectional sofa, Metropolitan chair by B&B Italia, and Arper pouf in living room of Rhode Island family vacation home by Bernheimer Architecture.
Create comfortable areas to lounge, sit, eat, and entertain with these designs.
February 12, 2016
São Paulo apartment dining room with local wood floors and HAY chairs
From concrete to wood, these South American homes enjoy nature inside and out.
February 12, 2016
Custom cabinetry and trim in Chicago apartment renovation.
The Second City is second to none when it comes to inventive modern architecture, from Louis Sullivan to the present day.
February 12, 2016
Kitchen of 1956 midcentury modern Palm Springs home.
Celebrate Palm Springs Modernism Week, which runs from February 11–21, with a look at some of our favorite modern desert oases.
February 12, 2016
Gustav bicycle by Coh&Co
Designmuseum Danmark unveils a permanent collection highlighting new developments in Danish design.
February 12, 2016
A Seattle studio's courtyard
Every week, we highlight one amazing Dwell home that went viral on Pinterest. Follow Dwell's Pinterest account for more daily design inspiration.
February 12, 2016
Chalet in the French alps
An innovative glass addition adds contrast to a timber mountain lodge in France.
February 11, 2016
Aumas' assorted collectables.
Bright colors and vintage furniture are abound in these French homes.
February 11, 2016
Kogan designed a number of the built-in furnishings, including the headboard and cupboard in the master bedroom.The cupboard is deliberately reminiscent of a mid-century stereo speaker. The vintage lounge chairs are by Percival Lafer.
Need to relax? Make your bedroom an oasis from the rest of the house.
February 11, 2016
Modern Florida seaside home with corian island, dornbracht faucet, cees braakman combex chairs and marble knoll table in the kitchen
Read more about Knoll's impressive career here, but in the meantime, explore just a few of her works in these contemporary homes.
February 11, 2016
Modern small box home in Mexico
Letting the warm climate indoors is a common thread through these diverse dwellings.
February 11, 2016
Modern white cabinets under the stairs with skylight above
What could be better than a modest-sized house in a quaintly historic city?
February 11, 2016
dining room lighting
These renovations connect rustic, classic, and modern design in Italy.
February 10, 2016
12362509 211441865858796 1743381178 n1
Each week, we tap into Dwell's Instagram community to bring you the most viral design and architecture shots of the week.
February 10, 2016
modern outdoor garden room plastic polycarbonate
From colorful living rooms to a backyard retreat, Belgian designers reimagine vernacular forms and materials for the modern world.
February 10, 2016
Tel Aviv kitchen with custom dining table and Smeg fridge
Would you go for an out-of-the-box palette for your major appliances? See how these kitchens tackle the trend.
February 10, 2016
Exhibition view, of Klaus Wittkugel works at P! gallery, New York
On view through February 21 at New York's P! gallery, a new show explores the politics of Cold War-era graphic design with a presentation of works by Klaus Wittkugel—East Germany's most prolific graphic designer. Curator Prem Krishnamurthy walks us through the highlights.
February 10, 2016
Reclaimed cedar and gray-stucco home outside San Francisco.
The new kid on the block in a predominantly Eichler neighborhood, this Menlo Park home breaks the mold and divides into three pavilions connected by breezeways.
February 10, 2016
A third floor addition and whole-house renovation modernized a funky cottage on an unusual, triple-wide lot in San Francisco.
From modern interiors hidden within historic structures to unabashedly modern dwellings, these seven renovations take totally different approaches to San Francisco's historic building stock.
February 10, 2016
Delphi sofa from Erik Jørgensen and gyrofocus fireplace in living room of Villa Le Trident in the French Riviera, renovated by 4a Architekten.
The Aegean's all-white architecture famously helped inspire Le Corbusier; these five dwellings continue in that proud modern tradition (though not all are as minimalist).
February 10, 2016
San Francisco dining room with chandelier and Eames shell chairs
Brooklyn-based RBW's work—from diminutive sconces to large floor lamps—shape these five interiors.
February 09, 2016
Glass-fronted converted garage in Washington
These garages go behind parking cars and storing your drum sets.
February 09, 2016
Modern Texas home office with sliding walls, behr black chalkboard paint, concrete walls, and white oak flooring
From appropriated nooks to glass-encased rooms, each of these modern offices works a unique angle.
February 09, 2016
picnic-style table in renovated San Francisco house
From chandeliers to pendants, these designs make the dining room the most entertaining space in the house.
February 09, 2016
Midcentury house in Portland with iron colored facade and gold front door
From preserved masterworks to carefully updated time capsules, these homes have one thing in common (other than a healthy appreciation for everything Eames): the conviction that the '40s, '50s, and '60s were the most outstanding moments in American architecture.
February 09, 2016
Modern living room with furniture designed by Ludovica + Roberto Palomba
These oases by the sea, many done up in white, make stunning escapes.
February 08, 2016
A Philippe Starck standing lamp and an Eames chaise longue bracket the living room; two Lawrence Weiner prints hang behind a pair of Warren Platner chairs and a table purchased from a River Oaks estate sale; at far left of the room, a partial wall of new
Texas might have a big reputation, but these homes show the variety of shapes and sizes in the Lone Star State.
February 08, 2016
Montigo gas-burning fireplace in spacious living room.
Built atop the foundation of a flood-damaged home, this 3,000-square-foot Maryland home features vibrant furniture placed in front of stunning views of a nearby estuary.
February 08, 2016
Studio addition in Seattle
An architect couple sets out to transform a run-down property.
February 08, 2016
West Elm coffee table, custom Joybird sofa, and matching Jens Risom chairs in living room of Westchester renovation by Khanna Shultz.
Every Monday, @dwell and @designmilk invite fans and experts on Twitter to weigh in on trending topics in design.
February 08, 2016