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"We introduce food as a spatial element"

Interview with Eva Raffaella Menga and Alexandra Mitsiou about 'Food Design Still'

11 December 2019
© Alexandra Mitsiou

After the workshop 'Food Design Still', led by Eva Raffaella Menga and Alexandra Mitsiou, took place at MAD for LUCA Schools of Arts, we had a talk with Eva and Alexandra - founders of COMMON CONNECTION - to exchange thoughts about food, design and future projects.

Could you present your collective CC?

CC is a collective network that portrays people of diverse creative backgrounds.
The foundation of COMMON CONNECTION is our online platform, this due the international network where we share the common believe of visionary and innovative productions. Threw the online collaborations we work individually from out our offices on the assigned pre production, as a result the team evolves powerful on designresearch and architecture from a geographical distance. The CC team consists nowadays of a group of friends and acquaintances. When running an office there is so much work that focusses on individuality so we look forward to the moment he production is finally happening, where we connect the common connection.
We focus on our awareness, and this is where our strengths lie. Within this contemporary creative culture, the business is in a constant change, threw the CC collective we founded a dynamic and relevant design tool that is constantly adding value. With the CC network, overall concepts are established with architecture as a foundation, personal branding by it looks, website development to the next level, to scenery and art direction. 

Where does the project come from? What are your main inspirations?

When in Berlin in 2016 we found ourselves with a group of architects dining at our friend’s Olafur Eliasson's studio kitchen, and we enjoyed endless conversations about how food is as exact and precise in its textures and form like architecture, design and art. In my opinion it is necessary to find the common connection in a collaborative production, a few years ago I received comments that combining several disciplines takes the focus away from the essence. But what is the essence of a concept when all isn’t connected ? I took that critical comment as a research topic in architecture and educational institutions since I lecture at LUCA School of Arts, Brussels and UDK, Berlin.
With CC I planted the seed of common interest as a statement, because we believe that a multidisciplinary team is our future.
Since that day I challenge my office to research on a broad range of topics, this threw case studies and workshops in order to make CC enduring, relevant and ever evolving. With the "Design-food-still" workshop that we custom made introduced to Bozar productions and this year launched the second edition in MAD, we introduce food as a spatial element, this by exploring the position of food as part of the architectural interior.

What is your definition of “Food Design”?
The best way to understand Food Design is to understand that it exists two separate words by definition, food and design.
In my opinion "Food Design" is, simply, the connection between food and design. Food Design is the design process that leads to innovation on society, services and systems for food and eating: from production, to preparation, presentation, consumption, to composition and social design. 

How would you describe the relation between architecture, design and food?
The relation is right in front of us, just as simplicity is complexity resolved, it is Food and Design and Architecture with capital letters that rule the (meaningful) world. And let’s not forget the arts, especially now (!) they are endangered by the current governmental madness that tries to separates entities and people so they would feel alone. But the strength lies in shared creative relations, so we move forward in a collective force that can construct it al, we are never alone when we are together and if we are alone, we are all together in it that too ! We welcome those who share our values and possess the traits we believe are necessary to extend CC.
Don’t hesitate to contact us, send your application to

  © Eline Willaert
  © Eline Willaert
  © Eline Willaert
  © Eline Willaert
  © CC for Bozar

How was your experience with students, from an experiment project to education?  
Working with the students is always the most interesting. Their minds are an ever evolving process with an unpredictable path. We always get surprised by their motivation, sensitivity on the subject. The way they gradually open up their senses and mind to grasp the subject and contribute to the best result with their creativity and ideas.

How will the project evolve?
This second edition of the food design stil workshop is already an established fact and there is gonna be a follow up for the year to come. Our current experiences and inspiration at the time will guide us to form the third edition of the workshop. We further research with Olafur Eliasson’s kitchen studios, Chipperfield kantine and architects, Dutch Design Week and we are considering a proposal for Collectible Art Fair.

What will you remember from this 1st collaboration with MAD, Home of Creators?
MAD is a home for many and a considerable good working space that gives multifunctional possibilities to creatives.

This CC collective production is embodied by Eva Raffaella Menga, Alexandra Mitsiou and Norayr Khachatryan
Exposition furniture c²: furniture by Hannes Tollebeek and Jana Brandtlová - 3IV LUCA School of Arts
Production designer ; Sulo Balta , Amber Bertier, Céleste Buyle,  Sasha Callewaert, Julie De Clercq, Fleur Desender, Hanane Ettaziti, Marie Grosemans, Amber Jamaer,  Robert Lacko, Ilona Pierre, Laura Rashad, Charlotte Tavernier,  Catherine van Eyll, Indra Van Havenbergh,  Kjoesie Van Overmeire - 1IV LUCA School of Arts.