What taste experiences would you like to have in the library?

Nowadays an increasing amount of libraries offer a restaurant or café. It’s time we started thinking about the menu that is served there! Instead of standard meals that are available everywhere, we could serve dishes that are inspired by the context or history of the building, or recreate meals from famous books and movies. To strengthen the sense of community, we could also use local produce and suppliers or think up contemporary versions of traditional local and regional recipes, much like the Food Curators have done for the Dutch Zuiderzee Museum. Based on the history and customs of the region, these two designers have created a new menu for the Museum, using traditional ingredients. So now the food that is served there also brings back memories of the past.

Wouldn’t it be great to do something similar in the library restaurant and literally offer people some ‘food for thought’?


Edible Memories by Marije Vogelzang

Marije Vogelzang uses food as a storytelling device to explore people's memories and communicate their stories, taking advantage of taste and smell's unique power to bypass the processing parts of our brain and connect with our emotional self. The film captures an elderly woman's dramatic memories from World War II as conjured through one of Marije's concepts.

Charles Spence: Gastrofysica

Why are 27% of drinks bought on aeroplanes tomato juice? What's the effect of serving food on plates that are small or red or circular? Why do we consume 35% more food when eating with one more person, and 75% more when with three? This is just a small taste of gastrophysics , the new field of knowledge pioneered by Professor Charles Spence that combines disciplines including science, neuroscience, psychology and design. Using his two decades of research into the extraordinary connections between our senses, he shows how we can create more tasty, exciting, healthy and memorable eating experiences. Above all, to get the most out of every meal, we need to think about not only what's in the mouth, but also what's in the mind. more


Foodcurators operate on the intersection of food and design. We are concept developers with a focus on food. From this focal point, we formalize concepts with a vision on the future of food: How can we bring the food industry closer to the consumer? How can we fit cooking in our busy lives? How do we deal with invasive plant species that impoverish our vegetation? We design concepts and sketch predictive scenarios to help us look differently at food and its surroundings. more


Chocolate is consumed so much, especially in Asia, that we're running the risk of chocolate going extinct in 40 or 50 years. The cocoa bean farmers in South America are getting less and less money for their work every day and climate change also presents a very credible threat. Because of that, I want to celebrate chocolate in all it's diversity and glory and present it, as it used to be: a luxury item. You can compare this set-up to a wine tasting, where every part of the experience is designed to enrich the tastebuds and heighten the senses. Because of that I've designed five different ways to experience chocolate, based on our five senses. more

What's on the menu?

Help The New York Public Library improve a unique collection!

We’re transcribing our historical restaurant menus, dish by dish, so that they can be searched by what people were eating back in the day. It’s a big job so we need your help!

Snøhetta architects

A communal kitchen table is the social heart of our studio spaces. We believe in the importance of sharing meals with our colleagues and the added value this social time brings to our process. Outside of lunch hours, the tables become collaborative working areas for meetings, design charrettes, and informal conversations. more