Our road with Roxanne Brennen crossed during Design Week in Köln. We didn't know what to expect she was presenting her works at an intimate shop, She had a crazy idea of creating "Dining Toys"
She says: Our brain reacts to sexual acts and to the experience of eating in a very similar way. The pleasure centre is activated and releases endorphins. Having sex and eating are part of the human primary gratifications and animal instincts. They are basic needs influenced by the senses but also experiences enhanced by the loss of control, the discovery and the experimentation of the act. In the western civilisation, eating has become very controlled through etiquettes.
The tableware that we use creates boundaries and comes along with many rules. Our behaviour on how we eat, what to eat, when to eat it, how to handle the cutlery and interact with others at a table, has been set. The cutlery, bowls, plates, glasses are tools that have been created with this code of behaviour that is encored in our society. However, the experience of eating could become stronger along with the reaction we have to it, if we could lose this control. We can experience and discover the taste, smell, texture and sound of the food but not the way of eating it anymore.
Through a set of playful and sensual tableware inspired by sexuality, I am creating dining toys that allow us to eat in a different manner. It gives us the playfulness and discovery we have lost, allowing us to lose control and discover the action of eating again along with the animalistic instincts we have forgotten. Discovery tools to increase the pleasure of the experience through intimacy, sensuality and sexuality. For the material, I have chosen to use white stoneware for it’s plasticity as a material and it’s porcelain-like texture and appearance. It allowed me to be able to obtain a paler range of colours when needed (contrast with the stronger ones).
The pieces have all been made by hand for the reason that I wanted to be able to really construct and design the shapes thinking about how the relation between body and object would feel. In addition, it was important for me to play with weight considering the importance of playfulness and discovery in my concept and in the experience. Creating the shapes by hand gave me the possibility to produce very thin and fragile pieces. Therefor some of the toys are very light and will be handled in a more delicate manner then others. As it is in sensuality where you have a wide range of sensitivity."