De Etende Mens

Exhibition at Designhuis Eindhoven

29 Jun 2012
6 Jan 2013

In De Etende Mens (Food Culture: Eating by Design) Premsela explores how design can enable us to make the changes to our food chain that are necessary to ensure a healthy future. Mediamatic's High Density Aquaponics Edifice and the Diesel Kantine (a collaboration with João Negro) are featured in the exhibition.


High Density 4-storey Aquaponic Edifice bij De Etende Mens - Tijdens de tentoonstelling De Etende Mens van Premsela in het Designhuis in Eindhoven. Lizzy Kalisvaart

The exhibition De Etende Mens showcases work by designers who concern themselves with the relationship between design, food, and (the origins of) what we eat. Curated by Marije Vogelzang, the works on display map people’s complex relationship with food and make visitors aware of how our food is produced. Mediamatic is interested in how new technologies can help us organize our communities in a sustainable fashion. That’s why our projects are a perfect fit for this exhibition.

Aquaponics High Density Edifice

Aquaponics is a sustainable, recirculating ecosystem for food production made up of fish, microorganisms and vegetables. Fish are kept in one container and vegetables in another. Natural bacteria convert the fish waste into plant nutrients. The water with the nutrients is pumped into the vegetable container(s), where the bacteria and the plant roots work as a filter: they clean the water, which is then released back into the fish tank. We feed the fish with the gluttonous, fast-growing larvae of the black soldier fly (hermetia illucens) found near the neighborhood trash. Result: happy fish and organic plants.

The 4-level set-up consists of one fish tank and three plant containers. It profits from all the benefits of large-scale sustainable food production, but on a human scale. The main structure is made from recycled shipping containers. It can be built in one day and hardly takes up any space.

Live feed Aquaponics systems

We've installed camera's in both aquaponic towers to see how the fish and lobsters are doing. We also placed grow-sensors in the grow beds that provide us with data (the graphs you see on the website below) concerning the moisture levels, light and temperature. View the live feed here.


High Density 4-storey Aquaponics Edifice in Het Designhuis - Willem Velthoven presenteert de High Density 4-storey Aquapnics Edifice bij de opening van De Etende Mens in het Designhuis in Eindhoven. Simone Schoutens


Bezoekers bewonderen de High Density 4-storey Aquaponics Edifice - Bij de opening van De Etende Mens in het Designhuis in Eindhoven. Simone Schoutens

Diesel Kantine

In the Diesel Kantine (Diesel Canteen) João Negro makes soap and bio-diesel from discarded frying fat. Two basic elements of everyday life: soap and fuel. The soap is scented with spices from our own aquaponics cultivation, and the bio-diesel heats the stove we use to cook our aquaponic fish and veggies. The energy and ingredients come from the neighborhood, and João returns the favor in food, knowledge, soap and affection. The Kantine and the neighborhood sustain one another.


29-06-2012 De Diesel Kantine - At the opening of De Etende Mens (2012) in the Designhuis in Eindhoven, João Negro processes old deep-frying fat (local fat) into soap and biodiesel. The soap is perfumed with herbs from the aquaponics culture. You wash your hands with it before eating and cooking and after defecating. The biodiesel is used to heat the kitchen where we make snacks from home-grown aquaponics fish and home-grown aquaponics vegetables. It is an eatery that runs in cycle with the neighborhood. The energy comes from… Simone Schoutens


Serving food from the Diesel Kantine - Tijdens de tentoonstelling De Etende Mens van Premsela in het Designhuis in Eindhoven. Lizzy Kalisvaart


More information

De Etende Mens is on view until January 6, 2013 at the Designhuis in Eindhoven. The exhibition is open from Tuesday till Sunday, from 11.00-18.00. Entrance fee is 5,-. Go to the Designhuis website for more information.