©2018 by Merle Bergers Studio. 

The Belly Bar

In previous beliefs some people thought hat we all had a little man inside our body called 'Mannikin'. It would have the shape of a man, more ethereal in nature, but shaping the person in size and behavior.
A couple of hundred years later scientists find out that we have trillions of micro-organisms in our bodies and on our skin. The 1-3 kg's of microbiome we have in our our digestive system have an influence that reaches far beyond the gut. It determines how we feel, how we look, even how we act.

Researching about this subject we learned about the role of these organisms and concluded the microbiome could be an entity on it's own. To make this system more present we made wearable suits with a kind of amplifier to tap into the sounds of the gut. We hoped to share knowledge with this interaction based project, raise conscience about our digestive systems and the big role it plays in our daily lives. 

The belly bar came is a collaboration with designer Leif Czakai who constructed a device to listen to and amplify belly sounds. 

Project done at Design Academy Eindhoven as a continuation of the Salone del Mobile Eat Shit exposition organised by Marije Vogelzang. ‘16 Collaboration with Leif Czakai.

Photo’s Presentation Mediamatic by
Anisa Xhomaqi 

100% PULP project

What kind of application can be found for carrot pulp, a residual product of scraped, pre-packaged carrots? 

When scraping carrots into baby-carrots, 40% of the carrot is lost. I processed the pulp in my lab into things like bright orange bio-plastic, dye and edible fabric. By making use of the carrot pulp, I made not only use of the residual material, but it also renders other resources for creating the same products unnecessary. Win-win!

TASTE SHAPE SYNESTHESIA

This project was a research into peoples tasting shape abilities. Wine can have a 'round' moundfeeling, and we experience sharpness in chili's. What about chocolate? I had several shapetasters in action to eat chocolate and draw the shapes, textures and feelings they had in their mouth. The result is a collection of these shape experiences into a sillicon mould that can be used to mold chocolate or other foods (or porselain and wax in this case) to see if shape alters taste. 

Belly bowls

This project is about the differences in the eating-habits of people all around the world in different places and moments in history. The smallest bowl is a day ration of food in Auschwitz, and the biggest one of a person that ate herself to death. Quite morbidly so it raises a discussion about the question. What volume do we put in our own bellies? 

A more human sized gut feeling

We people are highly influenceable creatures. Our eating behavior is framed by our culture and environment, formed by the food and things that we use to eat with and people that are close to us, the *zing* of the sugar activating our brain and the size of our bowls. Relatives and friends, their voice even echo-ing when we are alone; ‚finish your plate!’. We seem to have a tiny focus point in the easy accessible abundance of the food landscape that we are in, which seems to be be distracted by our pleasure seeking minds gone astray.


As we as a whole do gain weight collectively by an average of a gram per day, which seems not a lot on one person, but does give an idea on how we collectively over-eat, and how obesity, adiposity the notion of how we get bigger and bigger are things to worry about. These are things that function as a catalyst for me to think about simple design-solutions. When hunting down food in times of scarcity ages ago, we used to be so effective in storing calories, and because of this very long times of scarcity we didn’t find protective measures against over-eating. Its the rational against the primitive self. The mind against the body. I plead to rescale back to the body, back to conscious eating.