Starting with an in-depth exploration of materials, Matthias Borowski’s thesis project carefully examines the considerations designers employ when working with food as a primary material. Using a chef’s approach to preparation as a starting point of inspiration, Borowski uses food production and cooking as a source of inspiration to guide the design of his final objects. Using Gault & Millau’s “Ten Commandments of Nouvelle Cuisine” as a starting point, the designer expresses some of the foundational tenets below in his project Manifesto.

  • Every material stimulates the senses.
  • The material must be identifiable in the object with its sensory components.
  • There is always a better material.
  • All materials can be combined with each other.
  • Natural or artificial – we don’t care!
  • Ask the material what it wants to be!
  • There is no right and wrong – Just do it!
  • Every production process transforms the character of the material.
  • The starting point for an object is the material – NOT the other way round!
  • The cost of the material does not reflect the value of the material.

With a pre-disposition for candy (see Borowski’s Candyman experimental sex toys), the project translates the colors, textures, layers and expressions into design objects. Chewy nougat, translucent hard candies and jelly rolls are reinterpreted and scaled up to transform rooms into a candyland fit for Willy Wonka.


Part of a longer term project, The Importance of the Obvious, Borowski’s primary purpose is to explore the possibilities of a material-led design process. Borowski notes that oftentimes, materials are chosen for a primary purpose—their other “dormant potential” overlooked. Borowski shares in the abstract for the project, “The experience I have gained, both from my studies, as well as from my time working as a designer, have demonstrated to me that the primary focus of a designer must always be on the character and unique qualities that materials possess.” The Importance of the Obvious was on view for Dutch Design Week at Design Academy Eindhoven.