Setting the Stage: Disgust as an Aesthetic Food Experience

Mailin Lemke, Bas de Boer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
74 Downloads (Pure)


Disgust is commonly understood as an emotion of aversion. However, people seem to eat certain food items not despite containing disgust eliciting features but because of them. In this paper, we introduce the term aesthetic disgust to capture this phenomenon. We outline in our manuscript how designers use different techniques to stage the food experience and facilitate aesthetic disgust, which can be understood as more than just a pleasurable experience. We outline twelve staging techniques used in the context of food design to facilitate a distancing or embracing effect regarding the disgust eliciting features. Three food examples illustrate how these different techniques can be combined and applied in design practice.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-33
Number of pages14
JournalDesign issues
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • Aesthetics
  • Disgust
  • Food design
  • Staging techniques
  • 2023 OA procedure


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