Merle Bergers  Studio

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What’s in a tear

What if a spectrum of emotions could be captured?

I discovered how to extract the minerals from tears and transform these into a pearl thing I call tear stones. This physical manifestation of the transmutation of matter is then set in a piece of jewelry. In this way you can capture tears at a special moment and keep them with you as a timeless reminder of a story once lived. The project was based on the way we deal with tears in public. How we are sometimes embarrassed by a thing that is actually shows we are human, dealing with emotion just like everybody else. I believe in showing these emotions we can find a way to connect and empathize with eachother.

Research Project at Design Academy Eindhoven, graduation work honoured with cum laude. Is getting a design update and will be on show at Dutch Design Week ‘18.

Lingua Planta

A result of an ongoing research project on our relationship with nature Made in collaboration with  the University of Amsterdam.

Scents make up the many sorts of volatile organic compounds used by plants to send out messages. There are thousands of these substances, twelve of which active in each and every plant, even cacti.

These compounds are fused into communication cocktails by the plant itself, each having its own particular specificity and purpose. This phenomena of signaling via volatiles is divided into three reactions; to attract, repel and defend.

These volatiles are already used in agricultural systems, substantiated by a scientific community that does avid research on cross-species ‘communication’. However, the Lingua Planta project aims at a non-derogatory perspective on plants’ perfume production systems. To bring an understanding of plant communication to humans so we might experience a different feeling towards these living beings.

Research Project at Design Academy Eindhoven, graduation work honoured with cum laude. Is getting a design update and will be on show at Dutch Design Week ‘18.

Lingua Planta from Merle Bergers on Vimeo.

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

The Belly Bar

Face your guts 

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.

Planta Sentiens

This project is aimed at understanding plants are living entities and sentient beings that are able to learn things, make decisions, have memory and respond to many environmental parameters. Plants don't have this walnut shaped organ like we do, but they do seem to show intelligent behavior and manage sense, without senses.


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.

A project done in 2nd year of Design academy Eindhoven. Department Food non Food 2015. As exposed at Paris Design Week 2015

Porselain made with the help of Lidewij van de Berg

Merle Bergers Studio