MICUL MICUL × Vitality.Swiss image
MICUL MICUL × Vitality.Swiss image

MICUL MICUL × Vitality.Swiss

A collaborative project on the benefits of algae with Maya Minder

The Embassy of Switzerland in Japan and Vitality.Swiss ambassador Maya Minder have launched a collaborative project “MICUL MICUL × Vitality.Swiss” and are on the lookout for recipes using algae or seaweed. New MICUL MICUL × Vitality.Swiss recipes were presented at workshops in Osaka and Tokyo in April 2023.

Let's explore the potential of algae & seaweed and create new recipes together! MICUL MICUL × Vitality.Swiss relies on your participation!

Experience: Visit Maya Minder’s digital artwork and watch on-demand interviews with researchers and experts.
Share: Tell us your seaweed recipes.
Develop: Take on the challenge of new recipes, add your own twist.
Let's open the door to MICUL MICUL × Vitality.Swiss together!

Maya Minder, one of the ambassadors of the Vitality.Swiss program, is an artist, curator and chef working in the field of Eat Art. The Embassy of Switzerland in Japan together with Maya Minder have launched MICUL MICUL × Vitality.Swiss, a project focusing on algae. Algae produces around 70 percent of the world’s oxygen and is said to be a possible key to solving certain aspects of the energy and climate crisis. Seaweed is a familiar part of the Japanese diet, but when you look at the tables around the world, there seems to be much potential for broader consumption.


“Cooking transforms us” says Eat artist and Vitality.Swiss Ambassador Maya Minder. This was never more apparent than in the two workshops held on April 24 in Osaka and 27 in Tokyo, in collaboration with OSAKA FOOD LAB and UNIVERSITY of CREATIVITY respecitevely. The Embassy and Maya explored together with almost 30 participants the benefits of algae and seaweed as a food source and possible solution to the energy crisis.

The events were led by Maya Minder, who shared her knowledge and creativity to inspire people to experiment with this sustainable food source. From academics to creatives, everyone had a great time creating new, delicious recipes using algae and their favourite ingredients. Rooted in biohacking and feminist histories, Maya Minder uses grassroots ideas, queer theories and citizen science to enable collective storytelling through food and cooking from a queer-feminist perspective.


On April 24, 2023, Environmental artist Maya Minder and the Embassy of Switzerland in Japan together with the Consulate of Switzerland in Osaka, Swissnex in Japan, held a cooking workshop at Osaka Food Lab. We were thrilled to see over 30 participants, with chefs, experts, influencers, food importers, creatives and academics, gather together and create new recipes around algae and seaweed.

TOKYO - MICUL MICUL×Vitality.Swiss with the support of UNIVERSITY of CREATIVITY

On April 27, the Embassy and Maya, in collaboration with UNIVERSITY of CREATIVITY, hosted a wonderful cooking workshop in Tokyo to the delight of almost 30 people. The event was led by Maya Minder, who shared her knowledge and creativity to inspire 16 enthusiastic participants and 10 observers to experiment with this sustainable food source. From academics to creatives, everyone had a great time creating new, delicious recipes using algae and their favourite ingredients.

On MICUL MICUL, a note by Maya Minder

Seaweed growing in the ocean is not a plant, but a protist. Besides animal, plant, fungi, bacteria, protist is the fifth kingdom of taxonomic classification. Algae are responsible for nearly 70% of oxygen production and, given the current energy crisis, they bear a great potential to tackle climate change through biofuel, food supply, medical and cosmetic applications or even new material research such as bioplastics. In Japanese cooking, seaweed is well recognized as a food condiment and since ancient times has been part of the food culture. Even scientists have observed that eating seaweed over many centuries has produced a lateral gene transfer within the Japanese microbiome. Nori, Kombu, Wakame and many more variations of seaweed are slowly entering Western diet and food culture. Here we ask you to help us create new recipes for seaweed as future food. Which recipes could matches the western tongue? What is the way you like to eat nori the most? What is your favourite, or a favourite family recipe? How would you implement seaweed in home cooking?


MICUL MICUL is part of Maya Minder’s artistic research project GREEN OPEN FOOD EVOLUTION in collaboration with Ewen Chardronnet, and encompasses Installation, Storytelling, Culinary and Performance practices. “MICUL MICUL × Vitality.Swiss" was commissioned by Vitality.Swiss, an initiative of the Embassy of Switzerland in Japan, and produced with the support of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia.


Artist: Maya Minder
Sound: Patric Catani
Story and concept: Maya Minder
Video: Sandra Bühler, Ewen Chardronnet, Tokio Murai, Maya Minder
Texts: Ewen Chardronnet, Maya Minder
Hyperfiction concept tool build on Twinery.org
Graphic design: Anika Rosen, anikarosen.ch
Page Programmer: Ken Gubler, muzosa.ch
Translations: Ayuko Nishida, Kyoka, Embassy of Switzerland in Japan (Sachiko Nagai, Ayako Hirose, Sarah Bokman, Yuko Takahashi)
Interviews with: Edouard Bal, Dr. Myra Chavez Rosas, Dr. Philippe Potin, Dr. Dominik Refardt
Supported by the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia
Initiated by and in collaboration with the Embassy of Switzerland in Japan


Jonas Pulver, Constance Juliette Meffre D.D.A. Contemporary Art, Ewen Chardronnet, Yuko Takahashi, Lisa Jancovics, Cherise Fong, Kyoka, Christoph Stahl, Chloé Desmoineaux, Kyong-Hwa Minder-Yu, Huhtamaki Wab, Elisa Chaveneau, Xavier Bailly, Gaëlle Correc, Station Biologique de Roscoff, Roscosmoe, CNC, ART2M, Georg Tremmel, Bioclub Tokyo, Hideo Iwasaki, Metaphorest, Sachiko Hirosue, Marc Dusseiller, Urs Gaudenz, Hackteria.org, Consulate of Switzerland in Osaka/Swissnex in Japan, Office for Typography, UNIVERSITY of CREATIVITY, OSAKA FOOD LAB