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Paula Colchero, owner of De Kaasserie, packaging cheese
Photo credits: Michelia Kramer

Food, memory and belonging

I remember in 1987, when I was 9 years old, we were away visiting my fathers family in Spain and my parents announced to me that we would no longer live in Mexico, we were going to live in Memphis, TN. What was supposed to be a holiday departure became a departure forever. I was devastated, for two very clear reasons. My house, which I loved, all details in that beautiful colonial house kept me company. The second was Mexican food, which made me so happy. The Friday night tacos al pastor, the lunch in Mercado de las Quesadillas in Coyoacan, these things were the absolute highlights of my life. How could I live without them?

We stayed in Memphis for three years, then moved again to Chile, to my mother’s family. When I was 24 I moved to France, stayed for 4 years and I have now lived in the Netherlands for 15 years. Looking back on these experiences, I can't really say I fully belong to one of these countries, I have fragments of connections to all of them within me. Food has been essential for me to build a sense of belonging within this journey. I have learned to find foods that make me smile, to recover the memories of those that have made me happy before and to explore new ones building new stories over and over again. I became an interior and product designer. I never forgot the importance of beauty in my environment, influenced by that house and beautiful culture I was so lucky to have experienced as a child. The fearless way of using color and the energy this gives to a person is something that has always stayed with me.

In 2012, living in Amsterdam, I missed a cheese from Chile. In my mind, cheese was a product for industry and farmers, but I still decided to try to make it. I was so amazed and happy to discover I could easily make it at home. It was one of the most empowering things I have ever experienced. I could access memories I thought were totally out of my reach and I could explore cheeses from all around the world in my own house. It was amazing. It was also one of the most beautiful transformations I had seen, milk, becoming curds and then cheese, it was some kind of magic.

This feeling of empowerment and magic drove me to create a design project which I named ‘Shaping cheese’ I created series of porcelain moulds with organic shapes meant to be beautiful objects for a home where cheese is made. They were an invitation to explore the shapes cheese could have and the types of cheeses that could be made at home.

De Kaasserie is the place where I put together my love for design and food. It is the place where my 9 year old self missing Mexican food, can be empowered over and over again building her belonging through cheese and invite others who have felt like that to do the same.


About my work

Porcelain cheese moulds made by Paula Colchero

I am interested in the way daily rituals define who we are, how we think and feel. I create objects and spaces that promote rituals that empower people as individuals and help improve connections among them.

My background is in interior architecture, industrial design and fine arts. My language lies among these three. I refer to the functionality of an object or space because I am interested in people’s direct experience. I will at the same time approach it with an intention to speak of a particular subject or issue around it.



Het Parool

Article about De Kaasserie

De Kaasserie Net Open

May 20, 2022

Your Little Black Book

Article about De Kaasserie

Wil je doen: Workshop Urban cheese maken

bij De Kaasserie in Amsterdam West

April 22, 2023

By Sam

Article about De Kaasserie

Must try: Een cursus Kaas maken bij De Kaasserie

November 28, 2022

De West Krant

Article about De Kaasserie

Zelf kaas maken in Oud-West

May 6, 2022

Van Amsterdamse Bodem

Article about De Kaasserie

De Kaasserie

Doe mee aan 'Creative Cheesemaking'!

September 2022

Broadcast Amsterdam

Podcast about De Kaasserie

Making your own cheese with De Kaasserie

November 8, 2022

New York Times

Where artists go play with clay
Article about the ekwc

European Ceramic Work Center

featuring Shaping Cheese

March 30, 2017

English Breakfast 

Radio interview about Ruilbank

September 5, 2013 

Mas Deco - Diario La tercera

Article about Pivot Creative

Pivot, Giro al Diseño

August 31, 2013

Fast Co. Design 

Article about Ruilbank

A Simple Red Clip Turns

Park Benches Into Public Libraries

August 16, 2013


Article about Ruilbank

Book share bench clip: Ruilbank by Pivot Creative

August 6, 2013

Article about Ruilbank

Take Read Share

September 12, 2013


Article about Ruilbank

Turning Public Benches Into An Arena Of Good Reads

August 6, 2013

Het Parool Logo
Little Black Book Logo
By Sam Logo
West Krant Logo
Van Amsterdamse Bodem Logo
Broadcast Amsterdam Logo
New York Times Logo
Fast Company Logo
DesignBoom Logo
PoPUp City Logo


Biennale St Etienne France
Banc d'essai exhibition: Ruilbank

March 9 - April 9, 2017

Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven
Arte Util Exhibition: Ruilbank

December 2013 - March 2014

Futurotextiles Awards 2012
European Center for Innovative Textiles

Tourcoing, France 


October - December 2012

Munich Creative Business Week, 2012
Reflection corner, Made in Brainport


Istanbul design week, 2011
Reflection corner, Made in Brainport


Dutch design week, 2011
Reflection corner, Made in Brainport


Dutch design week, 2010
Graduation Galleries, Design Academy Eindhoven


Salon del Mobile Milan 2009
Picnic was part of ‘The questions’ exhibition, 2009




Awards Grants Residencies

Amsterdam funds voor de kunst
Ontwikkelbudget October 2016

Hembrug Terrain - Atelier Maarten Heijkamp
Three month residency

June 2018 - August 2017

Europees Keramiek Werk Centrum (ekwc)
Three month residency

December 2016 - February 2017

Hyphen projects - Innovation for Health
Exhibitor in Innovation for Heatlh 2014
Shortlisted for the Conceptual Design Award

Stichting Doen 
Grant for the pilot installation of Ruilbank Amsterdam 2012

Futurotextiles 2012
First prize winner of the The CETI prize
High Technology in textile innovation with the project ‘Loop’
Developed with Pivot Creative

Air France Design Meal tray competition 2009
First prize winner with the project ‘Picnic’
Developed with Sabine Marcelis



Academy of Cheese

Associate level

Amsterdam, 2022-2023

De Waag Society - Fablab


January - April 2010

Maarten Baas Atelier


September - December 2009

Design Academy Eindhoven

Bachelor’s degree in Design


Ecole Camondo

Design and Interior Architecture

Diplome intermédiare

Paris, France. 2004-2007

Université Paris 13

Licence en communication

Villetaneuse, France 2003-2004

Universidad Católica de Chile

Fine arts school 

Santiago, Chile. 2000-2003

College degree in social sciences 

With one year in Agronomy

Universidad Católica de Chile

Santiago, Chile. 1997-1999

Elementary and High school studies in:  

Mexico DF, Mexico

Memphis TN, USA

Santiago, Chile

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