Future Food District

CompanyCarlo Ratti Associati
Lead DesignerCarlo Ratti Associati
Design TeamArchitectural and interior design: Carlo Ratti Associati Concept design: Senseable City Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Partner: COOP Italia Consultants of Carlo Ratti Associati: Landscape design: Capatti Staubach Landschaftsarchitekte Pedestrian flow analysis: Systematica Urban algae folly design: ecoLogicStudio Vertical farm design: ENEA, Ceres, Lucchini Idromeccanica Graphic design: Studio FM Milano Interaction design: Avanade, dotdotdot System integration: Accenture
PrizeBronze in Interior Design / Retail

The Future Food District pavilion -- lying at the heart of the exhibition grounds -- explores how data could change the way that we interact with the food that we eat, informing us about its origins and characteristics and promoting more informed consumption habits. The Pavilion at Expo 2015 is a real Supermarket, where people can interact with – and buy – products. Its interior resembles a sloping warehouse, with over 1500 products displayed on large interactive tables. As people browse different products, information is visible on suspended mirrors augmented with digital information. The concept came from the idea that products can tell us their stories. Think of the beloved image of Mr. Palomar, by Italian novelist: Italo Calvino, immersed in a Parisian fromagerie, having the impression of being in a museum or in an encyclopedia: “This shop is a museum: Mr. Palomar, visiting it, feels as he does in the Louvre, behind every displayed object the presence of the civilization that has given it form and takes form from it.” Products are displayed on broad tables, avoiding the vertical barriers of traditional supermarkets. In this way, the exchange of food is promoted, just like in an old market place. Moreover, by simply touching the products, the user is able to obtain augmented information about the food -­‐ that is, all the data available today on the net, which does not fit on a traditional-­‐sized label. Through these "augmented labels" the product is able to communicate by itself its properties, its history, its path. The Plaza outside the FFD supermarket will also showcase new ways of producing food through technologies such as vertical hydroponic systems for growing vegetables, and algae and insect harvesting.