The term “design” intended as “giving form and meaning” to something has become associated to an increasingly wider spectrum of semantic areas: from the classical industrial and interior design, to graphic, visual, service, strategic design, etc.
The principle of this process lies in shifting the focus from one sense to another. For instance we use sight and touch for products and pieces of furniture and we use exclusively sight for graphic design.
Food wasn’t spared from this treatment, since it explores all five senses of human perception, thus expressing great creative potential.
In fact, “Food&Design” was one of the main themes of the latest Milan Design Week, with a cycle of conferences and events that took place throughout the venues of the “Fuorisalone”.
One of the hot-spots was Lavazza Experience Space in Via Savona 50, named after Italian leading brand in coffee making, which is one of the first food industries to have explored the connections with design, thanks to the partnership with Spanish chef Ferran Adrià.
The space is organized in different areas: Coffee Garden, where guests are introduced to Lavazza blends and aromas; Cafeteria, where you can taste Lavazza espresso in purity or in a variety of recipes; Coffee Design corner holds an exhibition of the main products conceived by Lavazza Training Center in partnership with some of the greatest chefs.
Coffee Design corner is also the place where some of these recipes are prepared by expert Lavazza Trainees in front of few lucky guests, who can taste delicacies like Coffee Caviar, a special mixture of coffee and sodium alginate which, at the contact with a solution of calcium salt, forms a thin jelly membrane, or Cappuccino Nitro, a Cappuccino cream “cooked” in a bath of liquid nitrogen that forms a frozen crust on the outside while remaining soft in the inside.
While mixing coffee and chemistry tasted already very exotic, giving the microphone to a chef and a designer at the same time seemed delicious as well. This was the case of the conversation between Massimo Bottura, Italian chef, and Makio Hasuike from MH Way.
What came out was a beautifully choreographed exchange of views over two topics that are influencing more and more the way we live and experience things: cooking, while remaining the primitive form of open “crowdsourcing” through oral tradition, is being permeated by a sense of aesthetics that goes further than my father’s risotto recipe. Design, on the other hand, creates a context in which an experience is set up: in products or interiors, just like in a dish of lasagne, different layers are superimposed, that recall ergonomics, functionality, aesthetics and nostalgia, balanced together to form the perfect recipe.
Images by Lavazza