Food furniture: Fad or function?

Does your sofa look good enough to eat? No? Then look no further than Italian designers Lanzacecchia + Wai to sit you at a table and munch on it too.

This isn’t an interiors trend we need to worry about yet, but for this year’s Milan Design Week, artists were invited to participate in the Foodmade exhibit, a study of food and its influence on industrial design. Among stale bread bowls and chocolate cookie jars was an experiment in comfort versus necessity. Austerity edible furniture from Lazacecchia + Wai shows everyday household constructs made with foodstuffs around an iron structure. The food represents the decorative elements of the furniture, but when removed reveal the iron core of the essential structure.

A white chocolate chair, a sofa made of grains, a hard candy table and a hard tack table with corned beef legs make up this unusual collection, all incorporating the basic nutrients of carbohydrates, proteins, sugar and chocolate.

Of the project, L+W say: “The domestic landscape reflects our culture, our taste and our habits. The objects that populate it absorb the atmosphere that pervades the space through their physicality, functionality and identity.

“How can furniture react to times of crisis? The decorational elements that were once appreciated, suddenly become superfluous and should evolve to reflect a new era of austerity; the objects become edible and offer themselves to be consumed when needed.”

But is this collection really a lesson in austerity? I’m not sure I’d ever look at the arms of my sofa as so superfluous I’d wish they were made of grain. “Piece by piece the object is eroded, exposing a soul, the core-function, which will remain over time. This will encourage us to re-think what basic necessities are: a true reflection on the essence of the things that will lead us into the future,” say L+W.

OK, so it’s not intended as any patch on a practical solution to the issues it addresses, but does L+W’s still give you food for thought?



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