Bread and wine. Nothing more. Simple things around which a well-established, smart, and sophisticated culture has been built. However, such culture cannot go beyond the rules of authenticity of everyday habits and the pleasure of sharing.
There is nothing more challenging for a designer than working on a project of simple and daily tools, whose forerunners were born from the intelligence of a thousand-year old tradition. This exhibition is almost a game, a contemporary idea born to tell a story that we all know very well.
A distant future – who knows how distant – promises an unsolvable lack of “real” food. Fed by pills containing essential aminoacids, vitamins and salts, men and women will console themselves smelling the aroma of bread and wine. This memory will be heartbreaking, probably the right punishment for the carelessness of human beings who are exhausting the planet’s resources.
Maybe one day, they will have to look for other planets to live on, and they will bring along the memory of the flavours of wine and bread, wearing them as a precious necklace and smelling them once in a while.
Project of Dima Chaker (France), Karl Yazigi (Lebanon), Giuseppe Sammartino (Italy)
Drinking together, sharing one single chalice, is a ritual with an ancient and deep meaning. It is the way in which people have been making agreements, alliances, and marriages for thousands of years. Until not so long ago, the families of Valle d’Aosta used to celebrate unions, friendships, and births drinking in turn from a chalice called grolla.
In such a contemporary interpretation, the convivial function is combined with that of oxygenating important wines before drinking them to best appreciate their taste and aromas.
Project of Lucio Nicolas Bosch (Argentina), Muriel Kai (Lebanon), Heejoo Park (Korea)
Cantucci are a typical Tuscan dessert with very old origins. This almond biscuit, dipped in sweet wine, was already known by the Roman soldiers. What’s more, during the Middle Ages, Vin Santo gained a miraculous aura, as someone thought it could help cure the plague.
Dono reinterprets the ritual action of dipping the biscuit in sweet wine to turn it into a collective moment. One container for biscuits and wine that takes the shape of two hands offering and sharing food, healing and sweetness.
Project of Tanmay Devsare (India), Nithin Jacob Eapen (India), Refik Tuna Loyan (Turkey)
Not only Italians eat bread and olive oil. It is a widespread habit in all Mediterranean countries. An olive oil tasting often includes a piece of bread to mitigate its oiliness and emphasise its aromas.
Very few types of food are so simple and yet so good. Iksir means “elisir”: it is a glass pipette gets filled by immersion and that helps spread the oil on bread after closing the hole in its top part with a finger.
Project of Silvia Gabriela Guerra Escalante (El Salvador), Charis Kaimaklioti (Cyprus), Mohamed Ismail (Egypt), Alessandro Pazzi (Italy)
The “michetta” bread roll is a symbol of Milanesity at the kitchen table, much like risotto, cotoletta, and panettone. But it’s a difficult bread with a short shelf-life, and perhaps for this reason, whereas other breads have taken over dining tables, the michetta has become a vintage symbol.
It recalls Milan and plays with the memory of the city, enclosing it in a box that opens like a flower elevating the rank of the michetta to a souvenir of the city to gift to someone, or savor in a moment of, both, past and present taste.
Project of Luca Madonini (Italy), Hiromi Sugihara (Japan), Nithin Jacob Eapen (India), Waqas Zahoor (UK)
The aroma of bread is deeply engraved in the memory of human beings born in these areas of the world. It is a memory of a satisfied appetite, of the certainty of sharing, of a ritual that has been the same from ancient times.
Aroma is a container for bread designed to preserve and enjoy the aroma of bread before tasting it, as well as to protect it from air.
Project of Marilyne Luyten (Belgium), Finbarr Ojabo (Nigeria), Eleonora Rossi (Italy)
In recent years, the culture of food has had a pickup towards globalising values. We usually eat food from the most varied cultures. We drink wine coming from countries that started producing it just recently.
WA is a table set for two that proposes one material and one shape for different functions and different cuisines. The Japanese word WA, translated as “harmony,” actually talks about choosing the interests of the community, and of the whole world, rather than pursuing local or personal advantages. The WA ideogram also means “circle”, the shape that characterises the entire design.
Projects of Luca Madonini (Italy), Maya Matloub (Lebanon), Hiromi Sugihara (Japan)
In summer, the windchimes reverberate in Japanese houses – small, musical objects that the breeze moves announcing a break from summer heat. This suggestion is the source of Ode, a set of two chalices proposing the most classical drinking habits.
The clapper under the chalice clinks when drinking, or when twirling the glass, creating remote toasts and new melodies that underline the happiness of the moments spent drinking wine together.
Project of Giuseppe Galetta (Italy), Maitri Nirmal Kumar Chandria (India), Shunya Sugawara (Japan)
Bretzel is an aromatic bread typical of northern Europe. Its shape is reminiscent of the “knots” of Scandinavian and Celtic traditions, ornamental and ritual designs that serve to visualize the flow of universal energies. Bretzels coming out of the baker’s oven are hung on a wooden hanger waiting to be sold to preserve their shape and fragrance.
The project is a small ornament for the lunch and breakfast table and revisits this tradition by transferring it to the home environment.
Project of Tony Conroy (UK), Samik Dana (India), Waqas Zahoor (UK)
There is a very strong image in the Italian culture linked to food preparation. It is the one of a cook who kneads the dough. Dough for bread, pasta, focaccia and pizza. The main tool, in many people’s mind, is the rolling pin.
The sceptre of those who preserve the secret of kneading the dough by hand. The undisputed symbol of a skillset that will never disappear. Here the rolling pin is not made of humble wood any more.
It is robust, transparent, and strong, although the material of which it is made might seem delicate just like the whole of Italian food culture, sometimes threatened by useless adulterations, yet always recognisable and loyal to itself.
Project of Matteo Ragni, Project Leader Bread & Wine Design Lab
A gift suspended in a glass of wine. A message of generosity, sharing, and an invitation to pleasure thrown in the sea to reach someone able to appreciate it. A poetic object claiming to be used to fulfil the hope that has always accompanied a message in a bottle.
In a time of fast and exasperated communication, a message left to chance and fate to remind ourselves that not everything can be planned and that everything does not happen for a reason. Design is also meant to serve emotional functions.
Project of Antonio De Marco, Project Leader Bread & Wine Design Lab