carlo ratti's edible pavilion is made out of 30,000 venchi chocolate pralines

carlo ratti's edible pavilion is made out of 30,000 venchi chocolate pralines

have you ever wondered what a wall of chocolate looks like? FICO eataly world, the theme park dedicated to italian food culture opening next month in the city of bologna, will house a 3-meter-long (10-foot) and 6-meter-high (20-foot) pavilion made up of more than 30 thousand pralines of different varieties. international design and innovation office carlo ratti associati (CRA) has designed this edible pavilion for high-end chocolate manufacturer venchi, where each chocolate candy can be picked by visitors, making the vertical element of the pavilion entirely edible.

the pralines are arranged in a mosaic that makes them look like a giant chocolate tablet, which has been dubbed the largest chocolate arrangement in the world
all images © daniele iodice



inside the pavilion, CRA has also designed a number of chocolate-related ‘experiences’, including the use of artificial intelligence to measure one’s reactions and feelings when eating sweets. it explores the effects of chocolate on humans where visitors can engage in a digitally-augmented tasting experience. each of them is invited to sit inside a booth and try different venchi pralines. intelligence and facial recognition technologies developed in collaboration with Milan-based interaction design studio DotDotDot, each person’s reactions to different types of chocolate are inferred from the micro-movements of lips, eyebrows, pupils, nostrils and forehead.

each chocolate candy can be picked by visitors, making the vertical element of the pavilion entirely edible



I never liked the fact that exhibitions require the use of large amounts of construction materials that then end up in landfills after just a few months’, comments carlo ratti, founding partner of CRA and director of the senseable city lab at the massachusetts institute of technology: ‘in this project we thought: what if the pavilion could be dismantled by simply eating it? we also liked the reference to the timeless fairytale of hansel and gretel. the construction process, however, proved to be more challenging than we initially thought – as some building parts were eaten up on site during the installation…’

venchi is an internationally recognized company with 88 single-brand stores in 65 countries around the world, more than 350 chocolate recipes and 90 ice-cream flavors

in the ‘chocolate portraits’, recordings of prior visitors’ emotions when eating chocolate are projected

visitors can get a hands-on demo of the manufacturing process, but also create a fully customized chocolate tablet, tailored to their personal taste



project info:


cra team: carlo ratti, giovanni de niederhausern, andrea cassi (project lead), francesco strocchio,
federico riches, aunie frisch, pietro leoni, andrea pedrina, gary di silvio, gianluca zimbardi, alberto
bottero, damiano gui
interaction design: dotdotdot with toby knyvett
hardware and constructions: fmg (fabrizio milani)
photography: daniele iodice

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