carlo ratti's supermarket of the future tells the story behind each product
 

carlo ratti's supermarket of the future tells the story behind each product

 

last year, during the world expo 2015 in milan, carlo ratti associati presented an award-winning technology that transforms supermarkets into user-friendly spaces equipped with interactive tables, smart shelves and real-time data visualization that promote informed consumption. today, the ‘supermarket of the future’ has opened its doors to the public in the same italian city that saw it for the first time. built by coop italia — italy’s largest supermarket chain — the flagship store extends over a surface of 1,000 square meters and features more than 6,000 products.

carlo ratti supermarket of the future milan designboom
the large grocery store features pioneering digital solutions

 

 

once the customer has entered the supermarket the new experience will unveil as the structure contains large tables displaying the products, waiting to share more information on them. as soon as the shopper touches the product — or even as the hand gets closer — extra information about it appears on a suspended digital mirror above without the use of any extra device or interface. this information includes the nutritional properties, the origin, the presence of allergens, waste disposal instructions, correlated products, and promotions.

‘every product has a precise story to tell,’ says carlo ratti, founding partner of carlo ratti associati and professor at MIT. ‘today, this information reaches the consumer in a fragmented way. but in the near future, we will be able to discover everything there is to know about the apple we are looking at: the tree it grew on, the CO2 it produced, the chemical treatments it received, and its journey to the supermarket shelf.’

carlo ratti supermarket of the future milan designboom
the design incorporates facilities such as interactive food tables, smart shelves and real-time data visualizations

 

 

with the ‘supermarket of the future’, carlo ratti continues the exploration of how data can promote more informed and sustainable consumption patterns. the idea of having a fully transparent supply chain aims to result in a higher awareness of the limits of our natural resources and their availability; as well as the consumption of local and fresh products. inside the supermarket, the story telling is reinforced by a data visualization wall composed of 54 monitors. here, customers can view extra information about the store merchandise like special offerings, cooking suggestions, social media posts, and daily top selling products.

carlo ratti supermarket of the future milan designboom
shoppers are informed on the origins and characteristics of particular foods

 

 

‘we were inspired by a scene from italo calvino’s palomar novel. in that scene, the protagonist mr. palomar enters a fromagerie in paris – and suddenly thinks he’s in a museum,’ adds ratti. ‘behind every cheese there is a pasture of a different green under a different sky. mr. palomar feels as he does in the louvre, seeing behind every object the presence of the civilization that has given it form. we believe that tomorrow’s markets will make us feel a bit like mr. palomar. every product will have a story to tell.’

carlo ratti supermarket of the future milan designboom
the project aims to promote more informed consumption habits

carlo ratti supermarket of the future milan designboom
more than 6,000 products are displayed on large interactive tables

carlo ratti supermarket of the future milan designboom
the flagship store extends over a surface of 1,000 square meters

carlo ratti supermarket of the future milan designboom
through these augmented labels, each product can communicate its nutritional properties

carlo ratti supermarket of the future milan designboom
the supermarket of the future by carlo ratti is located in milan, italy

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