Austerity edible furniture
by Lanzavecchia + Wai


Milan 2013: a coffee table topped with a giant hard-boiled sweet and a white chocolate chair are among items in a series of edible furniture by design studio Lanzavecchia + Wai (+ slideshow).

Austerity edible furniture by Lanzavecchia and Wai

Designed in response to the current economic climate, the decorative or unnecessary elements of the furniture can be eaten until all that's left is what's needed for basic functionality. Lanzavecchia + Wai used a range of food types to build up each item around its pared-down black iron version.

Austerity edible furniture by Lanzavecchia and Wai

The Hard Candy coffee table has a top made from a huge hard-boiled sweet that leaves one saucer at the end of each leg after it has been nibbled away.

Austerity edible furniture by Lanzavecchia and Wai

Twenty-four kilograms of white chocolate was formed around a stool to create the Chocolate chair.

Austerity edible furniture by Lanzavecchia and Wai

Rice bricks glued together with starch form a backrest for a bench, draped with a cotton quilt full of dried beans.

Austerity edible furniture by Lanzavecchia and Wai

A table top baked into a cracker balances on stacked tins of corned beef, which can be removed as the table is munched to leave a simple tray.

Austerity edible furniture by Lanzavecchia and Wai

The pieces were shown as part of a series of food-based projects at the Padiglione Italia's Foodmade exhibition, located in the Ventura Lambrate district of Milan.

Austerity edible furniture by Lanzavecchia and Wai

Another cuisine-related exhibition in Milan featured patterned rolling pins that made edible plates and a meat grinder that squeezed out biodegradable bowls.

Austerity edible furniture by Lanzavecchia and Wai

We've previously featured tableware and a desk lamp that can be eaten.

Austerity edible furniture by Lanzavecchia and Wai

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See all our coverage of Milan 2013 »

Lanzavecchia + Wai sent us the information below:

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.

Ostensibly living intact through good times and also adverse ones, the domestic objects become invisible to us over time with their familiarity.

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.

In four conceptual objects, Lanzavecchia + Wai repropose basic nutrients, carbohydrates, proteins, sugar and chocolate as food reserves which at the same time complement and finish the objects by covering elemental metal structures.

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.

The Austerity collection consists of Hard Candy coffee table, Chocolate chair, Grains sofa and Hardtack table.

  • Anne Onymous

    A few hours later you can reuse the elements needed for “basic functionality” to make furniture out of sh*t.

  • dork

    The key word appears to be Austerity. I doubt people who can afford to buy this furniture are in a position where they can’t afford fine dining on a regular basis.

    Austerity furniture would be better suited to longevity. It appears the designer’s perspective has become a bit blurred, but then it must be hard to focus on anything so high up in that ivory tower. Perhaps next time they should visit a food bank and learn the real place of food within communities.

  • bonsaiman

    Silly is the new creative.

  • Ralph Kent

    Fatuous ideas like this make me ashamed to be involved with design at all.

    • Hayden

      90% of the work shown on here is fatuous.

  • tin

    This is wrong on so many levels!

  • critic


  • hungryhippo

    Eatable design sounds fine, but where’s the beef?

    • Hayden

      (been substituted for horse)

  • I think this range of furniture is great, very though provoking. Read the concept description, I doubt very much the designers are intending to produce a mass production design classic here, but instead being a little creative and attempting to make us think.

    I wish all the haters would lighten up a little. Remember oak, walnut and polished brass are boring.

    • Hayden

      I thought about it. Then I didn’t think any further. There’s my point.

  • pipo

    Cool project. They visualise their concept in a very clear and attractive way, but still leave room for some imagination.
    And no, it is not functional, and no, it is not intended as a solution to real world problems. It is food for thought though.

  • Damian

    The pictures of the scale models are very nice though.

  • Crack

    I want my table to work on, my food to eat.

  • emanuele

    Seriously. I’m a designer too. I say: if you want to make art, is this the best you can do? A couple of chairs and tables? Art is suffering.

    If you want to do design, this is not it. Sorry.