Part of the Controversial Design project

In collaboration with Arduini Design


While working on our Controversial Design book, I and Gianni Arduini decided to explore the cultural aspect of food when it comes to commemorating the dead. There are so many examples in ancient traditions, rituals, and interpretations that men gave to food and gestures that sometimes we lost the origin of the ritual. Some of them are so ancient, brought to us from transformations of older rituals, reviewed in a modern key.

Existing rituals

There are so many examples of food made for the dead around the world: Coliva in Romania, Ossa dei Morti in Italy, and whole festivals like Día de los Muertos in Mexico, or the Hungry Ghost Festival in China. All of them with one purpose: keeping the same convivial ritual even after death, and keep a connection between who still lives and who passed away.

For all of those reasons, we propose one of the most contemporary interpretations of food consumption (pre-packed food dispensed by a vending machine), brought in a traditional environment (where you can mostly find the dead in Western countries): cemeteries.
Creating a contemporary interpretation of a ritual (or if I may say a new ritual), we are also kind of pointing out the value of a ritual and why we are using it. That would (hopefully) start a debate.

Shapes hope to give a sort of ancestral/mystical influence but yet not characterize too much with other religious symbolism. Food would come from the bottom after selected with one of the buttons and dispensed through the circular hole, a sort of radical "Mouth of Truth" like in Rome.