Sapore dei Mobili is an endeavour to shed light on the excess and velocity of furniture production, a situation which is made clear in events such as the Salone del Mobile, where hundreds of new products are exhibited. This eatable project — a joint venture of Rui Pereira and Ryosuke Fukusada — was presented during the 2012 design week, proposing a different way of experiencing furniture. "We had the impression that in this kind of events you don't really 'digest' everything you see, but with our project now you can literally do it", says Rui. Consisting of a hot pan that makes furniture-shaped pastries, the user gets involved in the whole process, from production to consumption and in the end there's no waste since everything is eaten up.
Along with proposing a different perspective on excessive production, Sapore dei Mobili brings together the Japanese and Portuguese cultures — Ryosuke and Rui's origins, respectively. Both based in Milan, they've met while working for the same studio, and when Rui showed Ryosuke the Fabrico Próprio book — a 2008 research project turned book about Portuguese semi-industrial confectionery —, Ryosuke became fascinated by it. From there, they discovered it was the Portuguese who in the 16th century brought to Japan the famous sponge cake Castella, which is still widely popular to this day. The duo saw an exciting encounter of cultures, and decided they had to do something with it. Sapore dei Mobili became the right opportunity to materialize the idea.
With only five months to develop the project — mostly in their spare time — the first prototype was produced with local Italian artisans, using aluminum sand casting. The small pan is capable of producing five different pastries.
They used archetypal forms of a vase, a chair, a bench, a cupboard and a lamp, slightly rounded up "to give the pastries a more tasteful appeal," Ryosuke explained. All was done using a simple molding technique — a pan that resembles a waffle maker. The project was unveiled at VenturaRunway in the Ventura Lambrate area, where Rui and Ryosuke did some "live furniture cooking".
Since there was no time to conduct tests before the show, the duo is aware the project needs some improvements. We end our conversation with the suggestion that the next step is to work closely with a chef, to develop an improved recipe for the dough.