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Elixirs and Potions in History: a Food Design Project by Studio Appetit

Elixirs and Potions in History: a Food Design Project by Studio Appetit

A project recently presented at Design Miami gave visitors the chance to try the 'Elixirs of the Ancient World': a way to travel in time through taste.

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We first talked about Ido Garrini, founder of the experimental culinary collective Studio Appetit in 2012, when in Milan’s furniture fair he presented Aphrodisiac: a sensory installation about the sensual side of taste. Now his latest project deals with an even more attractive concept, analyzing the use of potions and elixirs across history. Elixir, Drinking History was presented in December during Design Miami 2013, as part of the cutting edge fair’s Inventory Series: a collective of cutting-edge designers, curated and showcased in a series of ongoing exhibitions.

This time Studio Appetit’s research began with a question: Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could get a glimpse of a different era not through books or images, but by consuming a piece of that history? Elixir is a world of potions that takes us back to different periods in human history, by evoking our subconscious memory of scents and flavors.

Potions have been an integral part of the human experience throughout time. They were concocted for remedy, worship, magic, and bonding. The Elixir potions explore food history and consist of a mix of herbs, spices and fruits that bring to life tastes and flavors from long gone eras and cultures. These ingredients are infused and consumed using the Elixir product collection, which was hand crafted using glass, wood and leather. The collection itself was designed as a-historical, providing a clean slate to experience the different worlds of taste.

For the presentation at Design Miami, the potions were packed in hand made textile transparent pouches, dividing each element in a separate compartment allowing the users to identify each ingredient. The sensory journey consists in five different potions, showcasing what the Pharaohs, the Romans, the Mayans, The Mongol emperors and the Tudors would most likely drink: Olive leaves and figs for the Romans, cacao nibs and raw vanilla for the Mayans, gold berries and apricots for the Tudors.

For Garrini, the objects that accompany a project are just as important as the project itself. The collection designed to present this project, consists in a carafe inspired by an hourglass, completed with an African walnut cap that compliments the shape and keeps the infusion warm. The sphere glasses represent “a world” where you can pour your potion in order to experience the past and the tray has 3D geometric terrain that emphasizes the fluidity; it is the base of this "time machine".

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