Expo Milano 2015 is the place where the world is getting ready to meet the world. Dealing with the theme of food in a radical way. Not through iconic representations or competitions between countries, but rather through a focus on a single big theme: food.
The participating countries were asked to represent this theme with sustainable, light pavilions that could be easily dismantled. Not with self-standing architectures, but architectures integrated into the landscape of Man and the environment.
This exhibition radically changes the paradigm being based on a thematic project, a journey through food and nutrition, a universal and popular theme. Hence the idea of creating thematic areas to point out its different important aspects.
The history of food is entrusted to Pavilion Zero. Matteo Gatto, the Thematic Areas Director for Expo Milano 2015, explained that the objective of this pavilion – that is the first you meet when entering the grounds – is that of bringing visitors to “zero”, that is, making them start from scratch, so that they can leave with a series of questions about customs and traditions, examples of waste, virtuous models.
Germano Celant, art historian, presented taste as a form of knowledge in the exhibition Arts&Foods. Rituals since 1851 at the Triennale of Milan. This is a complex exhibition, set up by Italo Rota, that starts from the year of the first Universal Exhibition in London in 1851 and gets to the present day. This exhibition deals with the theme of food through arts: architecture, design, painting, literature, cinema, photography.
Biodiversity is the third thematic area dealt with by Emilio Genovese, curator of the Biodiversity Park. An area of 14,000 square metres visitors can walk through without a predefined itinerary, going from one block to another to discover the different habitats that for thousands of years have gone with the process of agricultural and food natural selection. All this by taking into account geographical, food and historical criteria.
How do you create a park for children? The answer to this question was provided by Michele Zini, architect, who designed the Children Park. The objective is that children consider themselves and are considered since the very moment when they enter the Expo grounds as special visitors for whom special experiences have been prepared. These are based on an organic language consisting of twines, large hanging spools under which events occur.
Andrea Galanti, from Studio Carlo Ratti Associati, was entrusted the task of explaining the food of the future. Future Food District turns upside down the places of food featuring a Supermarket of the future (that will be managed by Coop) and the Grande Piazza (big square) where you can taste the products you have bought. In the Supermarket of the future, products are presented on large tables as in Medieval markets, while interactive panels provide information about the products themselves (for instance, their origin and traceability).
These thematic areas are like physical places that go through the theme of food and nutrition using exhibition paths and attractive elements. Visitors are thus directly involved and are provided with the opportunity of making an educational and sensorial experience.
Text by Danilo Signorello – photos by Efrem Raimondi