Making Coffee With The Sun

Making Coffee With The Sun

📅10 Dicembre 2021, 15:28

CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati and Italo Rota unveil a new café designed for Lavazza at Expo Dubai 2020.

Located within the Italian Pavilion, the project features a 2.5-meter-tall Moka pot powered by solar energy that heats up water to make coffee – as part of a wider design inspired by the principles of circular economy.

CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati and Italo Rota unveil a new café designed for Lavazza at Expo Dubai 2020

International design and innovation office CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati and Italo Rota Building Office unveil a new café at Expo Dubai 2020’s Italian Pavilion that uses the sun’s energy to make coffee. The project was designed for Italian coffee manufacturing company Lavazza. Its most evident feature is a gigantic Solar Moka – a coffee pot powered directly by the sun. The café is characterized by its focus on the concept of circularity in design. It is located at the entrance to the Italian Pavilion, designed by CRA and Italo Rota, with matteogatto&associati and F&M Ingegneria.

CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati and Italo Rota unveil a new café designed for Lavazza at Expo Dubai 2020

The giant Solar Moka, which hangs from the ceiling, is surrounded by an array of mirrors that track the sun’s energy. The solar rays are funneled towards the pot, where they heat the water that is needed to prepare the coffee. The Solar Moka is a 2.5-meter-tall (8-foot-tall) reproduction of one of the icons of Italian design, the Carmencita Moka pot, designed by Italian architect Marco Zanuso for Lavazza in 1979. It is visible across the fair as it peeks out from the pavilion’s porous multimedia facade made up of nautical rope.

CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati and Italo Rota unveil a new café designed for Lavazza at Expo Dubai 2020

The Solar Moka is part of a larger “Solar Coffee Garden”,  showcasing the coffee production process and highlighting the critical importance of a transparent supply chain. At the entrance to the café, a series of potted coffee plants are suspended five meters (16 feet) above the ground, allowing visitors to observe the origins of the coffee bean that is central to the coffee production process. The plants are grown on-site for the entire duration of the Expo.

CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati and Italo Rota unveil a new café designed for Lavazza at Expo Dubai 2020

Finally, the café’s main counter is made with resulting coffee and coffee beans. The former, mixed with resin, cover all vertical surfaces while the latter are used for the countertop.

“We tried to play with different dimensions of sustainability here,” says MIT Professor Carlo Ratti, founding partner of CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati, “First, there is the use of solar energy to make coffee. Second, every step of the coffee making process, from bean to cup, is made transparent. Finally, all the waste from coffee production is reused in the design in various ways”.“This project combines the Italian traditions of coffee and design with the principles of the circular economy. At the same time, it plays with the convergence between the natural and the artificial

CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati and Italo Rota unveil a new café designed for Lavazza at Expo Dubai 2020

Solar Coffee Garden

An installation for Lavazza by CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati and Italo Rota Building office
Dubai, UAE
Until 31 March 2022
CRA Team: Carlo Ratti, Andrea Cassi (Partner in charge), Nicola Scaramuzza, Giovanni Trogu
Past team members: Luca Giacolini, Saverio Panata, Alessandro Tassinari
CRA Graphic team: Gary di Silvio, Pasquale Milieri, Gianluca Zimbardi
Italo Rota Building Office: Italo Rota, Francesca Grassi
Past team members: Francesco Lato
Fabricators: Eurofiere s.p.a. (Luca Bertoletti, Fabio Capelli) –
Makr Shakr (Alessandro Peretti Griva, Carlo Turati, Andrea Bulgarelli, Luca Cianfriglia)
Photo credits: Michele Nastasi

ABOUT CRA-CARLO RATTI ASSOCIATI

CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati is an international design and innovation practice based in Turin and New York. Drawing on Carlo Ratti’s research at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the office is currently involved in many projects across the globe, embracing every scale of intervention from furniture to urban planning. Among recent designs are the Italian Pavilion at Expo Dubai 2020, CapitaSpring Tower in Singapore, MEET Digital Culture Center in Milan, the Eyes of the City exhibition at the 2019 Bi-City Biennale of Architecture and Urbanism of Shenzhen, and the redesign of the Agnelli Foundation HQ in Turin. In March 2020, CRA initiated CURA (Connected Units of Respiratory Ailments), a global open-source initiative to convert shipping containers into plug-in Intensive-Care Units for COVID-19 patients. CRA is also the only design firm whose works have been featured three times in TIME Magazine’s “Best Inventions of the Year” list – respectively with the Digital Water Pavilion in 2007, the Copenhagen Wheel in 2014, and Scribit in 2019. In the last years, the office has been involved in the launch of Makr Shakr, a startup producing the world’s first robotic bar system, and Scribit, the write&erase robot.

ABOUT ITALO ROTA BUILDING OFFICE

Italo Rota Building Office is an international architectural office founded by Italo Rota and based in Milano, Italy. With over thirty years of constant and advanced multidisciplinary research, IRBO develops innovative projects where humanistic beauty and sustainability are integrated in fields that extend to contemporary art and robotics. Aiming at the priority of achieving new living systems for the city of the “extreme present”, IRBO applies the most advanced technologies collaborating with labs, design firms and international universities. The office counts on the balance between art and science in its design research, creating a poetic manifestation that sustains the creation of projects with a new notion of beauty, a notion that according to Gardner “is the capacity of generating interest by a memorable form and an attitude of evoking further explorations.”


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