COOP Italia Future Food District, Milan
Expo Milano 2015, Via Rho, 8, 20157 Rho MI, Italy
Carlo Ratti Associati and Senseable City Lab, MIT
Unveiled at Expo Milano 2015, in partnership with Coop Italia, Carlo Ratti’s vision for the Supermarket of the Future brings sci-fi interactivity to the daily experience of cruising the supermarket aisles.
At this fully functioning supermarket in the Future Food Pavilion, fresh produce and deli products are displayed in neat angled boxes and displays; just like we’re used to.
But it’s when you look up that things start to get a Blade Runner edge.
Beautifully slick digital screen mirrors loom overhead, offering interactive, educational displays with detailed information about every product on display.
Using Xbox Kinect technology, customers simply point to learn more about particular foods, their nutritional information, and how and where they were grown and harvested. After all, every product has a story.
Carlo Ratti’s experimental, interactive vision for the supermarket of the future aims to promote informed consumption habits.
An on-site robot sorts and packs products as orders flow in, allowing the supermarket to reduce waste by keeping on-display items to a minimum.
This call to sustainability is also taken up by digital signage in the refrigerated sections.
This encourages customers to inspect a product’s nutritional information before opening the fridge, minimising energy loss.
This temporary space is actually a great piece of retail design, with striking use of double height graphics at high level, sleek fixturing, and theatrical lighting.
Other nice touches include a library, vertical farm and cardboard box trolleys on wheels which can be folded and packed for international shipping via DHL.
With tech a central component, there’s plenty of opportunity for the supermarket to crunch data around purchasing preferences and habits – ensuring that the right products are stocked on the right days for the right customers.
This, combined with a personalised branded app that leads you around the store and keeps on top of your shopping lists, means you’ll never have to worry about the store running out of your favourite brand of milk.
And if they do? Come 2050 they’ll be able to 3D-print it anyway.