HIVE for Housing

Los Angeles, CA
7 Dec 2017

Hello, Robot
@ Design Museum

Gent, Belgium
27 Oct 2017 - 15 Apr 2018


FICO – Area del Futuro

Bologna, Italy


Designed for FICO Eataly World, Area del Futuro is a prototypical pavilion where people can engage with digitally-augmented farming and grow their own food on-site.

Area del Futuro pairs sustainable agricultural practices with online data collection, paving the way for a new type of collaborative, in-store cultivation system in which anyone can become an organic food producer. Visitors of Area del Futuro will follow an immersive route that leads to a vast indoor hydroponic vegetable garden. Here, anybody can choose to plant seeds in a hydroponic tank, and monitor their growth. In fact, the “Area del Futuro” is designed in such a way as to highlight the whole sequence of the maturation process. The hydroponic tank itself slides fluidly throughout the farm as if on a conveyer belt, exhibiting the many stages of plant growth.

By utilizing advanced data visualizations and sensors that measure the plants’ biologic conditions, visitors are connected to the farm digitally and are able to access it remotely. Once a person plants a seed in the hydroponic farm, an Internet-of-Things device will match his or her profile with that of the corresponding plant. Using an Eataly World app, the visitor can then track the state of the plant’s biologic data, its level of growth, and even share it on social media. When the vegetable is finally ripe, the visitor can collect it from the pavilion to be eaten or given away.

The “Area del Futuro” project will also foster a debate about traditional farming and new cultivation systems, introduced by a talking hologram of Italian poet and Federico Fellini’s screenwriter Tonino Guerra. By planting a seed, visitors will then take part in the construction of a shared hydroponic cultivation, illustrating the importance of each individual contribution to global food production.With its disruptive vision for the food industry, the pavilion will be among the highlights of FICO Eataly World, the new 80,000 square meter edutainment park focused on food-production and nutrition currently under construction in Bologna, Italy.

A project by Carlo Ratti Associati for FICO Eataly World

CRA team: Carlo Ratti, Giovanni de Niederhausern, Andrea Galanti, Chiara Borghi, Valentina Grasso, Emanuele Protti, Andrea Riva, Gary di Silvio, Alberto Bottero.