Your average table is built to last forever. In moments of extreme crisis, it could maybe even block bullets in a doorway, or serve as firewood during a nuclear winter.
The Hard Candy Coffee Table built by Lanzavecchia + Wai Designers lasts until the ants get at it. And in moments of extreme crisis, it can satisfy your caloric intake with a well-saturated sugar shock of pineapple or strawberry deliciousness. It is, in essence, an emergency source of empty calories sitting in your living room.
It’s one of a small handful of pieces from Austerity – Edible furniture for times of crisis. Each is an exploration of the simplest permanent structure (made of iron) that can support a greater scaffolding of edible material. The other pieces include the Chocolate Chair (2.7 kg of iron topped with 24 kg of white chocolate “upholstery”), the Grains Sofa (18.6 kg of iron surrounded by 200 kg of rice framing and a 20 kg bean quilt), and the Hardtack Table (3.9 kg of iron coated with a 15 kg flour-puddy top, supported by 36 cans of corned beef). That’s a lot of food.
“We consider it a conceptual project that is in between art and design,” the studio explains. “The art part of it is for sure the employment of non-traditional and perishable furniture materials … materials that can decay and are transient in nature, opposite of how domestic objects should perform. While the design part can be witnessed in the design of the core elements in metal of each piece, that are revealed and left behind as the edible parts are consumed.”
In other words, it’s a celebration of design minimalism, quite literally wrapped in a heady, even dark commentary on the global economy. On one hand, you have this Willy Wonka-esque edible furniture. On the other, you may be forced to eat it.
That said, maybe candy is especially delicious during the apocalypse.
“During the exhibition, the space, a huge and unheated warehouse was more humid than expected and the hardcandy top started to drip from the edges,” the studio writes. “Adventurous visitors dared to stick their fingers into the small pools of melted candy were surprised, thinking it would have solidified, and putting their sticky fingers directly in their mouths to taste it!”