The edible Austrian Pavilion designed by Chris Precht from Prenda and Alex Daxböck won first runner-up in the international design competition for the Milan Expo 2015. Inspired by the 2015 expo theme “Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life,” the two artists submitted a very literal concept for the Italian design expo in order to encourage organic agricultural and local food sourcing.
The idea behind the pavilion comes not only from the expo’s theme, but also the designers’ wish to promote the importance of organic and locally grown foods in Austria. Being a small country, Austria is able to source much of their food products locally. According to the artists, increasing food scandals, GMO’s and corporate ownership of society’s dietary supply have made the public even more aware of the importance of regional and seasonal food productivity.
More than just an aesthetically pleasing garden structure, the Austrian Pavilion is primarily an interactive design that requires visitor participation. Upon entering the expo through a large ramp, guests will be introduced to local plants and get an explanation on the full cycle of the growing process, from Austrian seed to Austrian cuisine.
Visitors will then be able to fill in the gaps of the timber structure with various seeds of their choosing, putting the entire pavilion design into visitors’ hands, literally. Between the seeding, growing and harvesting process, the pavilion will undergo constant change for seven months as it transforms from a barren structural frame into a nutrient-rich communal garden. During these months, all vegetables, fruits and herbs planted by the visitors will be prepared as traditional Austrian dishes by the on-site restaurant.
Images ©Chris Precht and Alex Daxböck