Highbrow Alert: Arabeschi Di Latte Blurs The Line Between Food & Design

The interest in cross-pollinating food and design has peaked in the last few years, with more artists using food as a medium, and chefs focusing on artful presentation. Over in Italy, a group of women were way ahead of the trend.

Arabeschi di Latte is a women's collective founded 10 years ago by an architect fascinated with food, Francesca Sarti. She and her colleagues bring people together to experiment with food and design in workshops and pop-up events, in addition to exhibiting artists' work and performances for museums, galleries, agencies and private events around the world. As for the name, it translates loosely as ornaments of milk, which should give you an idea of the collective's point of view, if not their Italian-ness.

Arabeschi di Latte's projects are focused around food's power to create situations and relationships, with the goal of creating a "daily sense of happiness" through audience interaction — like a pasta-storytelling workshop, where kids and adults create shapes of pasta, then use the shapes to tell a story.

Sarti recently relocated from Florence to Milan, where she now bases Arabeschi di Latte, and where she has founded Underkitchen, which she has described as "a project set up to reveal the hidden, subtle and abstract nature behind food and hospitality." Using unexpected ingredients and compositions, the groups continue to blur the boundaries between food and design.

Most recently at a Milan gallery, Underkitchen showcased eggs soaked in tea resembling giant marbles; black rocks formed out of cheese rolled in coal; a rustic dessert made from black bread soaked in water and dark sugar; and artichoke flowers carbonized on the gallery's balcony. Using tame ingredients and a wild imagination, the group's convivial events have become a hit in the world of food and design.

Check out this video, as well as photos that showcase Arabeschi di Latte.

Arabeschi di Latte: Simple Pasta, Present Perfect from Gestalten on Vimeo.

Arabeschi di Latte workshops and events encourage conversation and communal dining [/caption]
Founder Francesca Sarti (far right) recently moved Arabeschi di Latte's headquarters from Florence to Milan[/caption]
The group holds held free pasta workshops in various cities throughout the world, where they encourage storytelling through pasta[/caption]
Artichokes and black rocks made of cheese rolled in coal from an Underkitchen event[/caption]
The group served "open-source eggs" at the London Design Festival[/caption]
Day, Summer, or Season was a pop-up cafe Arabeschi di Latte opened in Pitti Uomo, the men's fashion trade show in Florence[/caption]