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Cover

Award-winning technology developed by Carlo Ratti Associati at World Expo 2015 makes it into the real world in new flagship store of Italy's largest supermarket chain.

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The Supermarket of the Future, a large grocery store featuring pioneering digital solutions developed by Carlo Ratti Associati, opens this week in Milan, Italy. The new store was built by Coop Italia, Italy's largest supermarket chain. It extends over a surface of 1,000 square meters (10,800 square feet) and employs technologies first presented in a prototypical version by Carlo Ratti Associati at Milan's World Expo 2015, in the framework of Coop Italia's Future Food District pavilion.

The Supermarket of the Future represents a further step in Carlo Ratti Associati's exploration of how data can promote more informed – and hopefully more sustainable – consumption patterns. It incorporates facilities such as interactive food tables, smart shelves and real time data visualizations, which will provide shoppers with facts about the origins and characteristics of particular foodstuffs.

"We were inspired by a scene from Italo Calvino's Palomar novel. In that scene, the protagonist Mr. Palomar enters a fromagerie in Paris - and suddenly thinks he's in a museum", says Carlo Ratti, founding partner of Carlo Ratti Associati and director of the MIT Senseable City Lab.

"Behind every cheese there is a pasture of a different green under a different sky. Mr. Palomar feels as he does in the Louvre, seeing behind every object the presence of the civilization that has given it form. We believe that tomorrow's markets will make us feel a bit like Mr. Palomar. Every product will have a story to tell."

Dec. 16, 2016 Living photo: Carlo Ratti Associati

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