Chocolate Mill

In response to a description featured in an earlier post about “space truffles,” designer (and occasional photographer) Nick Foster pointed me to the video featured below. Originally released last year from the Vitra Design Museum, it documents a 2012 collaboration between Studio Wieki Somers and German chocolatier Rafael Mutter.

What appears simply to be a massive column of chocolate turns out, when shaved down over time—reduced millimeter by millimeter for hours—to have countless, stunning internal geometric patterns marbled and embedded throughout its previously unseen interior. Every turn of the mill reveals more, deeper patterns; every pattern is scraped away to reveal ever deeper shapes.



Objects that only reveal themselves through reduction—or, rather, objects that reveal infinitely different, all but unrecognizable versions of themselves as they are diminished in size or shape—are a particularly fascinating thing to think about.

From genetically modified trees whose inner rings are actually precise 3D objects only revealed when the tree is sliced in section—perhaps like something out of the work of Sascha Pohflepp, where grown machines emerge like fruit from trees—to multi-course meals where each course is somehow embedded within the course that preceded it, there is a bewildering amount of future design possibility in the field.

(Thanks, Nick, for the tip!)

5 thoughts on “Chocolate Mill”

  1. I recommend looking up "the visible human project" on youtube, where they do this exact same thing to the frozen body of a condemned murder from Texas, for science. It is surreal.

  2. Thanks, Jeremy, very cool!

    And the Visible Human Project is one of my favorites – it actually came up a lot with my students, oddly enough, while discussing architectural sections and plans.

Leave a Reply