Competitors turn into partners, bonding over food design

Last year, DESITA held its 3rd edition of the International Design Award dedicated to designers, architects and creatives to revolutionize the whole experience around pizza.

Award winners Vincenzo, Nick and Eir, turn into friends and partners and this is their story about, that makes us very happy and proud, increasing also the expectations for the new current combined edition.

It has been one of the most beautiful experience of my life” says Nicholas Bender, second-place winner. “We were sitting at the table with other finalists in this fantastic location over the hotel rooftop that dominates a majestic view of Rome. It was thrilling, only good vibes”. We were there doing calculations to figure out who was going to place where and waiting for the prize giving. The suspense was unbelievable.”

“I won between over 700 contestants, across 32 countries! It was fantastic for me especially when I realized that the award reached a community of almost 40M people globally. Amazing! Says Vincenzo Sorrentino, first-place winner.”

“While all the finalists were amicable, there was one connection with a little extra sauce”, says Eir Rovira, the other second-place winner and wife of Nicholas. Since the ceremony we have stayed in touch and now we are collaborating under the moniker square41 – a food design consultancy”.

We do love to support young designers and innovators in their process of growth, providing them an opportunity for International visibility while transforming their ideas into marketable prototypes and then, real products.

We believe that it’s a very cool story.

Generally, it’s accepted that food transcends time and place, but in this case, it transcended competition and we love it very much.

All the best, our great designers! Let’s make a project together!

Vincenzo studied Design & Communication while was having experience working in restaurants and hotels, then he graduated in the Master of Food Design in Milan (SPD). After studies, he started a project around ceramics and food habits exploring new ways of consuming food through new shapes, new tools and new rituals. He now is working as a freelancer helping food companies to improve themselves and the environment around them. His mission is to evolve the Ho.Re.Ca. sector making it more sustainable and more engaging for end customers. For him “Food Design is a tool to improve human beings”.

Eir comes from a multicultural upbringing, which led to a multidisciplinary career. After earning certifications in Gender Studies and Psychology, she earned a bachelor’s degree in International Relations. Her academic research and professional work have focused on understanding how culture defines the human experience and, more specifically, trying to define a European identity. It has led her to work with an array of organizations – from the Pennsylvania Center for Women in Politics to UNESCO. “My goal is to democratize dining and to give voice to stories unheard. I want to diversify our conception of the restaurant by integrating other arts.”

Nick started out in the theatre, before moving into hospitality, and finally into marketing. He is recently published in Experiencing Food, Designing Dialogues (2018, CRC Press) with an article about how interactions in high gastronomy can be used to engage the diner in dialogue about their place in the food system. He recently finished a Masters Degree in Food Studies where his coursework focused on experiential marketing and sustainable food systems. The culminating thesis shows his research on the limits of performance in high gastronomy. But his professional interests go beyond high gastronomy, intending to create cohesive experiences for all types of eaters. “Food is not art; but it has layers of symbolic and cultural meaning. We can leverage this symbolism to tell stories that connect us all.”

DESITA AWARD – pizza & gelato experience 2018

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