Germany military field ration.  Food-design exhibition K-RATION - Photo by Fabrizia Parisi, courtesy of Giulio Iacchetti.

Germany military field ration. Food-design exhibition K-RATION – Photo by Fabrizia Parisi, courtesy of Giulio Iacchetti.

The food-design exhibition K-RATION Meals for soldiers in action by Giulio Iacchetti at Triennale museum in Milan suggests a reflection on the most anonymous and glamour-free design ever: military field rations packaging.

The exhibition features twenty military field rations from different international armies and one astronaut pre-packed meal and illustrates the variety of menus. On show also several accessories such as folding openers, camp stoves, bags for waste, airtight containers for matches and more.

USA military field ration.  Food-design exhibition K-RATION - Photo by Fabrizia Parisi, courtesy of Giulio Iacchetti.

USA military field ration. Food-design exhibition K-RATION – Photo by Fabrizia Parisi, courtesy of Giulio Iacchetti.

Iacchetti focused his attention on hype-free food design case-studies that respond to strict functional parameters. Indeed, all over the world, military rations combine minimal sizes with attention to detail, form and colour coding, but also energetic and caloric efficiency.

France military field ration.  Food-design exhibition K-RATION - Photo by Fabrizia Parisi, courtesy of Giulio Iacchetti.

France military field ration. Food-design exhibition K-RATION – Photo by Fabrizia Parisi, courtesy of Giulio Iacchetti.

Giulio Iacchetti says: “In these areas of production, design needs to abide by strict, consistent principles such as lightness, durability, reliability, compactness and ease of use. The rigorous functional approach is a source of great fascination and inspiration for designers and leads to products that are unconditionally beautiful”.

Israel military field ration.  Food-design exhibition K-RATION - Photo by Fabrizia Parisi, courtesy of Giulio Iacchetti.

Israel military field ration. Food-design exhibition K-RATION – Photo by Fabrizia Parisi, courtesy of Giulio Iacchetti.

Since the Second World War, almost all the armies have worked hard to develop food rations for the field. The name K-ration came from the initial of an American couple, the Keys, who invented the modern daily military food ration, taking inspiration from the Mediterranean diet. Today, the composition of food rations varies from one country to another.

The K-Ration exhibition at Triennale di Milano will be open from the 22nd of january until the 22nd of february and is linked to the main issue of Milan Expo 2015Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life.

New Zealand military field ration.  Food-design exhibition K-RATION - Photo by Fabrizia Parisi, courtesy of Giulio Iacchetti.

New Zealand military field ration. Food-design exhibition K-RATION – Photo by Fabrizia Parisi, courtesy of Giulio Iacchetti.