Portelio - Photo by CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati.

Ice cream design, Portelio by CRA-Carlo Ratti Associati – Photo by CRA.

Design – A solar-powered beach umbrella looking after your gelato, a socially responsible ice-cream van doubling as a workshop space, and sculptural fruity popsicles. Ice cream meets design. Check these 3 tasty projects celebrating summertime, one scoop at a time.


The solar-powered beach umbrella keeping your gelato cool

Portelio - Photo by CRA Carlo Ratti Associati.

Photo by CRA Carlo Ratti Associati.

Carlo Ratti Associati and architect Italo Rota created Portelio, a solar beach umbrella that powers an ice cream fridge for Sammontana, Italy’s leading gelato and frozen desserts brand. The beach umbrella opens like a work of origami as well as the solar systems on NASA spacecraft. Foldable photovoltaic panels absorb sunlight from the whole hemisphere and convert it into electricity, powering coolers and nebulizers underneath. “We are delighted that Sammontana invited us to develop this project, as both our organizations share a strong commitment to environmental values and human wellbeing,” explains Carlo Ratti.


Sculptural fruity popsicles

Stoyn Ice cream - Image by Stoyn.

Image by Stoyn.

Russian advertising agency Stoyn has released a super sorbet series, created in custom realistic molds in the shape of natural ingredients. Each popsicle has a different unique branding characteristic and catchphrase, with “pineapple providing incredible vigor, the mango lifting cheerful spirits, the raspberry boosting your immunity, the apple offering juicy freshness, and the banana giving you high energy”.


The responsible ice cream van

Fandangoe Whip - Photo via IG by @fandangoekid.

Photo via IG by @fandangoekid.

With the Fandangoe Whip project, Annie Nicholson, a.k.a. The Fandangoe Kid, is touring the UK in a customised ice-cream van doubling as a workshop space to reach people who don’t typically visit museums or galleries to build up a conversation on mental health issues. The van works as an outreach centre for people affected by grief who want to talk about their situation. “Grief is a part of life and one that comes to all of us,” says Nicholson. “The sooner we find ways in which we can share this, the less overwhelming I believe the world will be.”