Giardino in Fermento

Politecnico di Milano, 2022/2023. In collaboration with Alice Fuga, Weixuan Zhang. 


    Giardino in Fermento is a Trust established to create and support cross-generational and hyperlocal communities based on the production of fermented flavored beverages. The first exploratory phase deals with the knowledge of aromatic plants through multisensory workshops and collaboration of different fields. In the second phase, the hyperlocal community tests new recipes and selects those to be large-scale produced and sold. The creative and playful approach is the key to the whole system.

System map of the services offert in Giardino in Fermento. Illustration from Madeleine Beltrandi

How could fermented and flavoured beverages be produced through a creative process that also involves people in growing and harvesting aromatic and edible plants in Milan’s North Park?



    Clue part of the project was the use of the Collaborative Design methodology  during the development process. Three co-design sessions were held, including one with future users at Ortica’, the community garden in the north park (the future site of the project).

Group of participant of the workshop during the warm-up activity
Some boundary object used during the activities
Activity n°1

    The other two sessions were, instead, conducted online, with some experts in the field of urban biodiversity and fermented beverage production. 

    The ultimate goal of these three co-design sessions was to evolve and implement the design concept, which we had previously conceived, based on the insights, reflections and visions proposed by the different participants. In addition, for us designers, the opportunity to approach the co-design method for the first time and thus get in touch with the difficulties and possibilities that this methodology proposes was crucial.

The community

    Within the hyperlocal communities, 3 phases of discovery and experimentation are developed on the theme of fermented beverages. These different phases are distributed into two major toolkits, whose participants can purchase on the website according to the experience they wish to have. In addition, since the project is related to the world of gardening the course of the different phases is closely related to the seasons. 

Storyboard and timeline of the project

The Knowledge phase 

    The first exploratory phase involves learning about aromatic plants at Ortica’, the park’s community garden, through multi-sensory workshops and the collaboration of different sectors, such as the Museo Botanico.
View of Ortica’, the cummunal garden of Parco Nord and homebase of the project
Museo Botanico Aurelia Josz

Testing phase

    In the second phase, each participant receives a toolkit at home with ingredients and utensils inside that are useful for experimenting with beverages. Directly from their kitchen they try their hand at new recipes, accompanied by explanatory videos and support from the online community.

Image of the Kit #1

Interface of the application

Production and distribution

    Finally, members of the hyper-local community come together to elect the best drink to be produced on a large scale. Have a look at the video to have a better understanding of the system!


Business model

Economics business canvas
System map

Sustainability scanner

Environmental scanner

Social scanner