This Collaborative Confectionery is a Design Buff’s Dream

Goodbye truffles, ciao, chocolate bars – modular chocolate is the new kid in town. Australian independent brand, design, and digital agency Universal Favourite joined forces with Sydney’s Bakedown Cakery to create the next in their line of innovative annual client gifts: Complements. AKA, the colourful and flavoursome modular chocolates that took the internet by storm, with their stackable design and exciting finishes.

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The staircase modular shape contrasts with the fluid decoration.

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Matcha and Lemon, Fairy Floss and Blackcurrant, Vanilla and Shortbread, Strawberry and Cookies & Cream, Pistachio and Watermelon, Single Origin Dark and Cherry.

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Will this encourage a new movement, one that promotes playing with your food?

Cast in 3D-printed chocolate moulds, the design – conceived by Universal Favourite’s Lucy Datyner and Meghan Armstrong, and executed by Bakedown Cakery’s Jen Lo – was inspired by ceramics and resin jewellery. The organic marbling, dipping, and airbrush textures were used as a decorative complement the treat’s rigid geometric shape.

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Fairy Floss, Vanilla, and Watermelon.

The team are looking into commercialising the boxes, each containing 12 chocolates – one of each flavour – so watch this space or sign up to their mailing list for updates.

The Plus: These chocolates have been a phenomenal hit – why do you two think this is? 
Lucy Datyner and Meghan Armstrong:
People really seem to enjoy the modularity/DIY aspect. It’s a concept that seems to pervade every aspect of mainstream design, architecture and visual culture these days. Chocolate’s a fun medium to apply this idea to – it tends to be visualised/flavoured quite classically, and people like to see classic things taken in a new direction.

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Pistachio and Matcha.

TP: What inspired the modular design in the first place?
LD/MA:
The idea of pairing flavours and colours rationally led to the idea of modularity. We liked that conceptually there were a few things at play: whether or not it’s chocolate is a bit ambiguous, and we’ve wrought it in a basic shape, like building blocks.

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Fairy Floss and Blackcurrant.

TP: So how did you go about designing the shape itself?
LD/MA:
We mocked up a bunch of different shapes, even carved some prototypes out of clay. There’s a reason they still make full-scale car models out of clay – we had been prototyping the shape digitally, but clay was a a suitable material for that kind of rapid prototyping as it’s malleable and easy to work with.

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Strawberry and Watermelon.

TP: How did you select the striking colours and patterns for the chocolates?
LD/MA:
We saw an easy opportunity to experiment beyond the brown, cream, and pastels that you normally see. We also felt that the colours and finishes should accurately represent the flavours, so there was a synaesthetic consideration in the choice of combinations.

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TP: Have you guys got sweet teeth? What are your favourite chocolate combinations from the Complements collection?
LD/MA:
Of course! Lucy’s favourite combination is matcha and strawberry. Meghan’s is strawberry and shortbread. Strawberry was a big hit all around.

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TP: You’ve redesigned chocolate consumption in a way we love – what else would you like the chance to re-design, given the chance?
LD/MA:
This is a hard one. Chocolates are pretty fun, but we’re also focused on research-based design and its ability to challenge the status quo and bigger picture.

Alternatively, the world could always use another chair.

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Single origin Dark.

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Cookies & Cream.

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Strawberry.

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Watermelon.

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Fairy Floss.

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Shortbread.

Photos by Amanda Prior

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