Anyone who has been to Austria and experienced their kaffee und kuchen will quite understand why some exhibits in the Vienna Design Week have a sugary theme.

We love the look of the sugar-spun cutlery and crockery by Dutch designers Studio Makkink & Bey. Amid the refined setting of the Lichtenstein Museum, they laid out an enchanting trail of sugar sculptures, on a tablecloth embroidered with images that chronicle the story of sugar. It’s not an entirely sweet tale…

… touching on imperialism, colonial wealth and the sugar trade.

At the height of their power, Viennese courts were decorated with sugar sculptures as a display of their wealth, and Makkink & Bey signed up former court confectioner Demel to help fashion the beautifully delicate display, which also included flowers.

Luckily, six silver spoons were made along with the sugary versions. Which definitely shouldn’t be used to stir your ‘milk with two sugars’…

Makkink & Bey, which is run by husband and wife team Jurgen Bey and Rianne Makkink, mix purely creative ideas like this with more down-to-earth products. They were the people behind the interior of the Balancing Barn in Suffolk –

This is one of the unusual properties in the Living Architecture scheme set up by Alain de Botton, which brings architectural holiday homes to a wider audience (see our interview with Alain in Livingetc November, London People).

Images Studio Makkink & Bey

Jo, sub-editor