Berk Ilhan Design
Product & Experience Design

Desert to Dessert

Creating a gateway to edible insects


The designers chose the honey ant—an ant that stores large amounts of sweet honeydew and nectar in its elastic abdomen (later fed to nest mates).

big idea dtd

Calling their series of offerings “Desert to Dessert,” the work serves as a gateway for western cultures by introducing the delicate and precious honey ant through an event called “Dessert of the Night,” and then through an effort to feature the dessert in high-end restaurants. The designers’ goal was to change the perception of insects from being seen as dirty creatures to something desirable—even noble.

on table dtd

After creating awareness, press and intrigue, the next step of the project is to provide honey ants to gourmet restaurants to be featured on their menu. Here, Berk and Jung designed a pedestal for presenting the dessert. Elevating the honey ant (which can be as large as a grape) from the surface of the table, the design creates new, delicate rituals at the end of a meal.

In order to emphasize the preciousness of the honey ant and to create initial and media-genic demand, the designers imagine introducing a “new dessert” at a United Nations special event, inviting diplomats and celebrities to taste these delicate, jewel-like insects in front of the world press.