Clever Kitchenware

In this edition of productivity, we have arranged a selection of the latest 2016 novelties in kitchen and tableware design. After all, the core of the domestic environment is what happens at the table. Now you have the chance to taste the main trends that lie ahead. Please help yourself...

Patrizia Coggiola September 2016
The cheerful, bold, welcoming texture of archaic materials gives kitchen furnishings and cooking gestures a sturdy and retro-industrial framework. The geometrical purity of shapes, applied to stone, raw wood, or earth interlaces solids and voids. It is a warm, hearty minimalism, where passions and emotions have free reign. A process of subtraction aims to obtain the longest-lasting, liveliest everyday experience.
Chief Designer at Vipp
Vipp, a high-end producer of kitchen accessories, is moving into the furniture category. This year it has introduced a dining table with a steel frame and ceramic tabletop. “The Vipp table is a highly durable piece of furniture wrapped in a timeless and minimalistic aesthetic. Functional characteristics such as an acid-resistant ceramic tabletop and a simple yet characteristic steel frame with solid corners, rounded edges, and adjustable set-screws are founded in the classic Vipp industrial-design DNA”, says Jensen. The table frame is made of solid, powder-coated aluminium and is assembled with solid corner profiles.“When we design a new product, it’s not only about making something new or different for that reason alone. The challenge lies in creating something better, something that will last and something that will add an extra element of joy to a simple everyday experience. With this table, we not only wanted to create a piece of furniture to match the aesthetic and functionality of the Vipp kitchen, we also felt that there was a need for a table where particular consideration has been given to making a table surface that will not be stained or ruined by hot objects that are placed on it. Using one large dry-pressed ceramic tile has made that possible. Although it matches our look, the table is not only made to fit the Vipp kitchen. We used one of our signature materials, powder-coated aluminium, to create a sturdy frame system that at once has an industrial appearance and adds a certain lightness by giving the tabletop a floating appearance. And signature Vipp set-screws in stainless steel make it possible to adjust the height of the table by +/-2 cm.
Designer for Schiffini
Lepic by Schiffini is the first industrially-produced kitchen designed by Jasper Morrison, after having de- signed so many products for every environment in the home. Lepic is a project that completely fits into Morrison’s design philosophy. The creativity and design development process is also in keeping with the British designer’s timeline: it has taken two years to design and above all, refine and curate, even the smallest details of the complex system that is kitchens. “Lepic is indeed an apparently easy and intuitive system, but it is rich in detail. We sought after combinations of different materials and endless composition variations. The versatility of Lepic can be seen in its capacity to be contextualised to suit different environments and various cultures.” Morrison’s concepts were reflected in the design of the Schiffini showroom in Milano in Via Uberto Visconti di Modrone where, during the last edition of Design Week, many objects designed by him were on show in addition to the three different versions of the kitchen. The settings recalled in the staging represented Milan, Tokyo, and Stockholm, and were tied to Jasper Morrison’s professional experiences. These became the inspiration for the three compositions that combined materials such as FENIX laminate and stainless steel alongside warm Nor- dic woods like natural oak.
Casimir has created an oblong 7.8-metre-long kitchen (worktop + storage space) with a separate totem element for the oven and refrigerator. The 4 cm-thick, solid Irish Bluestone flamed-finish worktop perfectly suits the irregular nature of the farmhouse. It is composed of of six pieces of stone, each of a different length, provided by Belgian company Van Den Weghe. One of the pieces contains a recess of 80 x 40 cm, functioning as a massive sink. The storage unit consists of some 30 ‘matchboxes’ each of a different size. “The varied dimensions and the ‘accidental’ stack provide an orchestrated chaos”, Casimir explains. The full storage unit (boxes, backs, drawers) were built using one panel of black 19 mm-thick MDF and finished with a matte two- component PU varnish, and all the drawers operate on push-to-open Quadro runners by Hettich. A plinth between the floor and the boxes and between the intermediate boxes and the worktop creates a general floating effect. The separate totem is of solid French oak finished with a natural matte oil, again a primal material to match the soul of the farmhouse. All integrated kitchen appliances by Atag.
Robert Collignon
Gastronaut Ice Cream is the world’s first-ever organic freeze-dried ice cream. Its debut by way of a Kickstarter campaign launched on 11 July 2016 was successful, and the company was founded a month later. After spending two years freeze- drying ice cream in his Brooklyn apartment, Robert Collignon came up with a formula for ice cream containing all-organic ingredients and no artificial colouring, a big step forward from the ‘astronaut ice cream’ sold in the space museum gift shops. He then gave up his apartment and moved into a 1987 Volkswagen van to travel the country. On his 20,000 mile journey across the US, Mexico, and Canada, he brought along his homemade freeze- dried ice cream to see if it would hold-up to life on the road, and it did. Collignon says, “Ice cream melts everywhere you take it. Especially if you’re liv- ing in a van with no fridge. But my freeze-dried version let me bring ice cream anywhere I travelled.”
Designer and Founder of PJADAD
Blekingegatan 16 – Matklubb is a collaboration between PJADAD, an experimental design studio run by Swedish designer Petter Kukacka, and Bohm Bohm Room, an interdisciplinary production studio within art and culture headed by Emelie Bergbohm. The idea is to devise a calendar of seven evenings with twelve chairs, facilitating a meeting between chefs and artists, different people for each edition. Kukacka had already been taking part in food projects before this, with a cooking machine made for the Collaborative Cooking project (“It is an installation, a social experiment, and a dinner combined”, says Kukacka. “Blekingegatan 16 - Matklubb describes a series of evenings organised in a studio where the main focus is on food, drink, and art. The studio, which is otherwise not open to the public, hosts seven occasions that are based on conversations and philosophical questions about the collision be- tween food and art. We have tried to select experimental chefs and interesting artists to create original duos. Dinner is served, but the experience is far more than a three course meal, repetitive restaurant concepts, and weary food trends. The project is a reflection of society’s relationship to the restaurant versus a staged show. Where do you draw the line between art and cooking? Which is the most observed? And how can we use these social activities to create new encounters and venues?”Designer, chef, and artists step outside the usual context and together design something that departs from the narrative processes and experiences of cooking and serving dinner..
At the Salone del Mobile, Estel presented Coffice, a cafeteria setting for workspaces; and Work in Casa,a solution to blend the working area and kitchen in domestic environments. With a steady presence in the Home and Office furniture industry for 80 years, Estel owes its success to its constant attention to changes to our habits in the work and private spheres. The digital era is in full swing today, engendering new work patterns like ‘smart working’ or flexible schedules. In this context, the work and food lines have become increasingly blurred: in other words, we now work in spaces once exclusively reserved for dining. Tables are used for many needs: to eat, have breakfast, iron, or work stand- ing up, with heights ranging from 68 to 118 cm. Vintage tables, chairs, benches, stools, and extending-tables complete the series. All the products, from seating to tables and furniture, are configured to incorporate electrical wiring and batteries.
Guido Venturini
Guido Venturini, Philippe Starck, David Chipperfield, Mario Trimarchi, Marta Sansoni, Marcel Wanders, Miriam Mirri, Antonio Aricò, and Massimo Giacon are among the names that have contributed to Alessi's Fall/Winter 2016 collection. A new chapter of the Alessi Encyclopedia, it is filled with products made of stainless steel at factories in Crusinallo di Omegna, northern Italy, confirming the company’s intention to maintain the skilled metal processing on offer there. New design challenges are met by increasingly sophisticated methods of preparing prototypes and updating the production departments, as well as by the high quality and technical ability of the workforce. Guido Venturini designed Valerio, a citrus-squeezer and pestle with the same erotic inspiration he previously expressed in 1993 with his Firebird gas-lighter. Made in stainless steel, Valerio is a multipurpose utensil that is perfect for those who like to prepare drinks, cocktails, or recipes that require fresh ingredients. As Venturini explains: “It’s a dual-purpose object. One side is a juicer, the other a pestle. Each becomes the handle of the other. A minimal intervention in a rotating solid. It might well be something that Escher and Gaudi would have used to make a Mojito!”.
Valcucine presented two new solutions for the kitchen at this year’s edition of Eurocucina. A new interactive kitchen system, V-Motion kit, is the core kitchen model within the new Genius Loci series. Patented by Valcucine, V-Motion kit has been designed for discern- ing customers who demand cutting-edge solutions and want their kitchen to be a workhorse serving individual needs. Meticulous care has gone into creating the clean lines and functionality of the new Gourmet System, with details designed to meet the needs of a would-be chef wanting to take her/his expertise to the next level. The system is a semi-professional solution in which the inclusion of clever features such as a stainless steel top with concealed storage area and a built-in, equipped back section ensures high performance and extreme ease of use in all prepping and cooking tasks.
Alberto Minotti
Minotticucine has played with materials, creating a door made completely of stone, a total-wood kitchen, and two new exclusive finishes. Thanks to a strict process of subtraction, the living space becomes elementary, stripped of anything that can divert the eye and detract from the view. Monolithic, monochrome, and mono-material volumes, in their abstract essence and sculptural presence, are present in all the models: verticality and geometrical purity of shape is applied to stone as well to wood in the Inca, Atelier, and Terra kitchens..
Studio Benedini Associati
What would the kitchen be like today if the Dukes of Mantua still lived in Palazzo Ducale? Key Cucine, in collaboration with Benedini Associati, has tried to imagine the scenario: the Gonzaga family always demonstrated impeccable aesthetic taste, but also great attention to innovation and an appreciation of bold and original solutions, which made them patrons par excellence throughout the nearly 400 years of their reign. The palace was destined for illustrious guests such as ambassadors and rulers who would come to visit Mantua and stay in the ornately decorated rooms; the apartment was designed by Giulio Romano by order of Federico II Gonzaga in 1539 and was completed by architect Bertani following the death of the great artist. The exhibition Gonzaga Lifestyle 2016 is on until 11 September 2016 in the guest rooms of the Palazzo Ducale in Mantua. There, within the historic residence, Key Cucine presents Estivale, a made-to-measure kitchen as featured in a modern home, installed to suit different rooms, the idea being to compare art, design, and domestic living spaces with those of the past. The project includes a large island measuring four metres in length with a lava stone floor, featuring the latest-generation professional Dutch stoves with doors coated in a unique non-toxic material that adheres to the surfaces like a second skin and substantially improves the microclimate.
Fabrizio Crisà + team and Elica Design Center
Elica’s new products come from the creative mind of Fabrizio Crisà along with his team at Elica Design Center. Among the products presented at Eurocucina was the Stream series, with its aspirating hob called NikolaTesla. An absolute first, NikolaTesla is an induction hob equipped with advanced technologies and a distinctive design. It has all the advantages of such hobs, like rapid cooking and easy clean-up. However, it also possesses specific details like a doublebridge function that allows for two adjacent cooking zones to be combined to accommodate large-sized pots. The aspiration system, positioned in the central zone, achieves high performance levels regarding fume extraction and energy efficiency (class A+). Thanks to its direct communication with the hob, the system is able to receive information from the cooking zones and automatically calibrate the ideal aspiration level, meaning that the user only need worry about cooking; at the same time, the unit reduces energy consumption. NikolaTesla is equipped with a 10-speed touch control panel and is connectable via Snap. Among the chandelier hoods, Interstellar was conceived for an island installation and devised to become the focal point of any space. Its strong character and preciousness comes from its 1150 pieces of glass (in two versions, transparent and black) and its mirrored-steel finishes, plus it emits ambient light from an LED disc and strip. In short, the hood lends a one-of-a-kind atmosphere to the space in which it’s installed.
Derived from Prisma’s international experience in professional catering, but specifically devised for the household, Ego is the Abimis product range designed to customise a user-friendly, innovative, and beautiful look. Produced in AISI Type 304 stainless steel, a biologically neutral metal that does not give off any odour or release any substances into food, the material is also resistant to corrosion and temperatures of up to 500°C, is extremely easy to clean, and is 100% recyclable. Each piece is designed to measure and crafted: the finishes, the thickness of the steel, and the worktops. Featuring flush doors with rounded corners that are fully integrated into the framework for a smooth appearance, the Ego range uses self-adjusting, invisible hinges patented by Abimis.
Piero Lissoni
Italian kitchen and bathroom manufacturer Boffi is presenting its latest kitchen, bathroom, and storage products at its Chelsea showroom during this year’s London Design Festival. Located in Brompton Cross, Boffi’s 600 square-metre showroom is displaying for the first time in the UK, Boffi_Code by Milan-based architect Piero Lissoni. Recently launched at the 2016 edition of Milan Design Week, Boffi_Code is a programme conceived to offer complete freedom of design in both the kitchen and bathroom, thanks to its clever technical solutions and exclusive finishes. The Boffi_Code kitchen being presented in London is an island composition comprising of a Grey Stone marble worktop and doors in abonos oak, a fossil wood from Eastern Europe found in rivers or lakes and characterised by a distinctive colour gradient varying from dark brown to nearly black depending on the age of the tree, which is always more than 2000 years old.
Architect & Designer, and Creative Director at Molteni&C and Dada

Last April, Vincent Van Duysen was appointed creative director of Molteni&C and Dada. This news came after the success of his Gliss Master wardrobe system and his design of the Molteni&C stand at imm cologne. Van Duysen will focus on coordinating the brands’ image and retail concept, merging a strong North European imprint and minimalist rigour with a Mediterranean flavour and a passion for Italy. “My background is strongly rooted in the world of architecture”, he says. “My links with the Molteni Group have matured over time and date back to 2010 when I was involved in designing the interiors of a high-rise residential tower in Riyadh, in partnership with another of the Group’s companies, Unifor, leaders in quality office furniture with a design focus. I am proud that Carlo Molteni has now entrusted me with the creative coordination of Molteni&C and Dada; each has an extraordinary history and a DNA linked to the great names in architecture, such as Aldo Rossi, Tobia Scarpa, and Luca Meda.”The Belgian architect is experimenting in the kitchen sector for the first time: VVD, the name of the Dada project, has architectural overtones that reinterpret the recessed handle detail in a modern and sophisticated way. The designer works on the contrast between the slim side and end units and the considerable thickness of the worktops, interrupting the linearity of the worktop with stone sink bowls. The layout is based on alternating materials: natural stone such as porphyry, Ceppo di Gré, and slate; different woods like bleached oak, walnut, and oak; graphite and brushed steel; baltic green, titan; and pewter lacquered finishes; and an interplay of solids and voids, thus giving rise to a dynamic, refined kitchen. Completing the project are generous pull-out trays, open-ended drawers, and under-top trolleys. An aluminium load-bearing frame also allows for compositions that are suspended from the floor. Technological details such as the built-in LED strip light; the aluminium contour that discreetly profiles the door handle, improving its grip; and the innovative pivot hinge that allows the door to open 180°, serve to make the internal space more usable. The kitchen thereby gains an architectural look, thanks as well to the elegant ceiling units and slim, transparent glass cupboards with shock-absorbing micro-hinges.
CEO and Chairman of the Board at LEICHT
LEICHT is one of the top 10 companies in the German kitchen industry. It employs 520 people at its main site in Waldstetten and last year made a turnover of around 110 million euros. Stefan Waldenmaier says of the grounding values of the company: “Product, service, brand: these are important success parameters that we stick by. In practical terms, this means that as far as our product range is concerned, we will keep a balance be- tween premium kitchens and kitchen series for a price- sensitive target group; in both cases maintaining maximum variant diversity and individual planning freedom. It is of course crucial to make LEICHT a desirable brand globally and provide both dealers and end-users with a range of new ideas about just what you can do with a LEICHT kitchen. One of our most recent projects is the international competition Global Kitchen Design, which has already led to more than 150 online entries of kitchens that have been planned, or indeed implemented all over the world. The idea is that visitors can store their preferred kitchen in the ideas book and then go to a dealer with this planning suggestion.”The newly-designed island in the Concrete kitchen integrates a dining table in the form of a countertop with an overhang on one side. The surface is made of con- crete in warm white (dakar). When closed, the island is a linear cuboid, but open the drawers and it reveals an L3 pullout system. Contrastingly, the Bondi Kitchen uses a super-matte material and shows a clear, symmetrical structure, clean lines, and great expanses of colour. The two islands, situated opposite one another, define the functional, working areas of the kitchen; two areas for cooking and washing-up and extra-wide pullouts under the work surface.
Dolce Stil Novo is the new line presented by Smeg at Eurocucina 2016. It is an extremely structured range made up of 60 and 45 cm ovens; a blast chiller; multi-functional drawers; gas, induction and mixed hobs; hoods; wine cellars; and coffee machines, allowing a wide variety of combinations to be obtained. The stylistic feature that identifies the new aesthetic is the use of noble materials, colour, and light, which imbue the volumes with an even, monochromatic surface, enhanced by refined details — above all copper or stainless steel trims that outline the upper and lower edges of the glass and return as a leitmotif throughout the whole range.
CR&S Varenna
CR&S Varenna’s new Athena line for Poliform, presented at Eurocucina 2016, features smoked-glassfronted shelving. The studio’s new collections are a result of a tight dialogue with international designers, bringing an update of surfaces and finishes as well as stylistic and technological touches. Athena is based on an integrated system that matches furniture components and features a wide range of technical accessories and equipment. It is a simple and versatile product displaying a handles-free kitchen and cupboard doors in embossed lacquered ghiaccio framed in black anodised aluminium, embellishing the composition.
A modern furniture unit that uses a material dating back a thousand years, Essence is Toncelli’s latest collection, presented in 2016. Fossil beechwood combined with titanium steel are applied throughout, even for the cooking surface. Beechwood, in order to be used properly and in accordance with today’s standards, requires titanium steel and state-of-the-art treatments. The grains and tones created during the fossilisation process add a layer of decorative quality that enriches and refines the sartorial design of these kitchens.
Sanwa is a Japanese company that for 35 years has been import- ing and marketing construction materials, as well as designing, developing, and marketing house equipment for the home, with a special focus on kitchens, washbasins, bathrooms, doors and fittings, tiles and flooring. The company stands out for selling products that combine the most advanced Japanese technology with typical minimalist design. In the last few years, Sanwa has won a number of prestigious prizes: Spinning washbasin and Ospole functional gatepost were both awarded iF Design Awards in 2015. For the first time, Sanwa has taken part in Eurocucina, introducing a highly innovative project for the kitchen with four solutions suitable for small spaces, combining contemporary design and quality finishes. The project mixes cutting-edge technology with a simple yet remarkable selection of materials.
Mats Broberg and Johan Ridderstråle
Röshults Outdoor Kitchen is a range of barbecues and outdoor kitchen furniture with clean, architectural lines. The series combines contemporary design and function. The BBQ Grill and Charcoal BBQ are designed by award-winning duo Mats Broberg and Johan Ridderstråle. The grill is equipped with thick stainless steel grates that store heat and give the characteristic grilling stripes without cooling down.
Founders of Steinbesser
For four years now there has been an ongoing culinary experiment named Steinbeisser taking place at the Lloyd Hotel in Amsterdam. Founders Martin Kullik and Jouw Wijnsma have been organising avant-garde culinary evenings in Amsterdam, Berlin, and Frankfurt over this time. On 7, 8, and 9 October, the Lloyd again becomes the scene of a unique dining experience. A six-course tasting menu created by chefs Jef Schuur and Luc Kusters, accompanied by special cutlery, glass- es, and plates, is arranged as a total experience that showcases contemporary gastronomy and design in a mixed context. Fifteen artists and designers created the tableware, guided and inspired by nature. All kinds of materials have been combined in these extravagant pieces, such as ceramic, clay, earth, glass, grains, metal, seaweed, stone, and wood. With their inquisitive approach, the designers have broadened the sense of culinary delight in very surprising ways.Sarah-Linda Forrer, Sergey Jivetin, and Tala Yuan created cutlery that is peculiarly impractical and yet unexpectedly usable. Jivetin re-engineered optical devices that aim to engage the participant in the tactile experience of wonder, pleasure, luxury, preciousness, and the art of perfection. He has been working for more than two months on 60 pieces of whimsical cutlery incorporating antique optical gadgets. “I used microscopes and started to really look at the details of plants as something that is missing from our appreciation of eating food”, he says. “So for this meal, I’m basically finding a lot of antique optical objects like opera glass- es, map readers, and other lenses, and then converting them into cutlery.” Forrer chose a different approach, crafting her pieces by hand in stone and ceramic until they became a tactile trigger for our senses. And Holz created glass sculptures made from sections of glass tubing transformed through heat and pressure with cheese graters, wire brushes, and perforated metal. Upcoming events are scheduled for Basel, 14+15 September 2016, and San Francisco, 25 September 2016.
Among the Veneta Cucine novelties is the new Start-Time.J kitchen, featuring the Quick Design range of products with high designer content and low economic impact, where the concepts of facilitation, simplification, and immediate practicality go beyond the usual modular systems. Start-Time.J introduces a J-shaped profile applied horizontally to the base units as a gripping device for opening and closing the units, and vertically to extend this great practicality to the tall units.
Sarah Forrer
PRIMITIVESThe raw, the pure, and the forgotten. Nature and time are the biggest sources of inspiration. The design itself, free from any sharp edges, dives into archetypal lines, looking back at experiences and at the kind of spirit that has spanned time, distance, and cultures. Long ago, forms contained far more design then we have tended to believe.
Evoke is a collection of eating tools created by SarahLinda Forrer, a product designer based in Amsterdam. An experimental way of working leads her to an attractive tactility where materials, textures, and colours trigger the imagination and create a story through details and the beauty of the unseen. She strives to ennoble the raw, pure, and forgotten, with nature being her biggest source of inspiration. “In a world where the food system is so complicated that I no longer know where my food comes from and how it is produced, I feel the longing for a new relationship with what we eat. This collection of sensual eating objects creates a stage on which food can be presented and savoured, in an attempt to increase the eater’s awareness of its fragility and preciousness. With soft shapes crafted in stoneware and porcelain, our senses are triggered. Neither cutlery nor plates, these tools evoke in us a more intuitive way of eating, giving new value to our food. They transform the act of eating into a moment of full attention, gratefulness, and pleasure. The organic shapes become an extension of our hands and fingers, literally bringing us closer to what we eat. Contrasting with the conventional way of eating with a fork, knife, and plate, a family of shapes and sizes can be used in various ways to present and enjoy our meal.”This project in still in progress and has a crowdfunding campaign. The final collection will consist of seven eating tools. Forrer graduated from Design Academy Eindhoven in December 2013, in the Man&Identity department.
Designer and Founder of Apparatu
During Milano Design Week, Cosentino collaborated with Apparatu design studio to create an experimental exhibition, Dektonhenge by Apparatu, made with Dekton®. The Cosentino Group distributes high-value, innovative surfaces for use in architecture and design. With this new product, Xavier Mañosa proposes a review of Dekton’s origins. Together with Cosentino’s R&D department, Xavier Mañosa subjected the ultra-compact surface to a ductile and malleable process.“Using Dekton as a raw material, we could follow its transformation from liquid to solid states, working in the same way as with ceramic.” Mañosa selected a type of natural rock and digitalised its surface. From this he created different pieces such that each of them could later be crafted and moulded. “The result of this experimental exercise is an ensemble of elements of different shapes and sizes — these make up the retro-primitive look of the Dektonhenge table setting.”
Founder Valerie Traan
Following a first presentation in 2015 at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, Belgian design gallery Valerie Traan organised an exhibition in Antwerp in the spring of 2016 called The Cutlery Show, with a new selection of pieces by international designers and artists. “There is nothing more common than the cutlery we use every day”, comments Veerle Wenes, curator and founder of the gallery. “Here, a number of designers and artists have given new life, new beauty, and even new meaning to these simple extensions of our limbs.” Maarten Baas (NL) and Koichi Futatsumata (JP) are the first designers whose work has been realised for the cutlery collection ‘To eat with’, edited by valerie_objects. For the grip of his cutlery, Futatsumata was inspired by his favourite technical pen, and Baas has created sketchy, almost childishly simple cutlery in his own typical style. On the other side, there is David Bernstein, an American living in Maastricht, who uses all sorts of spatulas as a starting point for his performances, allowing us to extend our body to reach further, but also, as he says “to extend our mind because we can think through the thing”. Octave Vandeweghe (BE) instead makes cutlery out of faceted gemstones. “When I approached the designers”, says the curator, “I knew they would each use their expertise, background, and knowledge to come up with a completely divergent range of results. Some of them had already experimented with cutlery, oth- ers had been fascinated by it for years, while for others still, it was their first foray into designing a modest eating tool. But whatever stage they were at, they all succeeded in delivering a surprise.” The Cutlery Show also presented work by artists René Heyvaert, Jean-Pierre Temmerman, D.D. Trans, and Joris Van de Moortel & Unfold, whose artworks — each in a different way — have been inspired by the theme of cutlery. Next year during DDAYS in Paris (May 2017), a new cutlery show will be curated by Veerle Wenes at IBU Gallery, Jardins du Palais Royal.
The Anthropocene collection presented at Galleria Mirco Cattai in Milan during the recent Fuorisalone gathers bowls, knives, and neo-primitive amphoras inspired by the extraordinary collections in the Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology at the University of Florence and produced as a limited edition. The formal journey of these pieces illustrates the evolution of mankind, telling a story that has always been based or linked with the concept of good design. The series was created by ZPSTUDIO, a design and architecture studio founded in 2003 by Matteo Zetti and Eva Parigi, both lecturers and researchers at the university for many years. In 2007, the studio inaugurated a series of furnishing accessories that is available at selected galleries and design showrooms in Italy and around the world under the label ZPSTUDIO TOOLS.
García Cumini / Designers for Cesar
At Fuorisalone 2016, Cesar presented the UNIT project. This kitchen proposal by García Cumini is nei- ther a macrosystem nor merely an object, but rather, a highly functional element, offering freedom of composition and lightness that comes through the industrialisation of the components. “In the era of global interconnection that sees us more and more as nomads driving change,” explains the duo, “design is exploring new paths oriented toward flexible but timeless, durable solutions of exceptional quality.” UNIT, a project based on 60, 90, and 120 cm base modules and columns, and innovative 180 and 240 cm integrated structural units, is inspired by the professional kitchen, reinterpreted in light of the particular aesthetic and functional demands of the domestic environment.“We conceived UNIT as a ‘bridge’ project, capable of linking the crude aesthetic of professional elements — resulting from their essentially practical purpose — with more harmonic and elegant forms that are better suited to the home interior. Versatility is embodied by means of a soft aesthetic in the structure and materials. The design itself, entirely free of any sharp edges, brings to mind archetypal lines (the classic desk, the carpenter’s workbench, 1950s furniture), redefining the kitchen space in an incomparably creative way.” The finish of the doors and handles also reclaim their rightful place in the kitchen, proposed here in two original models, Shell and Eero, adding the kind of decorative details that suit a warm, comfortable, domestic environment. “Its easy relocation and adapt- ability to different spaces makes it a versatile piece of furniture, capable of meeting the demands of a society increasingly oriented toward mobility, personal taste, and forms of conviviality.”Amongst Cesar’s most important watersheds was the transformation in 1968 of Sante Vittorio Cester’s small workshop, turning it into a well-structured company, opening itself up to foreign markets in the 1990s and continuing to produce well-designed modular kitchens.
Founder of Carlo Ratti Associati
After having developed the first digitally augmented supermarket during Expo 2015 Milano, Carlo Ratti is now working on a collaborative farming project that offers the possibility of growing organic food at tomorrow’s supermarkets. Carlo Ratti Associati and Eataly (an Italian marketplace for high quality food and drinks) are together developing a digitally-augmented in-store cultivation system that will result in FICO Eataly World, an 80,000 square-metre edutainment park currently under construction in Bologna. “The project consists of a prototypical pavilion where people can engage with digitally-augmented farming and grow their own food on site. The project pairs sustainable agricultural practices with online data collection, paving the way for a new type of collaborative, in-store cultivation system in which anyone can become an organic food producer.” As a refreshing vision for the food industry, the pavilion will be among the highlights of the edutainment park. “It’s focused on production and nutrition with the aim of enhancing the culture of food. It will be a place of collaboration between startups and traditional businesses”, claims Oscar Farinetti, founder of Eataly.Area del Futuro, a circular pavilion designed by Carlo Ratti Associati, inscribes a route that leads to a vast indoor hydroponic vegetable garden. Here, anybody can choose to plant seeds in a hydroponic tank and monitor their growth. The tank itself glides fluidly through the farming process as if on a conveyer belt, exhibiting the many stages of plant growth. “Moving through the space of the pavilion will be like moving through time”, says Ratti, who is also a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). “As you walk along, you will observe the progression of plant growth: from seeds and sprouts at the entrance of the farm to fully developed vegetables after a few metres.” Via advanced data visualisations and sensors reading the plants’ biologic conditions, visitors are connected to the farm digitally and thus able to access it remotely. Once a person plants a seed in the hydroponic farm, an Internet-of-Things device will match his or her profile with that of the corresponding plant. “Using an Eataly World app, the visitor can then track the state of the plant’s biologic data and its level of growth, and can also share it on social media. When the vegetable is finally ripe, the visitor can collect it from the pavilion to be eaten or given away. Those of us who grew up on a farm know the feeling of planting a seed and then obsessively check- ing its progress each day. It’s like discovering the magic of life as it progresses. We wanted to make such an experience accessible to everyone, even those who live in the depths of the city”, adds Ratti. “This sort of urban farming will probably never be able to satisfy all of our cities’ food needs, but it does allow urbanites to have a more direct relationship with nature.”By planting a seed, visitors take part in shared hydroponic gardening, illustrating the importance of each individual contribution to global food production. The Area del Futuro, currently under construction, will be inaugurated in 2017.
Bauwerk, a Swiss manufacturer specialised in parquet flooring, has presented a specific solution for kitchen floors. Thanks to a finishing treatment called B-Protect®, durability and resistance to moisture, water, oil, scratches, stains, or other enemies of a material like wood, are assured of protection, resulting in a floor that is easy to maintain yet has the appearance of a natural, oiled finish. This invisible multi-layer lacquer (water-based and solvent-free) is applied repeatedly during the production process. Its unique composition seals the parquet and completely protects it against the ingress of dirt particles while also minimising the effects of UV radiation, resulting in a surface that remains virtually unchanged over time. Established in 1944, Bauwerk focuses on being environmentally responsible. It has facilities in Switzerland, Austria, Germany, Netherlands, France, and Italy.
Michael Wunram, CEO, owner, and head of design, defines Eggersmann as a ‘boutique kitchen’ brand. For that reason, the producer is mostly involved in exclusive architectural projects like Germany’s most exclusive (and most expensive) property designed by Herzog & de Meuron. “There are 44 high- end flats in the building, among which is one furnished with a special stone kitchen from Eggersmann’s Unique range. This product underlines the outstanding performance and opportunities of customisation offered by the company. Recently we have also equipped a supremely high-end 60-unit project in Hong Kong’s Mount Nicholson Road, Victoria Peak, which is likely the most exclusive and expensive property worldwide at the moment.”
Designer for eggersmann
The ‘boutique’ kitchen brand eggersmann has recently accomplished quite a few projects in some of the world’s most valuable real estate properties. Among them is Elbphilharmonie, a building in Hamburg designed by Herzog & de Meuron containing apartments of 400 square metres, with Allan Weisselberg curating the de- sign and adaptation of the eggersmann kitchen. The island unit is made of a special stone called Tauerngrün, a green Serpentinite from Austria, only available at this specific stone quarry. The stone island has mitred edges, a very sleek detail. The tall units are of black oak with a special silver stain applied. The mirrored back panel has a 46" invisible flatscreen integrated into the surface.“This project underlines the outstanding performance and opportunities of customisation offered by eggersmann. We had to fulfil several conditions with our design. First of all, the overall concept is the ‘cubes’. The whole apartment is one big space, surrounded by these cubes. The kitchen is divided into two parts: the show kitchen and the wet-kitchen, which is hidden in one of these blocks. Sliding glass doors fence in the kitchen area, keeping the main space open. The dark Tauerngrün stone of the worktop and the island fronts is the same as that used in the bathrooms. To work properly, the stone had to be shipped from Austria to Italy to be calibrated to a thickness of 12 mm. And it was not possible to install a kitchen hood with outgoing air because the building has a monolithic glass top that does not allow any cutouts in the façade. Therefore, we used a hood with a so-called plasma filter and recirculated air.”
Head of Global Brand Gaggenau
At EuroCucina 2016, Gaggenau made an exhibition especially for the brand’s milestone anniversary: ‘333 years in the making’. Gaggenau is a German manufacturer of high-quality home appliances, with a history dating back to 1683. It has contributed to building major innovations in the domestic kitchen with its internationally acclaimed products, from skilled craftsmanship in the forge to engineering perfection in the private kitchen. A blacksmith and an authentic forge were featured at the booth, where visitors could experience live demonstrations of traditional craft methods by skilled ironmongers, reflecting the company’s past as an ironworks. Sven Schnee reflects on these 333 years of working with metal. “It is an achievement only few can claim and we were excited to begin our celebration of such an important anniversary. We’re proud to say that Gaggenau is the only manufacturer of home appliances with such a long- standing tradition and heritage. Our history, experience, and innovative spirit are reflective of a successful and authentic vision that has spanned time, distance, and cultures. Gaggenau is not just a kitchen appliance. To us, fire is an enduring symbolic element, whether looking back to the 17th century when food was prepared over an open fire, later in gas-fired stoves, or today with the brand’s gas cooktops.”Unveiled was Gaggenau’s contemporary icon, the EB 333. This 90 cm wide oven is a revised version of its 30-year-old EB 300, relaunched with an adjusted design and updated functionalities, shown for the first time at this edition of the trade fair. The new oven, renamed in tribute to Gaggenau’s anniversary, perfectly embodies the company’s design philosophy of ‘traditional avant-garde’, where timeless craftsmanship meets innovative design.
SMALL CUTSMaking cooking safe, non-stick, and ergonomic, as well as meaningful and ecumenical. An all-embracing approach, where different table and dining styles from around the globe meet one another and have a toast. The table is a global scenario, it requires broader humanistic perspective - from the East and West, from art and crafts, from singular, peculiar identities.
Odoardo Fioravanti
Zero, designed by Odoardo Fioravanti, is a discreet, silent water-filtering device, capable of supplying as much water as a family needs without losing the effect of home-tap high flow and also taking advantage of the security of reverse osmosis technology. Zero Water Little Prince is recyclable and doesn’t need an electrical connection. Placed under the sink and connected to the pipework, it carries a natural source of three litres of drinking water in one minute. This is the smallest reverse osmosis system for the home, with a patented design. It received an honourable mention at the prestigious Compasso d’Oro in 2015.
President of Miyake Design Studio
The Iittala X Issey Miyake collection is among the major novelties presented by the Scandinavian brand this year. Defined as A Home Collection for Everyday Rituals, it comprises a selection of high quality ceramics, glassware, and home textiles. This is the first brand collaboration between Iittala and Miyake Design Studio — ideal partners, as both brands share similar values and design philosophies. Iittala is a master of timeless design icons, whereas Issey Miyake is a global brand renowned for innovative clothing that goes beyond fashion and trends.It helps us become aware of how our homes have many functions: relaxing, working, socialising, and shopping. Celebrating the rituals of domestic life, it sets a gentle mood with its colours and delicate shapes, within a philosophy of timeless design and creative thinking. It is about the value of functionality, craftsmanship, and the use of innovative materials and methodologies in design. “Issey Miyake’s continuous research and development has crystallised in this collaborative project with Iittala. The textile items are created using the latest technology for folding and pleating the material and also for the delicate handwork. The pentagon suggests a non-daily element. We hope this will bring a special moment”, comments Midori Kitamura. The collection consists of 30 items: the tactile play of textiles and the pentagon forms of the glass and ceramic objects serve as an invitation to touch and feel the material, while the colour scheme is inspired by the awakening of spring and the blossoming of flowers. The textile products are created based on Issey Miyake’s original folding and pleating techniques utilised in his clothes-making since the late 1980s. The transformation of the shape of the textile from flat to 3D suggests a flower in bloom, conveying a moment of surprise and joy.
Founder of Office for Design and Designer for OMMO
Ommo is a new brand of home and kitchenware presented at Ambiente earlier this year. Its new collection is launching at Maison&Objet Paris in September. The concept is to bring the vision of East and West together, making well-designed tools for everyday life, crafted to meet different table and dining styles from around the globe. Among the designers is Shane Schneck. This new set of kitchenware is designed to not only to serve but also cook and prepare dishes in an easy and impromptu way. “Good design is functional, simple, and strives to innovate and inspire”, says Schneck. “Dieter Rams described a set of principles that is perhaps more valid today than it was at the time, as consumer choice and productivity have become overwhelming. In the deluge of options, we’ve lost sight of necessity. Our job is to innovate when possible and eliminate anything unnecessary. The market is much more global now, which requires combining humanistic characteristics from the East and West.” Simple, ergonomic design provides a precise choice of shapes and an even more attentive palette, along with high quality materials that are food-safe and heat-resistant. “It was very clear that we needed to bring value to the material (plastic) by using a timeless form combined with a colour concept informed by nature. Curving the handle increases its strength and provides a natural form for the hand to grip. Moreover, the shape and ergonomics of the kitchen tools were based on the typical soup spoon, ubiquitous in Asia. Expanding the role of a single product also means that fewer household items are needed.”
Two Japanese brands, Kaikado and Nakagawa Mokkougei Hirakoubou, were displayed during Milan Design Week as part of the event Shokunin: Preserving Tradition, Evolving, Emerging. The Japanese word shokunin identifies a craftsman or artisan creating highly distinctive products using traditional methods, whether made by hand or through the implementation of modern technologies. The precious metal tea caddies produced by Kaikado and the wooden buckets by Naka- gawa Mokkougei Hirakoubou are realised according to the principle of perfection which forms the basis of the philosophy behind the work of Shokunin masters. Today, the two Japanese names turn their essential aesthetic into a contemporary aesthetic.Kaikado, established in 1875 shortly after Japan opened its doors to the rest of the world, produces canisters made from tin, which were commonly used to store tea. Kaikado’s founder, Seisuke, first designed Chazutsu, a tea caddy. During a time before the invention of the refrigera- tor, air-tightness was key to maintaining the flavour and quality of freshly-picked leaves. A manufacturing process that involves anywhere between 130 to 140 steps, the handmade tea caddies have virtually remained true to the original designs established by Kaikado’s founding generation. The die and mould used in the company’s early years are still in use today. Nakagawa Mokkougei Hirakoubou is best known for producing Ki-oke, Japanese buckets, using traditional methods that were passed along from father to son. These practices date back 700 years to the Muromachi era and became extremely popular in the Edo era, when virtually every household had various buckets for baths or for keeping items like rice or miso.
The latest KnIndustrie projects are inspired by the properties of metal. The Moscow Mule Copper Mug is a long-drink glass that keeps cocktails cool for longer. A contemporary take on the classic copper mug, which displays heat conduction properties, it is imbued with the elegance of a satin finish. LIVE/LY, an aluminium tray, references the traditional bistro tray, upgraded with finishes like stone-washed aluminium and burnished iron. Its simple circular form is configured such that when not in use as a carrying tray, it can be hung on the wall by its leather loop and serve as a notice board for short messages, reminders, and notes.
Designers for SteltonThe Collar collection has been introduced by Stelton thanks to designers Daniel Debiasi and Federico Sandri. The Italian duo created a set of implements with which to rediscover the ritual and culture of coffee brewing. “The idea was to design a series that allows a brief moment of pleasure to be derived from the preparation of the drink itself, not only from its consumption”, comment the designers. It has been devised especially for coffee aficionados and savvy coffee drinkers, for whom nothing is more important than flavour. “The classic Italian espresso maker, also known as a Moka Pot, is the utmost tool for creating a professional, full-bodied brew at home. Collar has merged the perfect function with Scandinavian design aesthetics. The Collar espresso maker uses steam pressure to brew an espresso that is both intense and well-rounded. It comes with a handle made of oak, adding a touch of nature and softness to the black Teflon-coated steel”. The product range also includes a coffee grinder (with jar), milk jug, and sugar bowl, all of which are visually linked by their tapering cylindrical containers. Debiasi and Sandri founded their own design studio named Something Design in 2010, situated between London and Verona, Italy.
Designers and Founders of FÄRG & BLANCHE
During London Design Week, Petite Friture is presenting Succession, a tableware collection by Swedish design duo FÄRG & BLANCHE, working together with Revol, the French porcelain manufacturer established in 1768 and run by the same family ever since. Revol works with high-standard porcelain and is renowned for its excellence in the culinary universe and its legendary resistant-finish. The creation of this first line of tableware for Petite Friture has been the result of a long process, the hardest part being finding the right partner to manufacture the pieces designed by FÄRG & BLANCHE, which are extremely difficult to produce and reproduce. The Stockholm-based studio was founded in 2010 and is known for its distinctive touch in producing subtle, curved shapes resulting from the transfer of different materials and tensions between surfaces and masses. For this project, the pair started with a felt base. “Forms for the Petite Friture collection were created around the idea of experimentation”, say the designers. “From a form covered in felt, restrained by cord and held in place after having been in the oven, we obtained a second shape, free from cords and marked by the traces. The result is an organic form that gives the impression of unity.” The project then passed onto a French manufacturer that for 200 years has been working with culinary porcelain, returning to traditional moulding techniques in order to respect and respond to the exacting lines and surface aspect of the Succession collection. “The process of manufacturing driven by Revol has allowed us to maintain all of the finesse in the details of the original pieces, the result of research into the constraints of cords on felt.”
FORUM 2016
The Future Laboratory’s annual Food & Drink Futures Forum is taking place during London Design Week. It launches an in-depth look at industry-specific trends, exploring everything new and next in the sector that is set to affect the future consumer in the next three to five years. Guest speakers include industry leaders and innovators, and attendees receive an extensive Food & Drink Futures Report, offering further insights into the market and the implications for business. This year, the event includes a global market overview, highlight- ing the key obstacles and opportunities in the food and drink sector worldwide, from the rise in alternative free-from culture to the latest battles in nutrition, and how the coffee and tea markets are moving into the next wave. Also examined are consumer trends that are changing the face of the sector, including delivery-only dining, and the increasing presence of high-tech gadgets in domestic kitchens. The event takes place at 26 Elder Street, London on 14+15 September 2016, 12pm-5pm.
Stellar Works
Arita Liquid is one of the collections created by Stellar Works and developed using traditional Asian craft techniques. In 2013, the contemporary design brand was established by Yuichiro Hori as a way to bring East and West together; heritage and modernity, craft and industry. Its purpose is to step away from the Far East’s mass- market furniture making of low-cost items with little crafted character. The Stellar Works factory ensures quality through hand-guided craftsmanship at an unparalleled value for money. Among the classic forms and patterns of the Asian creative tradition reaching an international scope, we find the Arita collections, designed by Lyndon Neri and Rossana Hu (Neri&Hu Design and Research Office), Stellar Works’ creative directors. Founded in 2004, the design practice is based in Shanghai and London. Its signature collections for Stellar Works include the Arita Vessels and Arita Liquid.
As a prelude to the brand’s launch next year, the 2016/ project was presented at the Fuorisalone in Milano, in the courtyard of Galleria Rossana Orlandi. Creative co-directors Teruhiro Yanagihara and Scholten & Baijings, together with artisans from the Japanese town of Arita, gathered together to present Aritaware porcelain, the story of production, and lend a first insight into the collaboration between the 16 designers and Arita potteries. The small village of Arita in Saga Prefecture showcased its 400-year history by way of some historical pieces made centuries ago. The exhibition gave a snapshot of 2016/, a new brand producing contemporary porcelain objects for the home, assem- bling 16 international designers. Together, the creative directors are leading a venture that incorporates the efforts of 10 manufacturing companies from Arita.2016/ will offer 16 different works and collections (one from each designer), divided into two series: standard and edition. The standard series will include accessible, functional porcelain items for everyday use, bringing Aritaware to a new, broad market. Tokyo-based designer Shigeki Fujishiro worked at the acclaimed design studio IDEE before establishing his own practice in 2005. His collection for 2016/ is his very first experience of working in ceramic. “Teruhiro Yanagihara and myself”, explains the designer, “are the only Japanese designers participating in the 2016/ project and so I was asked to pay particular attention to items that might be suitable for the Japanese consumer. I therefore looked at objects that I knew could be found on the tabletop in any ordinary Japanese home, such as a grater and a soy sauce bottle. The red glaze, Akae (red painting) is a traditional and iconic process in Aritaware. It was once used on pots, vessels, and a variety of potteries. An experienced potter might frown upon this and said that such colour and form is technically impossible, but I believe that bringing the previously impossible to fruition and challenging the status quo is an important aim of 2016/.”
The exhibition Arita Porcelain Today at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam runs until the 9th of October, with select items from the new 2016/ collections along- side objects from the museum’s permanent collection of Aritaware. Although produced in different times and in different conditions, the presentation illustrates the constant high levels of technical expertise typical of Arita porcelain and brings to light the continual efforts of the Arita potters to sustain their industry, with the past two years having been dedicated to the 2016/.
This article appeared in DAM58. Order your personal copy.