Archive for the ‘Flowers for design’ Category

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The emotion before the function

June 29, 2010

“With flowers we are always in trouble, vases are too small or to short. But it’s not vases’ fault. By the way, there is still the habit of the XVIII century to send too many flowers. One flower is enough to shake the air”

 

 

 

With these words Ettore Sottsass, one of the two grandfathers of the Italian design (the other one is Achille Castiglioni. From here, the legendary and perennal conflict between Hector (Ettore) and Achilles (Castiglioni) like Homer’s Iliad, two men each being perfectly reasonable in his own parallel universe), tried to explain in his last interview for “Repubblica” the function of the objects. This functionalism, he said, is in the hope, given to the objects, to find their own function. Let’s take the example of the bookcase “Carlton”: many critized it because it was oblique and it has no function. But the shelf per se has no function, it’s the user himself that has to find it. “The emotion before the function”, he claimed.

 

 

 

 

 

Not so far from Sottsass’ idea, another contemporary designer developed his thoughts in the same path, Ron Arad. For him, the function takes the second place, after the form and the shape. Hence, he can create “a piece like a big vase, let’s call it vase, but we shouldn’t call it vase. I don’t care if people use it or not, but I enjoy discovering the process, what I can do with the material, which kind of shape I can obtain, and the fnction, in this case, is merely an alibi”.

 

 

 

In this extent, we don’t buy furniture firstly and mostly comfortable, but rather we buy them in order to show our status: a sort of decline into mere appearance, a sort of “Society of spectacle” in which what is more relevant is no longer being, neither having, but just appearing…

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Light, shape, mirror, silver: De Vecchi Silverware, precious vessels for flowers

June 5, 2010

The Naviglio on the right, a warm sun just in front of us, some chatting guys, a couple in love. A little further, noisy sounds, people stuck in a traffic jam and the frantic life of Milan. A warm sunny day of Spring (finally arrived!), in an outlying part of the city.

That’s where I was last week with my special class of design, in order to discover an hidden, small, still full of interesting aspects and surprising world of De Vecchi Silverware. The owner who welcomed us, Giacomo, so proud and satisfied by his job, has a lot of things to say, too. You could see, through his eyes, how much passion he has for what he does, day by day.

 

 

But, maybe, it is a “matter of family”: he represents the third generation of a family company, founded in 1935 by his grandfather Piero, who made pieces for the Futuristic Movement. Hence, a traditional craftsman or an avant-garde artist? Both. For sure, he did something completely new, never done before. In a first moment, he was particularly allured by the interactivity of objects, how they could appear always changing still remaining the same, thanks to the kinetic energy. Through Mr. Giacomo’s father, Gabriele, this fascinating idea developed, considering the mirror effect as well, which reflects shapes and colors, and then applying this to silver, seeing how forms do react through it. Silver has no color, but you can easily play using it as a changeable surface, and creating a relationship between the real and the fake, the material and the immaterial elements.

Among the hundreds of objects they have done, from Mr. Piero untill now, something caught my attention that day: some really beautiful vases.

Mr. Giacomo explained that what was interesting was seeing how different lines can create different lights, in different points of the surface. In these vases, “Phoemina” and “Diana”, for instance, they worked on two profiles:

For this one, called “Invaso”, a virtual vase is inscribed in the factual one, and it is created by inverting background and shapes.

This limited edition vase (only 70 copies), “Crac”, is broken as it would be “two in one”: various and multiplied forms reflect images and lights.

But it is not finished yet: hundreds of shapes, curves, squares, triangles… in order to design thousands of bright and sparkling games!

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“Floral” Japanese

May 28, 2010

Maybe odd to hear , but Japanese people are in the forefront inspiring tendencies, and being therefore one of the most important poles of the world for design. In Japan “design is everywhere”, we could say and, once more, even in flowers. Let’s take this example:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name: Hanahana

Designer: Kazuyo Sejima

Year: 2006

Company: Driade

Materials: polished stainless steel

Height: 160 cm

Price: 1,100.00 €

It seems a tree decorated with blossoms, but it is in fact a charming flower box, traced by sophisticated and gentle signs. The designer was very clever to mould very thin steel tubular, in order to create  a stylized shape, mostly two-dimensional. Moreover, the brightness of the material emphasize the preciousness of the lines and it is a perfect decorative object both for inner or outer side.

 

 

Few notes about the designer are right and proper: Kazuyo Sejima is a famous Japanese architect who will curate the 12th Annual International Architecture Exhibition, to be held next August. She is the first woman ever selected for this position. This year she was awarded the Pritzker Prize, together with Ryue Nishizawa.

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Principle of communicating vessels

May 27, 2010

One of the subjects I didn’t like at all at school was physics, but I recognize it is one of those subjects you always trip over during your life. Even if you are talking about flowers…

Acquacalda“, a group of Italian designers working in experimental design, has developed an interesting project, “Applied physics“, based on the application of the most important scientific concepts to everyday objects. It seems to be very appealing because it stimulates the user’s curiosity and interactivity, drawing up in a simple way common instruments and physical theories. One of them is surely related to our topic.

 

 

“VASCO” is a container with water reserve, due to the plant can feed itself, using the water in the bottle, if necessary. You could have also the advantage to check the level of the water and the need to refuel constantly and more easily.

 

 

“COMMUNICATING VASE”, instead, is a vase for cut flowers: a transparent tube is added to a ceramic vase, in order to “communicate” the water remaining inside.

Both of the projects are based on the principle of the communicating vessels, according to which a liquid inside two containers communicating with each other reaches the same level, regardless of the shape and volume of the conteiners.  If additional liquid is added to one vessel, the liquid will again find a new equal level in all the connected vessels.