Tableware designers: Consider the food

Clever design is a pleasure. But some design is so self-referential that it clashes with function to a degree that any aestehtic or intellectual pleasure in viewing the object is crushed by the discomfort in using it.

Consider the “Seconds” tableware series by designer Jason Miller. They are meant as “beautiful mistakes”. These plates are a visual pun, which is all well and good when there is no food on them. Yet, consider the food. Would any skilled chef want to serve food in these plates? No. Because, once you put food on them, you can’t “read” them anymore. The pun fails; they become indecipherable.

Contrast this design approach with the one taken by Doriana and Massimiliano Fuksas in their “Colombina” series for Alessi – my current tableware favorites. These are plates that any chef loves. They are beautiful in and of themselves, and their pattern remains fullly “readable” when they contain food, which it is their job to do.

Good clothes respect the body; good tableware respects the food.

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