Saturday, March 30, 2013

Design Inspirations - More Cast Iron

I once did a unit in secondary school that required each student to take a look around their house and pick an object that was of good design or poor design.

They were to bring it to class for discussion about why it worked or didn't; functionally and design-wise.

It turned out to be one of the most successful class units ever. (Especially since we had run out of art supplies by mid-year and the budget to buy more was non-existent. But that's another story entirely.)


The beautiful pot below is by Alessi La Cintura di Orione and designed by Robert Sapper, a German industrial designer born in 1935 and based in Milan.

It is a really successfully designed oval shape.

Of course, the handles definitely would not work in clay, but in this case, their overall treatment certainly works well.

Why? because of the beautiful proportion and contrast of the bulk of the vessel offset by the lightness of the side handles and lid top.

All three of them relate to each other and counterbalance the mass of the pot.

You can certainly believe you could lift the pot with the side handles without burning yourself.

The only thing that bothers me about this pot is the lightness of the lid top.

Sapper has taken advantage of the strength of the material in the side handle designs

And by modifying the shape, he has retained enough of that look to relate the lid top to the side handles.

But, I would make the lid top loop a bit larger and thicker.

Also, I would prefer a galley under the lid so liquids would not spill over the rim. (Maybe there is one and it isn't obvious from this view.)

The casserole below designed is designed by Sori Yanagi, son of Soetsu Yanagi, the leader of the Japanese Folk Arts and Crafts Movement. That group's philosophy was  to design an object that is not only simple and beautiful, but equally practical.

Sori Yanagi was born in 1915. And his work stands the test of time well.


The rim outside promises liquids will roll back into the pot.

The handles are sturdy and the shape flows outwardly naturally.

You feel that can pick this up and have confidence in the strength of the balance of the side handles.

The top knob is not in conflict with the simplicity of the side handles.

I'm not crazy about the removable lid lifter, but it is simple and functional.

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