Every design has a story. In our practice, the story always revolves around function, or more specifically, a problem. We might call it a hook or a pivot. That hook is the reason for the existence of a new design. If there isn’t a problem to solve, there is no reason to design.
Sometimes this pivot can be obscured by form. And then the question of form versus function surfaces. But in reality, there is no ‘versus’, they are integral to each other.
For example, elegant tableside pouring and finishing frequently comes up in our conversations with chefs. Elegant not necessarily in terms of the shape of the vessel, but in terms of interaction with the guest, the hand gesture involved. This was the problem to solve. Although it may look like the Pitcher form was inspired by flora or fauna, it actually grew out of numerous experiments with volume, balance, grip, and hand movement. Akin to the process of designing a joystick or hand drill. The goal for the various sizes of pitchers was to fit small or large hands and to balance well in those hands regardless of fill levels. The resulting form exists as an answer marrying all these various functional demands.
photo by Lara Kastner Photography