A pair of designs we encountered recently highlight how much packaging enhances a good product. We mused on this idea a few issues ago and our take-away is that packaging for design is similar to that old adage about fine dining: you take the first bite with your eyes. Good designs certainly can (and should) stand on their own, but if one of the points to design is to add an artistic layer to familiar and useful objects, then packaging is a way to contribute to that.
The two works we have today are inspired by other objects, and that inspiration carries over into the packaging. While they risk falling on the gimmicky side of design, the packaging is treated as a piece of the whole experience, not something that exists off to the side. There’s a totality to these works that couldn’t be achieved by stuffing them into a nondescript cardboard box.
Ajorí comes to us from the photoAlquimia studio. It is a porcelain container for condiments, spices, and oils themed after a bulb of garlic. These separate cloves all rest upon a plate that can be picked up and carried with the wooden stem. The rack is packaged in a smooth cardboard cylinder and wrapped in biodegradable tissue paper that mimics the skin around a bulb of garlic.
The work is a first prize winner of Crafts of Castilla la Mancha Awards in Spain, a Golden A’ Design Award Winner for tableware in Milan, and a Good Practice 2015 winner in the International Design For All Foundation Awards in Barcelona.
The other item we have today is the Tea Talent designed by Midea Creative Strategy (Iuan-Kai Fang, Hsiao-Chien Chou, Po-Yuan Huang, Po-Chen Chen) and manufactured by Shinshen Tranding, Ltd., both of Taipei, Taiwan. The coaster and teacup both have earthy, care-worn colors, but they’re packaged in a vibrant yellow-green box. The packaging is sculptural, in a way. It uses the flat coaster to suggest the shape of a teapot while the package holding the cup fills out the rest of the volume. The set won an iF Design Award in 2015 for Discipline Packaging.
What do you think of packaging as it relates to contemporary ceramics? Let us know in the comments.