November 13th, 2011
Designers and Architects are often commended for their attention to detail. Some have even received opportunities to design spaces down to the hardware on the doors and the flatware for the dining table. Today’s blog is meant to acknowledge those Scandinavian Designers that have brought those opportunities into a successfully-designed product.
Finnish Architect Eliel Saarinen (Eero’s father) designed a place setting for the 1929 exhibition The Architect and the Industrial Arts at the Met. Unfortunately, the architect’s flatware design (above, left) was never put into production, but the stepped construction of the silverware’s handle is a fantastic reminder of the skyscrapers that revolutionized architecture of the time.
Danish Architect and Designer Arne Jacobsen created a flatware design for one of his most well-known buildings, the SAS Royal Hotel (above, right) in Copenhagen. His design removes the exaggerated curves of the common eating utensil and creates a more subtle transition from handle to end. This set (above, center)was often called “the cutlery with no frills” and is remarkably modern and innovative, even in 2011.
Unlike the other Designers discussed here, Danish Industrial Designer Jens Quistgaard, specialized in tableware. Quistgaard designed items for Dansk from the company’s inception. His pieces included ice buckets, salad bowls, cutting boards, candelabras and flatware, all with elegant woodcut pieces and a general Scandinavian sensibility. To see Quistgaard at work, look for the documentary The Designer Jens Quistgaard: A saucepan for My Wife (2010) by Stig Guldberg.
At your next meal, take a "design eye" to that flatware you use each day.
Anne Klemm for Danish Teak Classics