Function follows form
In my design process, I usually begin by choosing a function. Torii, on the other hand, originated from a simple two-dimensional shape: an arc with two lines. You can see the very first sketch on the picture down here.
After that I made a paper model. On this picture I hold the first model. Yes it’s tiny.
In 2017 I visited Japan and travelled there for a month. This trip must, subconsciously, have been an influence on the design. It was definately an inspiration for the name Torii: a traditional Japanese gate. Shinto shrines have torii marking the entrance – often painted vermilion red made from powdered mineral cinnabar, with a black upper lintel.
Down here you see me visiting the Arita shrine wishing for some tableware inspiration. Yes, there’s a shrine for that! And yes, it must have helped :)
The silhouette unfolded into a multifunctional object. “I love that this silhouette can be stretched out infinitely and that different functions can be assigned depending on size and material.”
Since the design is based on intuition, the functionality can be filled in quite freely. Torii is tableware and an accessory. The function is up to the user, the context, the time of the day. “I’m very curious to see where and how people will be using my design.” How are you gonna use it?
The choice of material was just as organic as the rest of the process. In collaboration with Urban Nature Culture we decided brass was the best option. We had a sample made by their Indian manufacturer, a lovely company that understood the aesthetics of the design right away.
The model is manufactured in brass, a mixture of copper and zinc. The horizontal lines highlight the design process, it embraces the fact that the first models were created from paper and cardboard. A detail I really like.
Brass is meant to be used. If it contacts harder materials, light markings occur, this makes the tray even more beautiful. “I love to see the patina that will arise over time using this tray.”
Down here you see a snapshot I made in the showroom of UNC. It are the first prototypes that were send to us, immediately spot on. “It’s always special to see your design made for the first time. I loved the result straight away!”
Value of use
In my work I love to merge functionality and aesthetics. Tableware only really gets its value through its use. My work interacts with the user and leaves room for new ways of presentation and use. I feel Torii is a perfect example of that. I would be really happy to see where my design end up. It would be great if users share their Torii pictures with me.