There’s definitely great potential when it comes to working with natural materials and mixing these with modern design principles. Aesthetically there’s a trend in covering up the exterior surface of a vessel to make it contemporary and smooth. The problem is that there’s more to design than function alone, there are also small details that lend to the overall atmosphere surrounding an object and this generally comes through the natural, high quality materials that are used to fabricate them.
Shibui is a Japanese word that refers to an aesthetic of simple, unobtrusive beauty and is also a Switzerland-based company founded by designers Athanasios Babalis and Constantinos Hoursoglou. They have collaborated with European artisans to create a collection of objects that are pleasing on the eye and accessible to all. Most importantly they are using natural materials and trying to elevate them through the use of good design.
I selected their wooden vessels in particular as I think they highlight the creativity and functionality in their work and the joint appreciation they have for creating simplistic objects that are easy on the eye. It’s also great to see them playing with flowing forms and stacking shapes to create more intrigue and an added practicality that’s sometimes missing in handcrafted objects. I hope you like these images and will view more on the Shibui website below. It will be exciting to watch what else they design with other artisans in the near future.