What does a multiethnic culinary experience actually mean? We’ll be the first to admit that it can be tough to make sense of questions like this, especially since it seems like almost every new kitchen product or dining object claims to be the ultimate answer. But the latest effort by Fabrica, Benetton’s Italian research institute and studio, proves that a set of dishes can be so much more than just a bunch of plates and cups.
Made for Atipico (and on view Maison et Objet January 23-27), the tableware collection is a direct result of the incredibly diverse geographical make up of Fabrica’s young designers, who hail from countries all over the globe. Needless to say, each country has its own eating traditions and specialized tools for creating signature dishes. But before this latest collection, simply called “A Table,” those tools felt as far apart from one another as their locations on the map. Now, however, cups reminiscent of Japanese tea ceremonies and Indian aperitif dishes live together in a single collection of tableware with a unified design.
The geographic range is seen in the materials, too. Ceramic, glass, metal, wood, and fabric (in a diverse array of patterns) live together in perfect harmony. We love clever touches like wooden lids for bowls that also function as cutting boards, chargers, or serving plates.
We also love the way Sam Baron, Fabrica’s creative director of design, describes a meal like a conversation: “At Fabrica, a place of exchange and interchange par excellence, we love to mix our different cultures and backgrounds to create design projects which are a pure manifestation of the daily creative work and which become a source of personal growth and enrichment for our residents. At Fabrica design is seen as a praxis which, through various abilities and skills, leads to a common language.”