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PROFILE Vista Alegre


Vista Alegre:ista Alegre: fusing Asian purism and


Asian purism and western metropolitan uences


fusing


western metropolitan ininfl uences


Portuguese manufacturer Vista Alegre will be using Ambiente 2011 as the platform to launch their new collection ‘Silk Road’ to the international marketplace. The new collection, designed by Carsten Gollnick is very much intended to appeal to a global audience. Tableware International spoke with the designer and also the Vista Alegre team to ask about their hopes for the launch of the collection at February’s show.


Carsten Gollnick the Designer


Tell us about your background in design. Has your work historically always been linked to the ceramics industry, and how has it led you to this recent collaboration?


“I have worked for over 15 years as a industrial designer in tabletop, furniture and interior design accessories and of course Hotel and Restaurant related products and concepts. I always loved to work for the ceramics industry, mainly porcelain companies. I observed there a deep and fundamental understanding of the necessity of design and the collaboration with designers in general. I appreciate the long cultural imprint of the ceramic industry in the arts and crafts and design culture.”


How did the collaboration between yourself and Vista Alegre come about?


“Nick Holland, the Design Director of Vista Alegre Atlantis carefully surveyed my design projects and career for some years now. In the spring of 2010 he decided to contact me for a new premium porcelain retail collection for Vista Alegre.


86 TABLEWARE INTERNATIONAL


And you can be sure that I felt honoured and had great respect for this task.”


Talk us through the new concept and the inspiration behind the new range for Vista Alegre. What are the design concepts and features of this range and what makes it unique design?


“The range ‘Silk Road’ is my interpretation of a premium table top concept for Vista Alegre. The Collection tries to tell the story of cultural integration of Western and Asian aesthetics into the ‘arts de la table’. The name speaks of the long traditions of Portugal in trade and cultural exchange with the Asian world. The ‘Silk Road’ products are in a fi ne balance between Asian purism and western metropolitan elegance.


“Porcelain collections should be the perfect compliment for the food and for the social occasions of enjoying dining together. All the Silk Road items create an amazing fl at and broad rim area, that surrounds the food like an elegant frame. All the plates, platters and bowls have crisp and sharp edges to give a feeling of precision and quality. The range also has soft and deep spherical centre food areas to enhance the functionality and to provide contrast to the plane and fl at areas.”


What would you say encapsulates your style of design and how does this translate into your work with Vista Alegre to date?


“I am not a designer that follows every trend. I always try to give each of my projects a timeless quality and durability. My products should appear calm and harmonious, maybe contemplative sometimes. A common thread in my design work is always to use high quality materials and I try to treat these materials and resources with the highest amount of respect and dignity. Therefore it is vitally important for me to have the right manufacturing partner who is able to understand my vision and is capable of transforming it into excellent products; and that is exactly what I found in the quality and craftsmanship of Vista Alegre !”


What kind of products feature in the ‘Silk Road Collection’ and what are the reasons behind the product choices?


“Silk Road should give the customer the freedom to express their own style of contemporary table setting. It is a highly aesthetic “kit” (...building set) for creating beautiful and exceptional tablesettings for all occasions. It provides a great variety of ‘mix and match’ combinations without loosing its clarity, purity and elegant appearance. I designed items for the collection in porcelain, hand blown glass, walnut wood and textiles.”


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