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Studiolav: Design around the Table

Studiolav: Design around the Table

Two young designers are getting inspiration from the ways we eat into creating food-relevant, non-edible objects

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Good design and good food have several things in common: for example they both often move around a table. The recent work of Loukas Angelou and Vasso Asfi, founders of the London based STUDIOLAV, explores exactly this concept. How conviviality, heritage and memories can influence the aesthetics in objects that surround us and our eating habits.

From their designer baking stamps to the weave crockery, the two have been focusing big part of their creativity on the objects related to taste.

We caught up with them for a chat.

How did you start making work connected to food?
At first it happened accidentally, but,  we later realized that our cultural background, our childhood memories and the culinary rituals of our native Greece, were being strongly influential to our work. The way we were brought up gave us a great richness in terms of culinary references.

This is quite obvious in your kitchen stamps, which are clearly inspired by the “prosforo” bread stamp of the Greek orthodox church, correct?
Well, you see in that case we were commissioned to create something inspired by the traditional quote “bread and olive”. The Skoufa Gallery in Athens, asked us to think and develop a contemporary version of folklore. So we chose the Tweed Herringbone and the Pied de Poule fabric patterns to create a new-old tool for making fashionable cookies. The concept evolved gradually: first came the olive wook as a material and then followed the rest. The fashion designer Haizehn Wang, asked us to make couture biscuits for his latest show in London.  We’d say that we are inspired by heritage and folklore but we try to keep those elements more subtle, giving to people the possibility to weave their own story around our objects.

Is this also because food is having a momentum?
There is a general comeback of home cooked foods and it’s getting quite popular, especially among young people. You have this connection between food and design that interests younger generations. For us what design does, is to help develop a narrative through food.

What are you working on at the moment?
On a personal level we are developing a prototype which also has to do with the table, it’s a nomadic object. At the same time we are working on a project for the Industrial Museum of Technopolis, in Athens.

What about cooking? Do you like to cook?
Yes, we do! I (Loukas) cook simple, everyday food… I’m obsessed with Jamie Oliver’s recipe App! Vasso "For me it’s more creative but I’ll rarely go and shop for a specific dish. I prefer going home after a day of hard work and surprising myself with a meal that comes out of the random ingredients I have in my kitchen!

STUDIOLAV met at the Central St. Martins where they were studying. They are currently nominated for the Elle Decoration International Design Awards under the Young Talents of the Year 2013 section.

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