The Italian team at Formafantasma have designed a quite beautiful Crystal-glass range for the Viennese glassware company J & L Lobmeyr. The 'Still' collection was shown recently at an exhibition at the Salone Del Mobile in Milan.
The idea behind the collection, is to instil a sense of occasion and ritual around the serving of water - with the vessels designed both to serve and purify tap water - "the most humble and fundamental of all drinks" according to the designers.
The engravings in the cut crystal are a reference to both microscopic organisms found in rivers, as well as an ocean dwelling organism that has a skeleton made of silica - the main component in glass.
The purification process is through the use of copper filters and activated charcoal (carbon filtration is not a new concept - it is still used in Japan today). The charcoal is perforated with small holes helping it to more effectively remove impurities.
The designers have used charcoal as part of their collections before (first in 2012 for the Vitra Design Museum - see here for more information).
The user can't help but feel a sense of ritual with this collection - through the awareness of the materials used (the craftsmanship shown in the crystal), the use of the copper and charcoal filtration - all leading to a considered sense of 'ceremony' of the pouring of water (not unlike the ritual of the Japanese Tea Ceremony).
We love the individual elements that make up this collection, and feel that they would look stunning on the table or sideboard, and of course add an elegance to the simple pleasure of drinking water.
The vessels could also be used independently for other purposes - for example, the copper vessel below is a re-working of a Candy Dish designed by Oswald Haerdtl in 1925 for J & L Lobmeyr.
We think that these items will find their way into treasured collections all over the world, and that they are also used for the manner they are intended - to take stock, be in the moment, to enjoy and savour the simple pleasure of drinking tap water and appreciating the time we have to do it.
Regardless, these pieces would certainly be a significant step up from the plastic water filter jugs that many of us may have grown up with!