Market Scape: The 13 Amigos
-- Interior Design, 3/1/2008 12:00:00 AM
When it comes to scale, designers are famously big thinkers.When it comes to ego, ditto. Nonetheless, Nouvel Studio managed to convince 13 Mexican architects and industrial designers to put aside biases and gather in the glassmaker's Mexico City factory, where each would come upwithhis owntake on a decidedlycommon object, a4-inch-high drinking glass.
The distinctly uncommon project got its start whenPantiestudio, a branding firm, andGrupo Di, an office-furniture supplier interested in branching out, approached Nouvel managing partner Michael Kramer with a proposition: Challenge designers to immerse themselves not just in aesthetics but also in production by working directly with the manufacturer's glassblowers and other artisans. Collective and individual sessions followed, culminating in aseries called A+D>MX. First exhibited at the capital's Museo Franz Mayer, the 13-piece collection made its U.S. debut at the recent New York International Gift Fair.The sensibility range is, predictably, wildly diverse. Manuel Álvarez Fuentesadds a spirited flourish to hisEncuentros y Desencuentros glass, embedded with a mod lattice pattern of colored cane. At theother end of the spectrum, pure minimalism characterizes Teodoro González de León's untitled cylinder, with its gray-tinted base.
Just so the backstory isn't lost in translation, each individually boxed glass is accompanied by a description of the mission. 212-222-7043; nouvelstudio.com. circle 404