Wednesday, March 25, 2009

EMMA SILVESTRIS AND THE PARADOX OF ANCIENT SYMBOLISM IN "MODERN" DESIGN

Alessi's Mediterraneo fruit bowl

Canister set - Mediterraneo by Emma Silvestris

Today, I am excited to present a terrific guest post from hip site Allmodern.com


Modern designers, and particularly creators of contemporary furniture, are, in most instances, driven creatively by the need to remain on the cusp of “cutting edge” design trends, or even to redefine the meaning of what is modern. While this has certainly created some innovative lines, I tend to admire more the designers who can mould traditional object, designs or symbols and recast them in a modern form.

The best example of this phenomenon is Alessi’s Mediterraneo line, designed by Italian artist Emma Silvestris and unveiled in 2005. In this collection, we see toothbrush containers, soap dishes, wall hooks, and other vanity containers molded or imprinted with a free-flowing design that is inspired by marine plant life. But while the design strongly resembles the organic, sinuous form of coral or kelp, Silvestris adds enough quirks along with soft silver and red tones to give the design a more curvaceous, friendlier appeal. What we see in the end is a design that is familiar, but divergent enough to stand out, no matter the design of the room.

Perhaps this can attributed to Silvestris’ background, which is somewhat different from other designers. Born in Salerno, Italy in 1962, she went to college to study Art History and Foreign Literature and spent some time teaching before entering the design world in 1990. Throughout all of her designs she is known for using timeless geometry and symbolism to create a new form of modernism.

This style stands out especially at Alessi, a modern household design firm whose best known designer is New Modernist Philippe Starck. However, the contrasting effect works to its benefit, making the items of the Mediterraneo Collection excellent complimentary pieces for nearly any modern bathroom or kitchen. Sometimes by looking toward the past truly can do design wonders for any modern d├ęcor scheme.

12 comments:

vicki archer said...

Wonderful canisters, xv.

Joyce said...

Very nice canisters! Thanks Anne.

my favorite and my best said...

LOVE the canisters!!
xoj

Style Redux 2 said...

I like the way she makes everyday objects works of art-like corkscrews and salt and pepper shakers. I love the concept that the plebian can be beautiful.

Sanity Fair said...

I love these (nuts about coral) - and especially appreciate the story behind them. Thanks also for the blogroll addition! Most honored. You're on mine, and I'm I really love your blog (and your beautiful artwork!).

Debra said...

These are lovely and look so much like your beautiful header. thank you Anne.

sealaura said...

what a great post. I love the coral canisters and anything coral really, but I was truly inspired by reading about Silvestri's background.

Karena said...

The Coral Cannisters are fabulous!

A Day That Is Dessert said...

I have always loved that Alessi fruit bowl!

Kwana said...

What a nice twist on design.

Meg said...

What modern way to bring marine inspired design into your home! The canisters would be beautiful displayed on a kitchen counter, thanks Anne!

Anonymous said...

I really like when people are expressing their opinion and thought. So I like the way you are writing

 
http://clickserve.cc-dt.com/link/click?lid=41000000028477615