When it comes to containers for foodstuffs, form only follows function to a certain extent. A piece of Tupperware isn’t designed to hold any one thing in particular--it works for whatever you can fit inside it. But as these pieces by Benjamin Hubert show us, when you design a vessel with a particular job in mind, the results can be far more beautiful (if not quite as stackable) as a plain old box.
The London-based designer created the four jars for the Danish brand Menu. All are made out of terracotta and sport black rubber lids, but each was made with a specific function in mind. There’s a tall one with a wide mouth, designed to let chefs grab a handful of spaghetti or grissini without lifting the pot itself. There’s a shorter pot topped by a diagonal sail, intended to facilitate the dispensing of smaller pastas and grains. Another, smaller pot has a long, skinny neck, designed to allow for a more controlled pour of seeds, say, or grains. And a stout cookie jar rounds out the set. Its irregular bottom causes it to lean to one side, with the intention that it can be twisted and turned by those sitting around a table for easy access and sharing of sweets.
According to Hubert’s studio, the pieces are the product of a "materials driven, process led" design approach, which included a close study of terracotta’s long history as a storage material for keeping things cool and dry. "The collection represents an uncompromising contrast between the ancient traditions found in terracotta and the industrial modernity embedded in the mass-produced rubber lids." There’s something to mull over while you’re eating your cookie.
The pots launched at Maison & Objet in Paris last month and will be available soon through Menu’s site.