Topoware is a collection of tableware created by Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino and Karola Torkos that was recently presented in Milan. Topoware derives its name and inspiration from topographic maps and the idea of geography as a means of communication, what with the popularity of Google maps, for example. The Topoware tablecloth delineates each person’s space, setting off individual territories that make up a whole. The bowls and plates are marked off into portions or serving sizes and the wooden placemats serve as maps for cutlery and dinnerware. We wondered where the creators of Topoware see themselves on today’s nutrition charts.
Eating is no longer is simple way to keep ourselves fuelled and in fact, the very act of eating is laden with connotations that can range from negative to the extreme, in terms of eating disorders, or to completely snobbish with the focus on gourmet trends. Where does Topoware’s concept and motto “Eating is a Journey” fit in on this map?
These days, we are used to prepackaged meals, eating in front of the computer or the TV and no longer having a routine around eating. By designing Topoware we hoped to make every meal a little special (especially with the place mats and the tablecloth). We were also keen on visualizing the relationship between food and its social connotations to force people to stop and think about how much food they eat. Having lived both in Europe and North America, we know how portions vary and make a difference in your health and eating habits. We hoped Topoware might allow people to make better choices by offering them a cheeky and elegant tool for daily living.
The world is already full of 'stuff' – as designers, why do you choose to create more?
We have only chosen to work on this prototype and at the moment aren't keen on producing the collection ourselves. We would much rather try to sell the concept to a company that already has the infrastructures and resources to produce such pieces so as not to create more micro-production but piggy-back on existing ones. We consider this a much more responsible approach.