Martí Guixé's new designs for Alessi's Spring/Summer 2010 collection result in the type of product that allows the user to be in control and actively participate in its use. The themes of communication, sharing and growth are the focus as Guixé gently teases us into play. A tree trunk grows out of a container for small household or office items - messages can be left as leaves. Balloons rise out of another container to spread instructions for the day; a write-on arrow may tell of the most important must-do. Guixé allows the user to incorporate time and creativity into a clock message board or to save seeds in a special safe to highlight their value and ensure their future function.
Communication is a major theme in your new work for Alessi and the designs in the Communicators group provide the opportunity for the user to leave messages for each other. It certainly is much tidier than leaving notes around the house. How do you see the influence of all our social networking on these very basic methods of communication? How does this affect your designs?
In my designs for Alessi I was certainly searching for new typologies, which could over-functionalize some needs, and communication is one theme that is getting very important, and it is also one of the major themes in my whole work. I think the communicators allow you to display additional and possibly emotional information that can help create another perception of the content of the communicators. Yes, I think social networking is a kind of attitude very useful on this level. I have been very influenced since the beginning, not actually by the developments of new media, but rather by the changes in our everyday attitudes which are so much influenced by it and it is changing the perception of our reality.
The Seed Safe is quite a delightful and original product. Anyone can use any old container to store seeds, but by creating a seed bank, you remind us of the value of seeds we throw out or compost everyday. Is saving seeds something you do? How does this item tie in to your food design projects?
Yes, I think the seed safe is a new typology of object and it also communicates our present feeling towards food, nutrition and nature. It is not the first time I am working with seeds: for me seeds are a very interesting element, they provide a sort of biological instruction and entail also a kind of potential, which are both important elements in my work. I like very much the idea of collecting the seeds of what we eat (if they have seeds) and eventually planting them or giving them away as a present. Collecting seeds of what we eat is also, in a way, an act to try to understand globalization. In some of my food projects I have already tackled the question about collecting and planting seeds. My project Hibye emphasizes this, thanks to its size and potential.
24h Sentence Maker
Your 24h Sentence Maker wall clock allows the creation of a new sentence every hour. How did you choose the words used in this clock?
I just try to combine generic, design related words so that time could be read in a completely different way.
What everyday household object holds the most value for you?
I believe a lot in new typologies, I need so many functions in a household to fit my contemporary lifestyle, and I cannot find such items on the market. Some of them I do by myself and hope that Alessi will follow them and will come up with new products for their catalogues. Temperature and ice cubes are very important to me. However, all the objects we have are very traditional, these are for me important working areas where I would like to do something.