Dan Black and Martin Blum formed Anglo-Swiss partnership Black+Blum in 1998 to create functional products that will charm and entertain. Some Black+Blum housewares have so much character that it is easy to expect that this is a reflection of the designers' personalities. Dan Black and Martin Blum answer a few of our questions after the jump.
Obviously, each design category has its own challenges. What are some of the challenges you encounter when designing housewares?
Dan: Every design presents its own unique challenges and we strive to stay true to the values of Black+Blum. We relish that challenge and look at each design on an individual basis in designing functional and original designs.
Martin: After solving the functional bit the real brainwork starts - it is about adding that twist that connects on an emotional level.
Box Appetit Lunch Box
It is clear that a healthy dose of humour or playfulness is a key factor in your products - how do you keep this fresh? How does this emotional connection between you and the consumer play out in your designs?
Dan: Martin and I really enjoy the creating process and love working on new designs. I think this shows through in the products. Every time we tackle a new design, we look at the project on an individual basis and try not to take any influence from previous designs which helps keep the humor and playfulness fresh.
Martin: We force ourselves to enjoy the process!!
Salad Plant Servers & Dressing Mixing Bowl
What sort of kitchenware are consumers clamouring for the most these days?
Dan: I think consumers are getting fed up with kitchen gadgets that do not work. More people are experimenting with cooking and want kitchen tools that streamline the process. From our own designs, our new lunchboxes have had an amazing reaction from consumers. I think people get used to accepting products of a mediocre standard when there is no alternative on the market, so when we were able to offer something completely fresh and functional, it really struck a chord in the marketplace.
Martin: It is difficult to be in anyway scientific about this but we hope that there is enough of a market that appreciates good function coupled with some Black+Blum twist added to it.
High & Dry Dishrack
What houseware items can you not live without?
Dan: For me personally, the item I use the most is a wooden spoon. Definitely does not need redesigning as its perfectly functional and gets better with use.
Martin: I could not live without my old classic Italian espresso cafetiere and of course the High&Dry dish rack by Black+Blum.
Spudski Potato Masher