series of plates and trays, the tablescape is a mix of culture between lebanese mezza (kind of tappas) (which I Nicolas originate from) and aperitivo (Diego is italian). The project was exhibited in the salone del mobile in Milan in 2012 in the Scuola politecnica di design (the curator).
Please find attached the press kit, the explanation of the project is a dialogue between Diego Grandi and Myself.
The whole project began with a dish that I threw on the floor the first day you were at my studio… didn’t it?
Yes, it’s true. I remember at first it really scared me. I didn’t understand what was happening. I thought you were angry but then I understood you wanted me to look deeper into the material, radiuses and sec¬tions, which actually helped me a lot to feel and understand the physical relation between the container and its content.
Where does the name of the project un e mezza come from?
Mezza in Lebanon – where i come from – is a mix of antipasti but it is not served in individual portions. We place the mezza in the middle of the table and everyone digs in, it’s all about sharing. The name also refers to lunch time even though I don’t like to call it lunch because it is so much more than having a meal, it’s a so¬cial ritual.
To what extent has your Lebanese ori¬gin influenced this design?
It’s in the geometry of the plate, in the al¬most mathematical process of adding and taking away generating new patterns. As a result the entire table becomes an ever-changing landscape to combine and re¬combine. Also the tray plays with the idea of modularity. I believe that the food cul¬ture connected to this product is now very contemporary and global. And Lebanon has always been a platform for spreading integration among different cultures.
As a young designer, deeply involved in a digital culture, what have you learnt from such an artisan process?
Actually this has been a real turning point for me. Everything is possible in the digi¬tal world but when you go into produc¬tion, reality hits you.
I started developing the plates in a 3D process but I couldn’t understand how the material would respond. I had to spend a lot of time at the ceramicist, tak¬ing care of everything, from the mould to colours and finishings. For instance, the thickness of the plate turned out a little bigger than we expected and for this rea¬son we choose a pretty dark palette, in order to minimize the visual perception of “weight”.