The “Bettina” table service, certainly Alessi's most innovative design in this area, took a long time to complete. It was designed by Future Systems, the designers who, you may remember, were also asked to work on “Tea & Coffee Towers” (2003). In particular, one of the most peculiar and curious characteristics is glassware which consists of two separate parts, the cup is crystal clear glass and the base is PMMA.
The design makes them appear to be a single element but at the same time the ritual of separating the cup from the base and placing it in the hand prompts to find a new approach to drinking, a contemplative one that provokes more awareness of one’s gestures.
Many sketches, designs and prototypes were needed to achieve this elegant and simple result.
“I’m more than satisfied and pleased with this result. It is an outcome after a hard work that required over 4 years to be developed… Every single piece reflects a specific design philosophy of mine and Future Systems’. Beauty, flexibility, practicality. Pieces with long life ahead. They are not fashionable and maybe the multiple functionality of the line will generate larger interest by wider groups of people…
Talking about product design, it’s a very dangerous area where you have to be very careful: everything is more visible, every millimetre matters – even half-millimetre matters. On the other hand, it is an amazing test of your capabilities. There are very well known architects who can’t design a small thing: they are not patient enough. I am not saying we can, but certainly we try to bring something new. Something that survives a few years and is not a fashionable product that disappear the next morning”.
Jan Kaplicky - Future Systems