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American Hardwood Export Council and Benchmark Furniture initiated The Wish List, an exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum during London Design Festival. It brought together a stellar list of architects and designers for a unique collaborative project. We were excited to be paired with Zaha Hadid, who’s brief was simple and open: to create tableware made from wood. We approached the project by thinking about the fluid dynamic of Zaha Hadid’s designs. These original forms were inspired by traditional water carafes and the language of her work. We were keen to engage with Hadid’s advanced computer modelling software, pushing the boundaries of digital craftsmanship further. As the design progressed, we became interested in the idiosyncrasies of traditional hand processes such as hand thrown pottery, raised silverware, or fluted carving, and how these could be simulated through digital fabrication. Using the traditional vessel form as a starting point and subverting its appearance to dramatic extremes, the design embodies a sense of the handmade through the arm of a robot, questioning the viewer’s perception of craft and the handmade.


VES-EL was the winner of The Wood Awards Bespoke Category in 2015.

All images ©Petr Krejci