Project – Portuguese Kitchen
Manufacturer – Vista Alegre, Portugal
Year – 2004
Status – Aborted
The project for a Kitchen Collection came out of one of those occasions when the old revealed itself thrilling. After charming friends around Europe with Portuguese cookery and some of its artifacts, we thought that might be something in it that could excite a wider audience.
We put our minds to it, and developed the concept. The fundamentals of it being that there are a number of artifacts traditional to Portuguese cookery, to which evolution retired any utilitarian value, preserving them merely as touristic souvenirs, but that, confirmed by our personal experience with friends, and through design research, it would be possible to bring them back to (utilitarian) life.
We approached who we thought was the ideal partner for collaborating with us on this project: Vista Alegre. The fact that they were a Portuguese company with a great historical legacy, was what made them ideal. We also knew that precisely what made them ideal collaborators for the project, could be at the same time a great risk to it. But we were excited and optimism drove us to the first meeting.
We were right when we thought that our excitement could be contagious. The first meeting was a success, and after a while they called us for a second meeting. The project had a go. This was 2004. The contract, our first ever, was signed one year later. After the collection fully developed design wise, many emails and phone calls with us wondering about the project status, Vista Alegre became slippery. Friends and colleagues told us to be patient and wait. We did so, but after a while we felt that there was no other dignifying way for us on the project but aborting it. This was the end of Summer 2007. From Vista Alegre we never got a model or a prototype, only emails asking us to understand things! We were right all along – our excitement can be contagious, and very big companies are indeed risky to work with. But the most unfortunate thing really, is that the items above, as well as others, will remain unknown…