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Journal
  • Exploring the process behind Sula carafes
  • Incipit Staff
  • inside the design process
Exploring the process behind Sula carafes

Summer comes with some news: from today on we will discover all the Incipit products, one by one. We'll tell you about the backstage of designing for us and many curiosities about our designers. A tête-à-tête to know us better.

Our first protagonist is Sula, the family of carafes designed by Pietro Bastia, one of Incipit's youngest designers. We asked Pietro to tell us all about how he came up with the idea and how he developed it into a product for us.

The starting point comes from the challenge of designing “containers” for everyday use at home. The first formal reference arrives from the funnel shape, ideal for measuring and pouring liquids.

Pietro begins to work around the conical shape inspired by very common objects, such as the paper cones used to serve fries in kiosks, the decorative paper to wrap flowers, the sac-à-poche kitchen tool. He has always been fascinated by everyday objects and gestures.

Pietro works in an empirical and manual way by making paper cones and cutting them, intersecting them, pasting them together, a stage of the design process described by him as an "art-attack". Getting his hands dirty and working with physical objects makes the design process easier for him than using a 3D modelling software. Pietro takes different roads, makes mistakes and starts again.

Of all the possible choices, Pietro opts for ceramic for his project. He likes to work on the possibilities given by this material: it offers endless opportunities to his imagination despite being “poor”, made basically from a mix of clay and water. His studies at the ISIA in Faenza, a district of ceramics manufacturers, have provided him not just the manual skills but the technical basis for designing with this material, so typical of Italian tradition.

After the phase of paper "rapid prototyping" (can we call it that?) it's time to fix Sula final shapes on paper; 2D drawings are made and sent to the ceramist, who prepares the molds to produce the first prototypes.

Prototyping is an important phase, as for the first time we are confronted with the real size and material of the project.

From the initial idea of a stand-alone object, Incipit and Pietro decide to pick three of the initial shapes and to turn Sula into a family of three elements: a carafe, a carafe/vase, and a vase/carafe.

The three prototyped shapes are refined and adjusted together with the Incipit team to achieve the right proportions.

One of the main features of Sula is the study of the grip: Pietro has designed three different shapes that do not require a handle to be easy to grasp and pour from, thus leaving the silhouette pure and intact. Inspiration for this came from laboratory glass containers such as beakers.

We presented Sula during the Milan Design Week 2014 and the complete family will soon be available in selected stores.
Could you imagine that the three Sula shapes, so clean and minimal, were born during Pietro's paper DIY experiment?

  • Incipit Staff
  • inside the design process