Thursday, October 14, 2010

Sleek spoon | Achille Castiglioni and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni | Alessi, Italy | 1996

after: Kraft Foods, United States of America, 1962

Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni Achille Castiglioni and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni
Sleek Spoon
Kraft Foods, United States of America, 1962
Alessi, Italy, 1996

The Sleek spoon was designed by Achille Castiglioni and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni in 1962 for Kraft Foods, United States, and subsequently put into production in 1996 by Alessi, Italy.  The picture up there is Achille and Pier Giacomo with the Taccia lamp.

Achille Castiglioni was born in Milan in 1918 and studied architecture at the Milan Polytechnic.  Just after World War II, he joined the studio run by his two older brothers Livio and Pier Giacomo. When Livio left the practice in 1952, Achille and Pier Giacomo collaborated until the premature death of Pier Giacomo in 1968.  He was a founding member of the Associazione per il Disegno Industriale (ADI) in 1956. He has nine times received the the “Compasso d'Oro” prize, in 1955 (Luminator floor lamp), 1960 (T 12 Palini chair), 1962 (Pitagora espresso machine), 1964 (Spinamatic draught beer dispenser), 1967 (receiver headset/six channel radio), 1979 (Parentesi lamp), 1979 (Omsa hospital bed), 1984 (Dry cutlery) and in 1989 (special mention to a profession dedicated to industrial design “For he elevated industrial design, by means of his irreplaceable experience, to the highest levels of culture”).

The permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York hosts 14 of his works.  Achille died in Milan on December 2, 2002.  Here is an essay about Achille Castiglioni by MoMA curator Paola Antonelli and an online exhibition (1997) of his work.

Achille Castiglioni exhibition

Pier Giacomo Castiglioni was born in Milan in 1913. He graduated in architecture from the Polytechnic of Milan where he later would teach architectural composition. He started working with his brothers Achille and Livio immediately after the war, their attentiion focused mainly on city planning, architecture and particularly on design. He was awarded the Compasso d'Oro award five times with his brother Achille, in 1955 (Luminator floor lamp), 1960 (T 12 Palini chair), 1962 (Pitagora espresso machine),  1964 (Spinamatic draught beer dispenser), and 1967 (receiver headset/six channel radio).  Pier Giacomo died in 1968.

Sleek spoonThe Skeek spoon in four colors.  Image source:  Alessi.

For Alessi, the Sleek spoon was designated AAC09.  The spoon was commissioned by New York’s J. Walter Thompson advertising agency to be used in conjunction with a promotion by Kraft Foods for mayonnaise. 

Sleek spoon, jar cross section

Cross section of the Sleek spoon with jar.  Image source:  Alessi.

The design developed from a plaster cast of the inside of a standard jar.  The tip of the spoon has the same radius of curvature as the jar, the middle section is flat so it adheres perfectly to the cylindrical wall of the jar, and the top part of the spoon bowl has the same curvature as the join between the cylinder of the jar and its neck.  A thumb-rest is located on the handle, partly to reinforce the plastic and partly to make it easier to grip, a useful detail in an object which can easily become slippery during use.

Original Sleek spoon

The original sleek spoon.  Image source:  www.achillecastiglioni.it

The result was an intense study of the type of flattened spoon bowl necessary to hug the interior circumference of the jar itself and maximizing the spoon’s effectiveness.  It's a brilliant piece that enables you to fully use up anything inside a cylindrical container.  The Alessi issue is 20 cm in length and is constructed of translucent blue PMMA.  It is still available direct from Alessi ($11) and other retailers and also occasionally shows up on eBay.

Sleek Spoon, box                         Sleek spoon box.  Image source, eBay.

Sleek Spoon, imprint Sleek spoon

Left, The imprint on the Sleek spoon.  Right, the whole spoon.  


Retrieved October 3, 2010, from Achille Castiglioni Web site: http://www.achillecastiglioni.it/en/projects/id-26.html

Retrieved October 1, 2010, from Alessi Web site:  http://www.alessi.com/en/1/30/pier-giacomo-castiglioni

Retrieved October 1, 2010, from Alessi Web site:  http://www.alessi.com/en/3/570/kitchen-accessories/sleek-spoon-for-jars

Retrieved October 1, 2010, from Museum of Modern Art Web site:  http://www.moma.org/interactives/exhibitions/1997/castiglioni/index.html

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Pattern Imprinted Concrete said...

Great post!! Thanks for sharing such an wonderful information.

Letting Agents Hastings said...

Nice post! , so interesting...Thank you for sharing it.

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