Workshop, ECAL 2013


Teacher(s): Thilo Brunner

For this collaboration with Christofle the students of the Master of Advanced Studies in Design for Luxury and Craftsmanship had the opportunity to work on the notion of "bi-material" in order to introduce a new secondary material to the Christofle silver. Prototypes of the selected projects were created in silver by the famous silverware manufacture.

In developing Pli for this collaboration with Silverware brand Christofle Virginie Garcia wanted to highlight the knowhow of the silversmith by contrasting the refined, high-end aspect of silver with the industrial, rational universe of everyday tools. The PLI (FOLD) tray re-interprets a simple assembly technique, allowing for 2D elements to be transformed into 3D. A flattened and painted steel tube creates a subtle junction with the folded sheet of silver. The brightly coloured handle re-inforces the contrast between craftsmanship and industry, and brings a contemporary twist to the silver. 

Shaggy, by Chia-Yun Lee, is an office accessory created in the same manner as a paintbrush; the sides of the silver base are pressed together to pinch and hold the hairs which make up the brush. It is therefore possible to freely arrange one’s pens, business cards or other office belongings between the hairs of this playful object. 

The idea behind Kilo, designed by Fabien Gerlier for Christofle, is to discover and highlight the contrast of two opposing materials: cast steel and silver. The first, industrial and heavy, is produced by sand-casting, which leaves the steel with a grainy and slightly imperfect surface. In contrast the silver is a noble material, delicate and entirely hand-worked to achieve a near-perfect surface. The Kilo table centre is thus comprised of a cast steel base echoing the iconic shape of measuring weights, and a highly polished silver platter.

Narcisse, by Virgile Thévoz, is a tray which plays with colour by using the reflective properties of silver. A simple powder-coated steel grid reveals - at the bottom of the tray - a different colour reflection from the one on the top face and suggests a surprising effect with it’s graphical coloured effect.

For Cleaving Silver by JinSik Kim, Silver and stone are brought together in this project to create a series of containers of different shapes. The large, heavy stone brings stability, while the thin and delicate silver creates volume. The reflections of the stone in the metal create surprising compositions and mixes of colour which contrasts with their radical forms. 

S-TABLE is a little table developed out of the contrast between delicate silver and an industrial aluminium profile, which evokes a technical aspect with functional properties and a wide variety of shapes. Designed by Gregory Syrvet, the base of this table, made from square aluminium profiles, is inspired directly from the aesthetic and understanding of industrial assembly. A silver tray is fixed in an invisible and subtle manner in the middle of this structure, thus creating reflections, which change depending on the viewpoint.


ECAL/Virgile Thévoz

Cleaving Silver

ECAL/JinSik Kim

S-Table ECAL/Gregory Syrvet