Portuguese Designers Make Usable Art



Forget the whole form/function debate–these cool pieces from Portuguese design outfit &blanc marry both into items you’ll love to show off as you use them. Yes, sometimes you can have it all.

The designers themselves stress the individuality of their creations. In fact there’s more to it than that: “Each &blanc piece is more than just an object, but rather a challenge which has become a reality.” Yeah, that too.

The objects are made from CorianDuPont, which is one-third acrylic resin and two-thirds natural minerals, making them durable, nonporous, impact-and heat-resistant, and also low-maintenance.

Here, some pieces from their recent collection. Hopefully you have a birthday coming up and can start making a list– hint, hint.

&blanc Hat

The Hat

You can see why the Hat got its name. It’s modeled on a tumbler doll, say the designers, who see it as a “toy-object.” We think it might be good for mixing drinks, too, if you start it spinning on the table. Designer Miguel Flores Soeiro’s work comes in bone, seagrass and nocturne as well as the glacier white shown here. In fact, many of the items have the same color options, so you can mix and match according to your whim.

&blanc Hills

The Hills

Gonçalo Campos’ Hills bottle holder was inspired by the rolling waves of Portuguese wine country, and you can see the practical meeting the poetic in the smooth curves. This piece practically screams out that it deserves primo counter space–no basement hiding place for the Hills, please.

&blanc Nest

The Nest

&blanc Dode clock

The Dode

The unusual Nest fruit bowl is at once rustic and stylish, and it keeps air around the fruit to help it stay fresh longer. As designer Toni Grilo says, Nest is “a simple, functional, discreet and elegant piece… the perfect intersection of aesthetics and material optimization.” Yeah, what he said. The bowl could also serve as the base for floral arrangements. Go ahead, let your imagination run free.

Daniel Vieira’s Dode clock takes the idea of 12 sides and turns it into a visual timepiece that stuns with its simplicity. You could be forgiven for staring at Dode and marveling at the calm, smooth passage of time. There’s no sense of urgency here, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

&blanc Fold

The Fold

Marco Sousa Santos designed Fold, a handy table mirror that takes the best of both glass and Corian to create “a harmonious and coherent combination for any environment where it is placed,” say the &blanc team. At just shy of 12 inches tall, the mirror doesn’t command much real estate, yet it’s a perfect size for last-minute hair or makeup fixes before heading out the door.

&blanc Hole

The Knot

Another piece by Miguel Flores Soeiro, the Knot is a timeless design that adds style to any table setting. Simple but not stark, utilitarian but not basic. Perhaps you could match this with the Hills bottle holder and your Nest bowls…? Just let us know what time to be there for dinner.

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