Capitalism is over is an exhibition by Raumplan and Cascina Cuccagna for Milan Design Week 2017, 1-9 April 2017

BALANCE COLLECTION - Ceramic tableware in search of balance.

Daphe Zuhilof

Balance Collection is a collection of ceramic tableware, created around the first piece of the collection which was the Balance Cup. Because of it’s round shape Balance Cup moves; while finding its balance it sways back and forth ever differently depending on the amount of liquid inside and the qualities of the gestures it has been handled with. It invites you to place it carefully, to slow down your gestures and to increase your focus toward the moment. The instability is intriguing and invites to touch and to study the ceramic objects. In turn a comfort and trust is created when you learn by experience that the cups wobble but never fall. Surprisingly, what at first seems to be merely impractical, is experienced very positively. In the capitalist ideal we, humans, function as rational beings. We strive toward growth, and in order to excel above our competitors we focus on efficiency; rendering the invested amount of financial means, (human) effort and time as low as possible. In current day society the goal to be efficient has settled as norm, an assumed value even in the daily and private domain. It seems obvious; ‘of course’ we want to invest as little effort and time in anything, because than we relatively get most in return. This mindset where efficiency and productivity are key, originates from the context of the work environment. Yet this mindset has simmered down to our daily lives, where it’s value is strongly questionable. Simply the same set of values can’t possibly be suitable for all contexts, and when the focus is on efficiency in the context of daily life and even leisure time we surely miss out on a lot. From the mindset of our modern comfortable life, cups are supposed to be reliable and practical. But when engaging in a shared moment, taking a small break and drinking your tea together, these qualities should perhaps not be the focus. The Balance Cup and Collection are designed not to be efficient. It is about an increased engagement with the simple things in daily life, about discovering how intriguing they can actually be. To study the way the cup and the liquid search for balance, how the movement of the cup can be influenced. Such attentiveness has an influence on the whole experience of drinking, as well as the social setting it creates. Balance Collection is a project by Studio Daphne Zuilhof, all pieces are self-produced in the studio in Amsterdam. The stoneware is slipcased in plaster moulds, finished by hand and then glazed. The colouring in the clay is created using cobalt pigment and volcanic sand.

Studio Daphne Zuilhof is the independent design studio that Daphne runs from her hometown Amsterdam. With a philosophical approach she studies and explores our daily lives and habits. Asking big questions - why do we do the things we do, what is it we really value, or even truly desire? - and finding answers in the small, mundane and daily. Designing to create space for experience and engagement, for the curious explorations and the adventurous tries. The objects she designs are seen as tools to engage with the surrounding in subtly unexpected ways, creating a rich and stimulating environment. Studio Daphne Zuilhof has various projects running that are expanded and develop further over an extended period of time. The creation and production is done locally in collaboration with various talented and befriended creatives and craftspeople.