Creating the perfect fusion between traditional and modern design can deliver a fantastic final product design, especially when combining a mixture of classic materials and forms with modern day minimalist aesthetics.
This week I stumbled across a very simple but smart household item built to contain BaiJiu, a traditional and very popular Chinese alcoholic beverage. Made delicately from smooth Chinese porcelain ceramic and crystal clear glass, the beverage flask/container is the perfect item for yourself or a gathering of friends and family to enjoy. So what is so special about this flask?
The product is made up entirely of 3 components- a ceramic base, middle body and glass top stored, but the special thing about this container is that it has a function allowing you to heat up the stored beverage if one chooses to consume the drink warm, rather than cold. How does this work? The middle body part is filled partially with water and placed on top of the base part, which has a platform for a small candle to be fitted, allowing heat to rise and eventually heating up the contained water. Once heated to a certain temperature, Bai Jiu or a chosen beverage can be poured into the glass tube of which can then be allocated inside the middle body part, resulting in a warmed up drink.
This is a great example of traditional material selection and classic raw material usage in order to heat up a liquid. The choice of ceramic can be subtly heated, but not burnt, by taking advantage of the flame in the lower partition of the device, proving that you not need excess electronic components in order to produce such functions, but purely the use of classic raw materials.
In terms of form, the flask has a minimal but elegant visual appearance, consisting purely of smooth spherical shapes and crispy, clean curves. Whilst this helps to promote an elegant aesthetic, it also supports the function of heating the alcohol as heat can travel around inside the entire container. Furthermore, this assists with the handling of water when serving the drink, providing a smooth pour. Rather than applying added surface decoration and artificial finishing, the flask has been left in its raw material state (With a slight varnish for ceramic protection) which really gives off an organic and crisp feel for the product, contrasting with the modern way it has be manufactured.
Rather than the traditional hand crafted way in which you would have expected the product to be made, a more technical /high-end approach has been applied, to deliver precise curves, cut-outs, smooth edges and overall accuracy. Methods such as machine blow moulding have been used to produce the glass beverage container, whilst machinery has also been used to create ventilation cut outs in the base for smoke to fumigate.
From assessing this product we can evaluate that a mixture of traditional materials can really work well with modern minimal forms to produce sleek, elegant aesthetics, whilst maintaining the raw/organic visuals and providing a fully functional device.