Today’s post will include a little lesson in art history – a small excursion on ‚vanitas’ and yes, it’s better than Wikipedia, as we will spoil you with lush images, too. If there is such a thing as love at first sight in product photography, then this would be it! Wouldn’t you agree? A great find during the Milan Design Week 2016 visit this year has been this series of 3D print rubber vases called ‚Vanitas‘ created by a Berlin-based designer, Birgit Severin . ‚Vanitas’ has been a consistent genre of still-life painting since the early 17th century.
‚A vanitas painting contains collections of objects symbolic of the inevitability of death and the transience and vanity of earthly achievements and pleasures; it exhorts the viewer to consider mortality and to repent.‘
Even though these are not paintings, Birgit’s series can be truly interpreted as a contemporary composition of a modern ‚vanitas’ still-life, especially as the moody presentation is also one of the main characteristics of a vanitas still-life. Her background in psychology and her experimental approach to design make her investigate ‚how things acquire meaning through being involved in personal narratives or reflecting universal life themes such as transformation, identification and belonging.‘
We think, we can agree on how perfection can get very boring. Therefore we love her method, as she is looking for inspiration in arts and her daily experiences. In her words, she challenges the core assumption that design should aim to create symbols of a perfect researching design strategies that celebrate the full spectrum of our existence, embracing its impermanence and unpredictability.
We could happily take on that challenge!
In a statement about the Vanitas series, Brigit says: ‚Flowers are a symbol of beauty and youth. Simultaneously in their decay they become reminders of life’s brevity and the inevitability of death.
Inspired by the old still-life paintings, she designed vases in various shapes that brave perfection and are trying to capture the beauty of each stage of life. Birgit created vases inspired by the form and colors of withering flowers.
Their production process utilises 3D printing, rubber rotation casting and freehand modelling to produce a flowing, matte surface overlayed with a sparkling pattern of jewel-like dots. 3D print has never looked so beautiful. G, x