There’s something alluring about an object designed by an architect; forms, lines, reflections, and interactions are all considered with an exacting, experienced eye. Take dinnerware, for example. When designed by an architect, pieces stack with precision, and curves mimic the façade of a building. Here are our favorites from modern architects like John Pawson to 20th-century masters like Walter Gropius and Massimo Vignelli.
N.B.: For accompanying flatware see our post
10 Easy Pieces: Architect-Designed Flatware. Above: Italian architect Stefano Giovannoni designed the Mami Tableware collection for Alessi made up of a dinner plate, soup plate, dessert dish, tea cup and saucer in white porcelain. The set is $120 at Alessi; serving pieces and additional cups are also available. Above: Architects Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen and Kasper Rønn of Danish studio Norm Architects designed the New Norm Dinnerware for Menu in Ocean, Smoke, Dark Glazed, and White (shown). The New Norm Dinnerware Starter Set with four of each dish is $603.90 at the Danish Design Store. Above: David Chipperfield Architects were inspired by ceramics from Korea, Japan, and China and the work of Giorgio Morandi when they designed the Tonale Tableware for Alessi from 2009 to 2018. The set comes in a range of colors, shown here, as well as black and white. Each piece is available individually from $16 to $96 at Alessi. Above: In 1967, Bauhaus architect Walter Gropius designed a tea set in simple, wear-resistant porcelain for Rosenthal. Two years later, the set was expanded into a full dinnerware line from Gropius’s drawings called TAC 02 Dinnerware. It is minimal, geometric, and made in Germany: Bauhaus in every way. The 18-piece set is $595 at Design Within Reach. Above: A new line from Revol called Caractere is designed by French architect Noé Duchaufour-Lawrance. The set is inspired by daily life in the Drôme countryside with an unglazed rim (making the plates more resistant to shock) and stackable design. The White Cumulus Dinnerware Set of 12 Pieces is $500 at Revol. Above: Japanese architect and winner of the 2013 Pritzker Prize Toyo Ito designed the Ku Dinnerware collection for Alessi. The bright white porcelain dinnerware has a smooth polished surface and gentle curved shape. Each piece is sold individually ranging from $11 to $150 at Alessi. Above: British architect John Pawson designed a set of monastic Ceramic Plates and Bowls for the refectory renovation of the Abbey of Our Lady of Nový Dvur in Bohemia. Plates in two sizes are nearly flat as if levitating above the surface of the table, and bowls are designed to be both simple and humble (small); $60-$180 at March. Above: While we rarely advocate for non-natural materials, architects Massimo and Lella Vignelli’s Stackable Dinnerware in melamine resin deserves a mention. Designed in 1964, the set has a timelessness and has been reimagined in a range of colors. (Because it’s in melamine, it’s great for outdoor dining and picnics.) The Stackable Dinnerware Dinner Plate is $12, Stackable Dinnerware Soup Bowl is $10, and the Stackable Dinnerware Salad Plate is $10 at the MoMA Design Store. Abvoe: Italian architect Guido Venturini designed the All-Time Dinnerware for Alessi with “fluid forms and clean lines” in bone china. Each piece is designed to softly reflect light. The 13-Piece All-Time Table Set is $240 at Alessi; serving pieces and additional cups are also available.