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Manufacturer: When Objects Work

Richard Meier is no stranger to product design—his oeuvre includes furniture, flatware, wristwatches, and a grand piano—but it’s been quite a while since the venerable New York architect has turned his attention to household objects. Indeed, Meier’s new collection for the Belgian manufacturer When Objects Work (WOW) is his first foray into table-ware since 1983. Which might lead you to wonder: Has Meier’s aesthetic changed in the intervening decades? Not really. “I was trying to do something just as simple and straightforward as possible,” he says. His WOW collection emphasizes solid materials with minimal embellishments: crystal tumblers are etched with a grid pattern; a silver-plated bonbonniere (i.e., candy dish) is ringed by a single line; and trays come in pristine white marble or silver-plated black walnut. Did Meier enjoy his return to small-scale form-making? Oh, yes. “Most buildings are anywhere from three to ten years in the making,” he says. “Products are usually less than a year. So it’s very nice to have this instant gratification.”

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