Even though Salone is three days in the past, I suppose it shouldn't surprise me that the latest creation from French wunderkind/enfant terrible Ora-Ito is still shrouded in mystery. The black-as-pitch Sink for Altro-Supergrif was developed as part of his "black series"--a varied and extensive partnering for co-branded creations with Steiner, Guerlain, and Corian, among others, for products across the design spectrum (fragrance, furniture, kitchen fixtures, rugs, and even a pocketknife).
Sink. Designed by Ora-Ito for Altro+Supergrif.
Sounds like a bit of a marketing ploy to me... and so it is--all part of the game Ora-Ito loves to play as he furthers the myth of himself. But don't take this as criticism. Far from it. And kudos to Ito, who established himself as a designer of note when, in his early 20s, he released a collection of apocryphal products for various big guns: "he designed 'ads' for a louis vuitton bag and a camouflage-patterned carrying case for a mac laptop and launched them on the internet... as if they really existed. Pretty soon the big brands discovered his abuse of their name... and they loved it."
And thus began an illustrious design career whose recent highlights include product for Heineken and Adidas, ad campaigns for Levis, and furniture for B & B Italia. Suffice it to say that the man has a varied aesthetic, a roguish sensibility, and an impresario's flair for selling his unique brand of me. The collaboration with Altro-Supergrif is thus one among many, but it bears mention not only because the quartet of names has a comic-bookish quality that seems to suit Ito's gamesmanship, but because the sink itself looks made for Dr. Evil, or Darth Vader, or even Dick Cheney--any old super-villain will do.
OILVBL. Designed by Ora-Ito for Altro+Supergrif.
OIMCPBL. Designed by Ora-Ito for Altro+Supergrif.
OILVEIBL. Designed by Ora-Ito for Altro+Supergrif.
And also in the manner of all good black magic, the sink's particular origins are unspecified, so we can do naught but admire its rigid geometricity, its hard lines, its ultra-severe aesthetic, and speculate. What is this particular arch-nemesis' accessory made of? Carbon-fiber, perhaps? Solid steel finished in a thick black matte? Iron? Kevlar? Kryptonite? Wouldn't it be fitting were it the latter. The sink seems to be on the small side, however, which might have disqualified Superman anyhow. Yet it still begs the question: how will such a bathroom fixture fit into the real world? Where and how far will Ora-Ito strive to find it a home? Since we're all about fanciful speculation, I've three propositions: 1. In the home of Edward Scissorhands; 2. For wash-up time in Dante's ninth ring of Hell; 3. In the shabbily chic new Bohemian flops of hipsters across the globe--from Paris round to Pittsburgh, Barcelona to Berlin.