The beauty of useful things

Gabriele Meldaikyte shows that an intelligent idea lies behind the success of a design. Text Laura Bossi

Vico Magistretti would have loved this design – a chopping board for the permanently or temporarily disabled. He believed more in intelligent ideas than elegant forms: "it is not the design – he said, punctuated with a swearword – but the concept that makes a design important or useful."
Developed as a thesis project, the Single Hand Cook chopping board allows people with only one hand to perform a number of operations that would otherwise be impossible, simple things – such as slicing a loaf of bread, buttering toast, opening a yoghurt, chopping fruit and vegetables, holding an egg still and grating cheese – that we do every day, almost without thinking. The chopping board becomes a versatile aid that adopts seven different forms. After use, all the accessories can be stored in the edge of the chopping board, creating a compact whole. Laura Bossi

You were born in 1986, in Vilnius, Lithuania. Based now in London, you affirm that "poverty is the mother of innovation".
How do you apply it to your work?

Meaning of "poverty is the mother of innovation " I understand in 2 different ways. Initially, a poverty or lack of money stimulate creativity of human being. For instance, if you cannot afford to buy a table or chair, you will solve this problem by creating it from accessible means. I truly believe that it is the origin of human creativity and particularly design. Next feature, which I can apply to my works is that my designing objects are framed by some limits and usually it is related to money. This kind of situation stimulates my creativity and impels me to find other ways that lead to innovation in design.

You won the SaloneSatellite WorldWide Moscow with the design of the Single Hand Cook: an one-handed kitchen equipment for handicapped people.
Can you tell me its history?

Single Hand Cook is my graduation project at Vilnius Academy of Arts. As it was my final project I decided to try my luck in the new and curiuos field. Thats why afterwards I focused on the problem of disability. My project's analysis was based on visits at disablity resource centres, private consultations with the doctors and their patients. The designing process took 4 months, it was very tiring and busy period for me. After recognision of my project I started to believe in possibility to launch its mass production.

Was it strange for you to present the Single Hand Cook in Milan during the Milan's fair? I mean the Milan's fair is mainly an event devoted to furniture and lighting design, with a strong feeling for mundane parties…
It was a bit strange to present such a project among furniture and lighting. However, it was not a first time, the same feeling was in SaloneSatellite Moscow. Anyway, I am happy that it cought attention of many visitors.

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