The New Normal


We perceive the contemporary dining as the theatre for the senses. Our tableware and dining accessories are the props and backdrops—they set the tone, provide the space for performance and provoke the inquisitive minds of both chefs and foodies. No piece or process is redundant—everything is tied together with a strong narrative logic. That is why our design process is all about boiling it down to essentials.

The culinary exploration does not only stop at the food, but it also expands to the environment and its complementaries. For Vlatka Leskovar-Zidar and Ivan Zidar, founders of Croatia-based design studio BOIR, the encounters of food and human exceeds the sense of taste. Those are the drive for BOIR’s philosophy of delivering an enhanced experience through artisanal and experimental tablewares.

With The New Normal, BOIR integrates the current context of the pandemic to the design for a new collection of experimentations. Besides refining the ideas to their core, the designers also ventured in the grey zones of intimacy and distance—two polars of desire in the times of social distancing. The results are symmetrical designs that are bound by distance or physical disruptions.

Through the courses, guests are first greeted with a Bread Basket made of concave metal. The form is divided by a perpendicular surface that allows visual visibility yet maintain solitary. Connection is rekindled with a minimalist Prosciutto Rack, where two re-imagined chopsticks are placed on either side of a t-shaped metal bar. This installation reminisces of a scale, hinting at a balance of privacy and togetherness.

The main course is served on an object named Platter for Two. The circular metal surface is indented to hold a slice of rock. This contrast of industrial and natural aesthetic can be seen as an ironic reference to the society, where industrialisation is a separating factor while nature is the connecting element. Reversing the order of form, Sushi Platter/Amuse Bouche is a modest rock formation that has protruding steel platter. Here, two opposite diners can enjoy the exchange in contentment.

Finishing with desserts, a set of two circular stone plates and long spoons are placed in reversed position. The act of eating is no longer individualistic, but to serve one another with this Dessert for Two suggested design. Progressing through the courses, it is an experience of reuniting two selves who were first estranged due to barriers. The gradient of togetherness becomes more apparent over time in this collection by BOIR, poetically and beautifully.

In the shop