Alfred van Elk: ‘Widget as a brand has a lively, cheerful appearance. In all its simplicity the design of this tableware for Widget is very accessible. Without falling into the trap of complexity and decorations. This kind of design work really suits me. I stay away from too many frills. Melamine as a material is very durable. If you have to look at it every day, you don’t want it to demand too much attention, leading to you having enough of it one day. If the material lasts, then the design needs to be able to stand the test of time too.
There is a clear trend for high-quality food and drink in contemporary society. But also for ease of use and simplicity. The high-quality character of the collection is entirely based on its design. The set has a presence but is not in your face. Which is what I like as a designer: to produce objects that grab attention, but are quiet. The set is introvert in a way, it is timeless. But at the same time it’s a pleasure to use! All shapes are rounded at the bottom, which means that you can easily scoop from them. The cups, plates and bowls are a pleasure to hold. They feel good. Plates can be stacked, and the material is unbreakable. The collection comprises plates, bowls, trays, and cups, which can be used both in- and outdoors. There’s choice from a wide range of colours.
Widget is a small company, and therefore you collaborate with the company owner throughout the design trajectory. Therefore you are close to the whole process. The owner is a sympathetic guy. At each stage he gave very clear guidelines, but subsequently I was given total design freedom. Therefore our collaboration was excellent, and I could think with him about widening their target group. Initially the commission was for a collection for children for the Dutch market. Then you’re talking about Brinta [similar to porridge], lemonade and sandwiches. When we looked at things from a broader perspective, we realised there was much more market potential in developing a set for young and old, and for the international market.’