I am a Product Designer.
I aspire to design simple, useful and durable objects that emphasise the value of high-end materials and the smart side of traditional expertise.
I also find the constraints of manufacturing and usage provide me with genuine sources of inspiration and food for thought.
I've been lucky enough to work with Opinel for a few years now on a variety of projects ranging from products and packaging to stands.
It is a kit containing all the utensils you need to eat properly on a picnic including :
- a decent folding knife, the No. 08
- two accessories that attach to its handle transforming it into a spoon or fork (compatible with wooden handled N°08 knives, equiped with the Virobloc safety ring - circa 2000).
The whole thing is contained in a compact, light and practical serviette-case.
When I was looking into the economy of means and compactness, I thought that maybe the ring on folding knives might be a good space to invest in, somewhere you could add new uses for when the knife is closed.
There are already a lot of features at play in this place, with the opening mechanism enabling you to fold and unfold the blade but also to lock it in the open or closed position.
While the ring fulfils these functions very smartly, it also opens up little nicks where you can attach new accessories, taking advantage of the comfortable grip already provided by the handle.
To attach the fork or spoon:
- with the knife blade closed, open the rotating ring
- attach the fork or spoon onto the ring using the small nicks
- close the ring
+/1: Its practicality because it swiftly transforms the No. 08 into a quality, solid fork or spoon that is pleasant to use.
+/2 : Its "minimal" side which makes the set very compact and light, easy to pack into your bag for meals at the office or a picnic out and about.
My grandfather and his unchanging ritual before eating. He'd unfold the blade of his No. 08, get the bread, and cut a few thick slices for everyone sitting at the table in a quick spinning motion.
I was fascinated by his precision movements which were clearly so effective.
At the end of the meal, the knife would happily escape from ending up in the rattle and clatter of the washing up, because the blade was quickly wiped and folded up.
In my opinion, Opinel conveys the values of smart design, simplicity and constancy by making efficient, beautiful and durable "tools".
Above and beyond the pleasure of using these items, what always surprises me is their ability to inspire our imagination and bring back memories that are often quite moving.
Clever, endearing and durable.
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