The box of chocolates by Mendini

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At the beginning of the 90s, Peyrano, a well known Turin-based company that produces chocolate, fruit jellies and pastries, commissioned important designers to design artistic boxes, “Grandi scatole d’arte”.

These are prestigious box for their chocolates, made of different materials and in different shapes, in line with the artistic imprint that each designer decided to give to the object.

Peyrano porta cioccolatini Ettore Sottsass

To make his box of chocolates, Ettore Sottsass uses wood, Riccardo Dalisi uses ceramic, while Alessandro Mendini uses stainless steel to create a box for gianduiotti, a typical Italian chocolate made with chocolate and hazelnut. This container was produced by Alessi, and entered the history of design.

The beauty of the object is given by the oval shape, rounded, shiny, that looks like a magic box or a small spaceship suddenly landed on the surface of our coffee table. It has three triangular and slender support points that communicate an image of ​​extreme lightness.
The oval body is marked on the perimeter by the junction line between the base and the lid and divides in equal parts, the two shells that make up the container.
On the top of the lid, the handle,recalls the shape of the gianduiotto anticipating the contents of the precious box.

It is an object that fascinates me. I find it very attractive thanks to its shape and its calibrated proportions.

The problem comes when you have to use it.

On opening, the shiny and flared handle of the lid slides from the fingers and a discreet effort is needed to get to the gianduiotto. Will it be done on purpose to discourage gourmands?

Moreover, the two parts do not overlap easily and the lid often tends to slide, requiring the use of two hands.

From here a question arises:

what is the right balance between aesthetics and functionality?

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