andrea bandoni & joana meroz: the archetypical vase
andrea bandoni & joana meroz: the archetypical vase andrea bandoni & joana meroz: the archetypical vase
sep 16, 2009

andrea bandoni & joana meroz: the archetypical vase

photo: andrea bandoni & joana meroz

designers andrea bandoni and joana meroz created ‘the archetypical vase’ to question the idea of creating and understanding objects through textual language. the design is part of their project ‘the object without a story’ which the two brazilian designers based in the netherlands explored together. the two analysed hundred of stories accompanying design objects and picked out common words and expressions to create new stories for non-existing objects. one of these non-existent objects was ‘the archetypical vase’, which they created in glass. ‘the proposal is that instead of an object being monopolized by the ‘official’ story, it can be the starting point for multiple interpretations.’ the vase was made by stichting glas leerdam in the netherlands using moulded and mouth-blown glass. the vase measures 35cm by 35cm and will be on shown at the frozen fountain in amsterdam beginning september 19th. you can read some of the stories that could explain ‘the archetypical vase’ below.

joana meroz was a participant in designboom’s handled with care exhibition, back in 2007.

photo: susana camara leret

these are some of the stories that could explain ‘the achetypical vase’:

the archetypical vase – story #1 the archetypalvase communicates its complex and fascinating history to the user by being molded by different  transparent  layers of classical  vase forms. the different silhouettes of the different layers of vases compose the ornamentation. the fact that the interior cavity refers to a womb and the external suggests  a funerary urn refers to the cycles of life and death of the vessels themselves.   the archetypical vase – story #2 the apparition of this vase first came in a fascinating yet disturbing dream: it was at the same time the child waiting to be born as well as being the very container of the child. the visceral image of an object pregnant with self-similar offspring transcends rational discourse. the archetypical vase’s sensual and feminine forms spin tales of creation, simultaneously capturing interpretations of the past and generating new myths for the future.   the archetypical vase – story #3 the different kinds of fine balancing acts involved in the process of mouth-blown glass was the starting point for the archetypical vase. in order to create each shape different techniques and considerations are involved. this allows for the exploration of the range of virtuosity of the mouth-blower, his ability in mastering different aspects of the craft directly resulting in the stylistic differences between each of the vases. the archetypical vase is a tribute to the accumulation of hundreds of years of experience involved in this ancient and fertile craft.

the archetypical vase – story #4 the archetypical vase is a collaboration between andrea bandoni and joana meroz. having made an in-depth analysis of hundred of stories accompanying design objects, they used the most significant words and expressions to create random stories. the designers then created the objects described by these random stories, one of which is the archetypical vase. although the stories sound coherent, they are in fact completely arbitrary, thus questioning the validity of creating and understanding objects through stories.

photo: andrea bandoni & joana meroz

photo: andrea bandoni & joana meroz

photo: andrea bandoni & joana meroz

photo: andrea bandoni & joana meroz

  • Beautiful.

    Aj. says:
  • A great idea, especially with the questioning of how verbal modern art/design is. Without the story behind a piece of art, some of them are dull and meaningless. Art/design should be sefl-explanatory.

    anna.l says:
  • More fashions welcome go to visit[url=][/url%5D

    MIMI says:

have something to add? share your thoughts in our comments section below.
all comments are reviewed for the purposes of moderation before publishing.

comments policy
designboom's comment policy guidelines
generally speaking, if we publish something, it's because we're genuinely interested in the subject. we hope you'll share this interest and if you know even more about it, please share! our goal in the discussion threads is to have good conversation and we prefer constructive opinions. we and our readers have fun with entertaining ones. designboom welcomes alerts about typos, incorrect names, and the like.
the correction is at the discretion of the post editor and may not happen immediately.

what if you disagree with what we or another commenter has to say?
let's hear it! but please understand that offensive, inappropriate, or just plain annoying comments may be deleted or shortened.

- please do not make racist, sexist, anti-semitic, homophobic or otherwise offensive comments.
- please don't personally insult the writers or your fellow commenters.
- please avoid using offensive words, replacing a few letters with asterisks is not a valid workaround.
- please don't include your website or e-mail address in your comments for the purpose of self-promotion.
- please respect jury verdicts and do not discuss offensively on the competition results
(there is only one fist prize, and designboom usually asks renown professionals to help us to promote talent.
in addition to the awarded designs, we do feel that almost all deserve our attention, that is why we publish
the best 100-200 entries too.)

a link is allowed in comments as long as they add value in the form of information, images, humor, etc. (links to the front page of your personal blog or website are not okay). unwelcome links (to commercial products or services of others, offensive material etc. ) will be redacted. and, ... yes, spam gets banned. no, we do not post fake comments.

(2 articles)


a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.

design news

keep up with our daily and weekly stories
491,197 subscribers
- see sample
- see sample