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All photos by Beatrice della Volpe
"A gastronomic playground with different characters." ~ Astrid Luglio
When we hear the word ‘sustainable’ in the world of design, it’s most often used to talk about products that meet environmental criteria, whether it’s the use of low impact processes or materials that can be reused. But what about the social aspects of sustainability? Well, that’s exactly what Astrid Luglio and Mariella Caputo bring to the table with ‘Famiglia Oliva’, a tableware collection for extra virgin olive oil that utilises ancient techniques and promotes a centuries-old community of artisans in Naples, Italy.
The Famiglia Oliva collection was born from a collaboration between Neapolitan designer Astrid Luglio and Campania’s first female sommelier Mariella Caputo. Together, the duo has translated different tasting gestures into vessels that invite users to savour the taste and smell of olive oil. Created for DLISH partner Eleit.it, and handmade by artisans on the historical Rua Catalana in Naples, the project seeks to celebrate and enhance an icon of Mediterranean culture—olive oil.
Meet Gea, Elio & Pigi
Famiglia Oliva is composed of three objects that represent the three fundamental elements required to cultivate olives: ‘Gea’ is the earth, ‘Elio’ is the sun, and ‘Pigi' is the spring. Each piece fuses narrative with functionality and affords a multisensory experience. Luglio describes the project as “a gastronomic playground with different characters, each one with peculiar connotations and capacities.”
First up is Gea, a softly curved dish for bread and oil that celebrates the everyday ritual of dipping bread into oil. Next is Elio, a vessel for pouring olive oil onto food. It’s specially designed to hold a spoonful of oil, the perfect dosage to promote good health and avoid waste.
Last but certainly not least is Pigi, which is created to awaken the olfactory system. Held to the nose, users first smell the sweet, slow and intense fragrance of olive oil with a natural gesture. Immediately afterwards, the aromatic components of the oil can be enjoyed by putting Pigi to the lips and savouring the taste.
Preserving history on Rua Catalana
The Famiglia Oliva collection is handcrafted from tin-plated brass and copper on Rua Catalana, a street of artisans in Naples that was first established in 1343 when Queen Joanna I of Anjou granted Catalan metalworkers their own road in order to boost trade in the Kingdom of Naples. Although the number of people working here has dwindled over the years, the street is still home to a community of artisans using ancient techniques to create innovative designs.
“Working in Rua Catalana was an intense experience,” says Luglio. “Master artisans are difficult to approach at the beginning but they have a strong philosophy about what they do and how they do it. Once they embraced the project they gave me their knowledge and made me part of the prototype production process, giving me the opportunity to share ideas with the community and find solutions with them.”
The designer continues, “They’re used to working outside in the street so people stopping by were curious to see the collection and to give their opinion. The name Famiglia Oliva is also dedicated to this communal atmosphere that made the project possible.”
The Famiglia Oliva Gift Box
Eleit.it and DLISH have partnered to bring the multisensory Famiglia Oliva experience to a stylish new gift box. The unique gift brings together 100ml of DOP extra virgin olive oil produced by Le Colline Lubrensi Oil Company in Sorrento with Gea, Pigi and Elio—the three characteristic handmade vessels which compose Famiglia Oliva.
Experience Famiglia Oliva with Eleit.it and DLISH
The Famiglia Oliva Gift Box was recently showcased as part of a special cultural tour of Naples curated by Eleit.it and DLISH. The first ‘DLISH Table’ event included a visit to Rua Catalana in Naples, an evening at Michelin-starred restaurant La Taverna del Capitano with Mariella Caputo, and a morning at award-winning olive oil company Le Colline Lubrensi.