Philippe Malouin designs sculptures that house your personal wares

Working with a team of master craftsmen, Philippe Malouin creates a range of curved home objects for Finnish brand Iittala, titled Kuru

Vases and bowls
Kura, a collection of home objects for Iittala
(Image credit: Philippe Malouin)

When you think of Philippe Malouin and his portfolio of work, a strong yet simple use of shape is something that springs to mind immediately. Over the years, the designer has become recognised for this ability, honing his silhouette skills when creating collections for the likes of SCP and Established & Sons. Now, Malouin has masterfully applied his eye for a good curve to a range of home objects for Finnish brand Iittala.

Named Kuru, the collection is made up of ceramic bowls, a small glass bowl, and a glass vase. Most are circular in shape, while a shallow tray takes on more of a lozenge form. However, each piece is intended to provide a sort of organisational pedestal for your very best belongings – somewhere to show them off while also ensuring they are kept neat and tidy.

‘The initial brief required us to create a set of “home displays” – objects that are both sculptural and functional,’ says Malouin, who joins a long list of design heavyweights to have worked with Iittala since its beginnings in 1881. ‘The home displays can be experienced as a sculptural item or used in order to collect your personal effects.’

Vases on a mantle piece

(Image credit: Philippe Malouin)

Wallet in bowl

(Image credit: Philippe Malouin)

‘Elevating the items from the surface adds value to these objects and gives them the respect they deserve. I wanted to design a collection that helps people create centres of gravity in their homes and provides a place for precious objects and memories, regardless of the size of their living space,’ he added.

Malouin named the pieces in reference to the Finnish word for ‘gorge’, as ‘it represented the empty geometric space in the Kuru pieces,’ he explained. He spent months working alongside the brand’s craftspeople to develop this correct silhouette, and at the same time spending time experimenting with textured glazes, as seen on the outside of the ceramic bowls.

‘It was important to develop a design language that was our own as well as matching Iittala’s,’ he said. ‘The important thing to keep in mind was the quality and colours of the materials used by Iittala over the years.’

According to Malouin, this is most evident through the glass pieces – however, for the ceramics, they opted to take a more experimental approach, developing a textural glaze that was applied to the design after the slipcasting phase.

‘The textured glaze is new to the brand, yet I believe it adheres to its design ethos,’ he says. ‘It is such a challenge to design something new for such a strong and big design company. We are pleased it was possible to do.’

Vases and vowls on a wooden table

(Image credit: Philippe Malouin)