The GAUGE is an object that leans over more, as the level of liquid inside reduces. The range needs to grow to create a family of objects.
The range can be grown by including an alternative colour to the 'Clear'. 'Smoke' was selected, as it both fits the brand's minimalist style and this colour is frequently available from the manufacturer. Because the exclusive brand works in very small order numbers, it was necessary to select a colour that can be ordered on the back of the factory's another customers' orders, as it would not be affordable to melt down the crystal colour for these small orders of the Gauge alone.
It was important to solve the leaning problem without hiding the mechanical method. The material glass allows a
viewer to understand that there is no trickery. When designing the vase Jim thought a lot about his mother’s sock darning mushroom that he used to play with as a child. The problem of the vase rolling away when in the horizontal position is taken care of by the asymmetrical flower. Whilst the vase appears more likely to break than a normal vase, it is in fact safer: most vases fall over if knocked, but this one returns to the upright position.
The narrow neck limits the number of flowers that the vase can hold, so it does not over balance until the water is low.
The Gauge vase takes on the behaviour of the flower. The weight of the water holds the vase upright. The vase ‘wilts’ as the flower drinks the water, letting us know that it needs a top-up.
Something is lost when we bring flowers indoors. The flowers are no longer animated by a breeze. The flowers cannot properly wilt when they are dying because the vase holds them rigid.
A gauge is an instrument that measures and shows the amount of something. The GAUGE vase indicates the level of remaining water, by the angle of the vase’s neck.
Like any vase, the GAUGE can be knocked over. Unlike any other vase, the GAUGE will spring back up. It is designed for leaning and swaying and will return to where it best balances - upright when fully watered, tilting when thirsty. The narrow neck limits the number of flowers so it does not over-balance. The vase can pirouette and dance. It invites people to play... because the water moves inside - sometimes following, sometimes leading the sway of the glass - an irregular movement is created, reminiscent of flowers dancing in a breeze.
German Design Award 2017