Clay filters are common in Brazilian homes and designer Lucas Couto brings the best of them to more household appliances. Clay is an organic and natural material used by many developing nations because it is cost-effective, versatile, and easily available. Terracotta earthenware in the kitchen is an ingenious practice that is finding its way back into our modern lives and Couto extends the benefits of this material to lamps, filters, and humidifiers.
“I intended to respect the heritage, avoiding an approach to simply “modernize” the filter. I wanted to create a unique form factor that takes advantage of the materials and manufacturing process while introducing new functional features, such as a handle to assist in lifting the upper reservoir and a base to support a drinking glass,” he adds, “The cooling property of the ceramic inspired me to design a humidifier. This is a much-needed item in my hometown of Belo Horizonte, where the air can get very dry throughout the year.” Clay filters are actually proven to eliminate toxins from water through its existing properties while also keeping it cool according to research published in the book The Drinking Water Book: How to Eliminate Harmful Toxins from Your Water. The efficient filtration is a result of the gravity process, where water passes through the candles and drips slowly into the lower reservoir.
Couto wanted to create a multi-sensorial experience fostered by the terracotta. He retained the color, the textures, and the gradient caused by water absorption for visuals and touch. The water drops inside the filter and the vitrified sound of the material produce a soothing sound. Terracotta naturally smells like earth after rain and it also adds a unique flavor to water. The cooling property of the ceramic is why Couto made the humidifier too. All components are placed in the lid, which also contains a level indicator to assist the user with keeping the humidifier filled. The lamp and the planter were additions to the series to showcase the material in various forms outside the kitchen use. The planter has a two-compartment design to take advantage of capillarity for petrichor! The inner part of the pendant lamp is covered with a white glaze to increase light reflection while the terracotta prevents it from overheating. The clay range is organic, warm, functional, and aesthetic!
Designer: Lucas Couto