Natura by Sebastian Bergne 16.08.11

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British designer Sebastian Bergne has designed a range of cookware for French manufacturer Tefal. Five years in the making, the Natura range consists of eight pieces, with more in the pipeline.

Although the pots and pans in the range resemble traditional, heavy cast iron, they are in fact recycled aluminium coated in a high-tech, non-stick substance called Prometal. Some pieces have recycled wood cellulose handles. It's the second recycled range Bergne has designed for Tefal, the first being his Enjoy spatulas in recycled PET. But this is the first time the designer has been free to build a range from first principles, rather than varying existing designs or templates, meaning he was free to express a "slightly more natural approach in the formal language of the pieces". So they are quite pleasing as objects, with homely curves and neatly resolved joins between vessel and handle.

But they also aim to promote healthy eating. This is done in fairly subtle ways that won't interfere too much with your fry-ups. The non-stick coating means less fat is needed in cooking. The grill pan has a slightly inclined base to drain off grease during grilling. Other items have spouts to make it easier to pour away excess fat, and there's a wok in the range to encourage healthy wok cooking. "So they're a normal set of pans, but there are a lot of little details to encourage people to cook in a healthier way," says Bergne. "It's what in French they call 'sane' cooking" – meaning simplicity and common sense, rather than healthy gimmicks.

The best news is that Natura is for the mass market and will be sold in supermarkets and homeware stores. "It's not a high-end design product – it's relatively inexpensive, it hasn't got my name on it, it's not about 'design', it's about producing a good product." Sadly, that product isn't yet for the UK: Natura is selling in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy and Turkey for the time being. But a couple of pieces are available from Bergne's website. They can also be seen at the Then-Now Show at the Aram Gallery, London, until 24 April.







William Wiles

quotes story

It's relatively inexpensive, it hasn't got my name on it, it's not about 'design', it's about producing a good product

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