Ilse Crawford for Lobmeyr

From the beginning of glassmaking, circa BC 2500, artisans have focused on three aspects that made the material desirable: clarity, form and design. For Ilse Crawfords collection, titled Drinking Set No.286 for the Normal Special series, she carried forward this artisanal tradition in her own unique way. This practice of emotional design is something Ilse has been creating, long before it was considered to be cool.

While researching Lobmeyr’s repertoire, Ilse found inspiration in the fineness of the Austrian company’s glassware. Understanding how the weight and thickness of a glass changes its perception, how it is held and used, became the bedrock of the design. Using these insights, Crawford conceptualized Drinking Set No.286, which includes two classic pitchers, a vase and three tumblers, with differing glass thicknesses.

With this glassware series, the 1823-established Lobmeyr adds Crawford to its impressive list of design collaborators, which includes Frank Gehry, Tadao Ando and Jasper Morrison, among several other iconic names. In keeping with tradition, Lobmeyr produced Crawford’s design through its defining process; each piece is mouth-blown from lead-free crystal in Vienna. The glass is then cut, engraved and polished by hand. This handcrafted production—which is carefully executed, by over 18 sets of hands—ensures that this covetable collection is worth raising a toast to… and with.


About Ilse Crawford

Crawford is considered one of the greats in the design industry and design has played an integral role in her life. As the former editor-in-chief of a leading architecture and design magazine in the UK, as well as in her role as principal designer at her 18-year-old practice, Studioilse. Over the years, she has worked on interior architecture and design for homes across the globe, undertaken commercial projects as far away as Hong Kong, and designed products for boldface brands like IKEA. In 2014, she was made a member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) for her services to interior design, and in 2016, was named ‘Designer of the Year’ at Maison et Objet, Paris.

The research for this post is from an article that appeared in Architectural Digest, India.