Cino, the three-legged chopstick, was selected in 2005 for the MADEFORCHINA exhibition, at the OPOS/ASAP (As Sustainable As Possible) space in Milan during the Fuorisalone. ASAP is a workshop dedicated to product research, with the aim of reflecting on the position of critical consumption in the controversial context of consumer discretionary goods.
For MADEFORCHINA, OPOS asked designers to “Think about the progressive conquest of economic leadership by China, and whether this could be transformed into the conquest of a cultural and aesthetic leadership as well. Or if this time, instead of seeing a process of cultural colonization and imperialism which goes from west to east, the process were today inverted, from east to west”.
In 2007, the three-legged chopstick was marketed and in the same year it joined the travelling exhibition The New Italian Design. The mobile landscape of Italian design, produced by the Triennale Design Museum and curated by Andrea Branzi and Silvana Annichiarico. With the exhibition Cino, the three-legged chopstick, travelled to Madrid (2007), Istanbul (2010), Beijing and Nantou (2012), Bilbao (2013), San Francisco (2013) and Santiago de Chile (2014).
The three-legged chopstick was taken off the market in 2011 and has never been sold again.
“The instrument never pierces, cuts, or slits, never wounds but only selects, turns, shifts. For the chopsticks in order to divide, must separate, part, peck, instead of cutting and piercing, in the manner of our implements”
— Roland Barthes, L'Impero dei Segni
Its ancestor, Hook, was only a concept: “How to hold three cocktail sticks with two fingers so as not to drop an olive.” The design? Almost immaterial.
It is a shift from something that we are familiar with, in memory of other cultures, yet ready to interpret them all.
In any case, it would be perfect on Fornasetti’s extraordinary “Pranzo inpiedi” table. (Maurizio Vogliazzo)
We can even wear it, slipping it on to a finger like a ring.
Vertically, it is as straight as an arrow, and horizontally it keeps its balance on a single leg, raising the tips.
Gianmaria Sforza is an architect, designer and independent curator. He works on transdisciplinary projects straddling landscape, architecture and design.
Cino, the three-legged chopstick, and Babele, the travel bookcase, are in the travelling exhibition The New Italian Design, the mobile landscape of new Italian design, produced by the Triennale Design Museum.
Since 2011 he has curated the project Degni di nota. Design in Italia in tempi critici (Worthy of note. Design in Italy in critical times), a collection of objects and documentary videos on self-produced design in Italy.
The landscape, the non-built, is the primary inspiration for his work.