1 May 2009

With Love and Humour


Cities ∕ Objects

Greece is for Lovers is an Athens design studio specialising in the production of quirky takes on every-day objects which explore aspects of Greek identity. Having discovered their website ealier this year, I payed their studio/shop a visit, determined to buy their top-selling item, the ‘Athens Sucks’ mug, a wry parody of the famous I ♥ NY logo, designed by Milton Glaser.

Other items include a crocheted iPod holder called ‘Granny Tunes’, which makes use of the traditional craft of lace-making. Beautiful too is the ‘Amen Tableware’: china plates featuring a typical Greek border ornament and the letter ‘A’, forming the anarchist’s symbol. ‘Tougher Than Leather’ meanwhile, combines a working skateboard with leather sandals, whilst its cousin ‘Ridden In Stone’ is an ornamental skateboard rendered in local white marble.

Not all objects by the design trio are straight parodies of the familar. ‘Ingrid & Stavros’ is ostensibly a bikini, but it’s been modfied to function as a beverage holder which can be tossed into the shallow waters of a beach to keep cool. An orange day-glow float means you can’t loose it. The name is a hilarious reference to the practice of virile young Greek men (Stavros) picking up female German holiday makers (Ingrid).

Ingrid & Stavros [Photo: Greece is for Lovers]

What’s so alluring about the work of Greece is for Lovers is their bold habit of combining throw-away jokes with super high-quality materials: brass, wax, china, leather and marble. But even the simple cotton tote bag isn’t left unadulterated: ‘Oh My Demi God!’ screams theirs.