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The fourth issue of Typologie, a collection of design books about ordinary objects, is dedicated to the wooden crate. One usually comes across crates at open-air markets. Stacked up like scaffolding and laid out on stalls, they are used to transport and display fruits and vegetables. Our eyes wander from leeks to turnips, and we don’t think for one instant about the container of which we can see only tiny corners. And yet this link in the food chain deserves a moment of our attention. Its design has remained unchanged for sixty years: a few slats of stapled poplar wood. In spite of this apparent simplicity and the rudimentary construction, it is a picture of balance and lightness, resilience and the economic use of a natural resource. Modern crates are the reflection of changes to containers for food products that have evolved from rural wickerwork to reusable crates. Developed with The Vitra Design Museum, it features 45 original photographs printed in bichromie, 30 illustrations in color, a text by Alexandre D’Orsetti, and a crossed interview between the french artist, Philippe Weisbecker, Pierre Cornu, historian and Jean-Luc Baley, director of a wooden crate factory. Typologie is a series of design publications that takes the reader on a journey to the heart of everyday objects. Each volume is devoted to one ordinary object. It inventories its numerous shapes, explores his manufacturing process, details its history and highlight its enduring relevance through the voices of passionate specialists. Each issue is published in English and French versions. Each issue features two sections: The first one is printed in tri-color on thick paper, and presents a series of original photos of ancient and contemporary objects, faithfully reproduced. The second one is printed in color on thin paper and contains authors’ texts, a crossed interview, a factory documentary and archive images.
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