Gaetano Pesce

Product designer

Fireplace, stove, oven, kitchen: objects and places synonymous with the idea of warmth, of inhabiting the central domestic space of our homes, rich with memory and atmosphere. And now, joining these other elements, the cooker hood, that magical, absorbing cap, alive with the fragrant, smoky whimsy of our daily mealtimes and the fresh and cheerful bounty of the past-evolutional transformation of the traditional hearth where, as the Italian legend says, on Twelfth Night, Epiphany, the Befana, the gift-giving witch, descends with her sack of goodies for the children.
Of course, needs and functions have moved on since then, altering, eradicating, but the cooker hood, today’s version of the old chimney place, has retained its vital place at the centre of our kitchens, becoming, as a glance throught the Elica catalogue shows, an elegant, space-defining object, freighted with important technological advances.
And this is where I came along, wondering to myself: what should it be, a cooker hood today.
My first immediate thought was that the abstract geometry of so much contemporary design has run its course, while the pursuit of absolute beauty is rather an obsolete concept.
In addition, I had to consider that a company as important as Elica certainly carries out research and experimentation to forecast the trends of tomorrow’s markets. I myself am becoming more and more convinced that the figure, the recognizable image, is the form that best suits the objects of daily life we have around us-objects that want to speak to us, to tell us stories and in fact modern design wants to become a vehicle for narration... conveying, where possible, in these rather murky and doleful times, feelings of joy, warmth, irony, sensuality and optimism... and this is how I came to imagine a cooker hood made with the typical things that we use to prepare our food: an object designed to bring something different to startle the kitchen space, a bright and unruly splash of color, so that just a look is enough to bring a smile to your lips.