queen of take-out

by Grace Bonney

deadline schmedline- is worth the wait. this -based designer has what it takes to keep a notoriously impatient writer (me!) from giving up. i was anxious to talk with her the second i saw her designs at and at this year’s show, my crush was confirmed. lorena barrezueta is the coolest.

barrezueta has a degree in product design from – and she knows how to use it. debuted this past spring, lorena’s gourmet dishware collection is some of the most creative work i’ve seen in awhile. made of porcelain, slip
cast in the form of disposable, alluminum take-out containers, the collection is available in white porcelain, rimmed with gold leaf, or in a colorful array of bright glazes. (i bought a little, two-section number in a great spring green…it now houses my teeny tiny collection of nice jewelery

the beauty of barrezueta’s gourmet collection is in its concept- discovering and appreciating the beauty in what most people see as disposable, unimportant items. inspired by “tasteful kitch” and all things second hand, barrezueta designed a seventeen piece collection now available throughout the city and through her website,

the queen of everday gourmet sat down to answer some questions of mine over the past week or so- here are the highlights. enjoy! buy gourmet dishware!

design*sponge: where does your inspiration come from? could you maybe tell me a little bit about your design process?

lorena barrezuta: find inspiration it what others might consider to be ordinary. i also like questioning various forms of etiquette and social norms. my design process usually involves a lot of writing. i need to hash out three or four pages of emotional banter before i get to the basic idea of what i’m trying to address with my design. then there’s a lot of prototyping, revising, obsessing and refining until i’m satisfied. music and laughter also play a HUGE part in my life as well as my work.

design*sponge:tell us a little bit about yourself- where did you study, did you enjoy your experience in design school, were there any sort of movements or trends a foot at school that you think will be popular in the near future?

lorena: i graduated from the product design department at parsons school of design. design school was challenging but i fortunately had some very close classmates that i really admired, respected and loved to laugh with which helped make the experience quite enjoyable.

design*sponge: how involved are you in the design community? do you attend shows and design school events? or has running your own studio and producing this line taken up a lot of time? do you pour over design magazines for ideas and an idea of what’s big in the market or are you more concerned with your own work?

lorena: i like to be aware of what’s out there but i don’t care to obsess over anyone or anything. i’ll attend a show or discussion here an there but i mostly like to focus on my own work.

design*sponge: what’s been the most difficult part of becoming a professional designer? what are your goals professionally- would you like to continue in a studio of your own or perhaps join up with other designers to form a company and do you plan to branch out to other mediums besides ceramics?

lorena: the most difficult part about working on my own is that i do everything myself. that will eventually change as my company grows but it can sometimes get a bit overwhelming. i want to continue building my design company and eventually expand my product line to furniture, jewelry, handbags and more. i also would like to collaborate with other designers in the future.

designsponge:what do you do in your spare time and do you have any favorite local stores where you feel great design is being represented?

lorena: i really enjoy spending time with my boyfriend, close friends and family. i love dancing…a lot….and i actually don’t go shopping very often.

design*sponge:what are some of your favorite things in the design world right now?

lorena: i enjoy the hands on quality of some of the work that i’ve seen recently. what disappoints me about design in general is the underlying pressure to constantly produce new product. i feel that this mentality doesn’t really allow time for refinment of ideas and utimately stunts the quality of design and innovation.

design*sponge: what would you like to see more of in the design world. this could be as broad or as general as you like..

lorena: i would like to see more quality and less quantity.

design*sponge: lastly, just for fun- could you make a list of 5 things you can’t live without? it can be anything, a dish, a band, a place or person, anything…

lorena: i can’t live without music, food, water, tissues, & all of my loved ones!

DISH IT UP [gourmet dishware*lorena barrezueta] the colored version….

PORCELAIN PICNIC [gourmet dishware*lorena barrezueta] pure porcelain, pure genius.

GOLDEN GIRL [gourmet dishware*lorena barrezueta] gold rimmed, for those who don’t want to rough it too much…

Suggested For You


  • Conceptually these are great. However, I personally would rather eat out of the real deal – especially since they are recyclable. And the aluminum beasts are so much prettier.

  • Lorena is a very exceptional designer.Incorporating her work with a new defining quality. Terrific!

  • These are definitely creative and interesting, but not very practical. Might as well use beautiful (and not trash-inspired) plateware if you are going to go ceramic anyway. There is nothing appealing about paper plates except for the fact that they are paper and they can’t break and you can toss them around and then toss them out.

Leave a Reply

Design*Droits-Humains reserves the right to restrict comments that do not contribute constructively to the conversation at hand, that comment on people's physical appearance, contain profanity, personal attacks, hate speech or seek to promote a personal or unrelated business. Our goal is to create a safe space where everyone (commenters, subjects of posts and moderators) feels comfortable to speak. Please treat others the way you would like to be treated and be willing to take responsibility for the impact your words may have on others. Disagreement, differences of opinion and heated discussion are welcome, but comments that do not seek to have a mature and constructive dialogue will not be published. We moderate all comments with great care and do not delete any lightly. Please note that our team (writers, moderators and guests) deserve the same right to speak and respond as you do, and your comments may be responded to or disagreed with. These guidelines help us maintain a safe space and work toward our goal of connecting with and learning from each other.