Zlin cutlery by Future Systems


At Maison & Objet in Paris this month, Italian design brand Alessi will launch a range of plastic cutlery designed by the late architect Jan Kaplicky of Future Systems.

Called Zlin, the cutlery was originally intended for use by airlines.

The name of the four-piece cutlery set refers to the Czechoslovakian fighter planes of Kaplicky's birthplace.

The text below is from Alessi:


Alessi – Zlin cutlery designed by Future Systems

The four pieces of plastic cutlery were originally proposed by Jan Kaplicky as an alternative to his tableware project "Bettina", which later went into production in 2008.

The name "Zlin" refers to the legendary Czechoslovakian fighter planes (Jan was born in Prague in 1937) and alludes to their intended use as airline silverware, on which the designer firmly insisted.

Presenting them now seemed like a good thing to us, a year after Jan's sudden passing.

We're proposing them for more likely destinations, such as a dinner to which you'd like to give an unconventional tone: these small, fresh and poetic utensils designed for a contemporary table would stand up well in a head-to-head comparison with the sophisticated table settings typical of the classic middle-class' affluent tradition.

Posted on Friday January 8th 2010 at 3:00 pm by . Copyright policy | Comments policy

  • modular

    Seems to much plastic for airline use…

    Anyway, it’s good to see other products designed by Kaplicky coming out after his passing. He seemed a nice guy!

  • horrible haridas

    beautiful products! they’ve got that ‘casper the friendly ghost’ aura about them…
    the packaging just doesn’t complement their character though.

  • Cute kit

  • pop

    i liked Philippe stark’s airfrance cutlery.

    but it always seems that there is not much space on that tray to put all those utensils!!

  • In the 1970s, Luigi Colani designed a set of elegant and ergonomic interlocking plastic cutlery for Thai airlines:



  • peeween

    sheer beauty!!

  • dcbcn

    This is clearly inteded for European and Asian airlines. On a US carrier, you cannot even get a bag of peanuts anymore, let alone table service by Alessi!

  • Jule&Jim

    Beautiful colors, very elegant shapes.

  • Zain

    Sperm cell inspired!

  • matt

    not a very yogurt-friendly spoon

  • mahrous

    like it , but i think its gonna slip from my hand

  • pero

    jan we miss u, i’ve found your works to late… love those platic forks’n’knifes

  • eye+

    it looks like the guys were trying to do their best to make something different lol. the way the handle is merged into the heads is very un-elegant and the form doesn’t invite you to touch it.
    designing a set of airline cutlery that looks like an airplane is like designing garden furniture that looks like trees and flowers, a very conventional approach for a studio which is called future systems.

  • Will

    Ross Lovegrove and Future systems take far too much from this era, a good formula as journalists seem to lap it up; would you agree that the Arne Jacobsen cutlery from the 50s is the inspiration?

  • FEW

    Jan, you are missed by all designers! Wonderful work.

  • The Sounder

    What about lefties? couldn't use that fork, it's going in the wrong direction….