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Monthly Archives: December 2011

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Art Deco Water


Me eyeing a bottle of Aquadeco while wearing my Flower#19 Pendant inspired by the Art Deco building at 19 East 88th Street.  The photo is backwards because I took it on my webcam/Apple Photobooth.

Apparently, this is not new to the world but I just discovered it this evening at the Duane Reade on 89th Street and Madison Avenue.

Aquadeco – a bottled spring water company that first designed a bottle and then set about finding a water source, according to their website.

I did a bit of googling and came across some blog mentions including a T Magazine post by Steven Heller where he compares the Aquadeco bottle unfavorably against other designy bottles by Voss, Fred and Fiji.  Heller calls the Aquadeco bottle design “less Chanel than Woolworths”, resembling a “novelty perfume.”

I do not disagree with the “novelty perfume” aspect of the Aquadeco bottle and the Chanel/Woolworths comment is super on point.  It is a cliched representation of Art Deco but… I like it!

Is it counter-progressive that I find the ernest “design” of the Voss and Fred bottles pretentious?  I am a big fan of art deco but also of whimsy and some kitsch.  In fact, I have to admit, last week at the Food Emporium on 87th and Madison Avenue they had a special discount on Voss water, only 99 cents for that big bottle and I was too embarrassed to buy it!  Not to buy it since the cashiers knew it was on sale, but to be seen drinking it.  (Now that I’ve admitted it I guess I’ll make myself buy it if it is on sale again.)

Anyway, if I saw someone drinking an Aquadeco water I’d say, “Neat! Your water bottle is Art Deco! And the company is named Aquadeco! Neato!”

There were many comments below Steven Heller’s blog post arguing against the pointless waste of this fetishistic design and that new designs should be sustainable.

Ok, I know they’re right!  But, having been an eager scholar of the subject of Decadence in both high school and college, I can’t help but find this kind of vanity project endearing.

The founder of Aquadeco, Arnold Gumowitz is a real estate developer and art collector and Aquadeco seems to be a platform for sponsoring or being involved with celebrity events and Art Deco related events.  It does taste good, too (I just tried it).  This plastic bottle was $1.99 tonight and no more expensive than similarly sized bottles.  I read that Aquadeco also make a $12 glass bottle with an optional light to place beneath.  Not on my shopping list this week but maybe someday.  I suppose if you could remove the logo and keep the glass bottle as a vase it would be a little more environmentally friendly.

Also, here are three pics from the Aquadeco facebook page.




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