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Article: Miniforms Soda - An Interview With Its Designer Yiannis Ghikas

Miniforms Soda - An Interview With Its Designer Yiannis Ghikas

Miniforms Soda - An Interview With Its Designer Yiannis Ghikas

Yiannis Ghikas Unveils the Creation of the Miniforms Soda Table

In an era where design oscillates between the avant-garde and the retrospective, Yiannis Ghikas's work on the Miniforms Soda table serves as a beacon of innovation and craftsmanship. In a recent interview, Ghikas peeled back the layers of his creative process, challenges, and the reception of this groundbreaking piece. His insights not only illuminate the journey of the Soda table from concept to realization but also  reflect on the broader landscape of design where tradition meets modernity.

Miniforms Soda Yiannis Ghikas at Salone

An Interview with Yiannis Ghikas

Tell me a bit about the design process of the Soda table. How long did it take and what did the first draft look like?

Ghikas: "The soda project was a commission. So, I had to design tables made of mouth-blown glass. I did research and I realized that there weren’t products in the market that are entirely made of glass so I decided my approach to be this. A table made entirely made of glass, made of a single puff. I proposed several designs but we all agreed that soda was our first choice. After I sent the proposals, I forgot the project till the day a few months later that I received photos of the molds…"

Ghikas's recount of the initial design phase of the Soda table reveals the blend of inspiration and innovation that underpins his work. The idea of creating a table entirely from glass, a material traditionallly used more for aesthetics than functionality in furniture, showcases his daring approach. The reminder that great ideas often begin with a single vision, however ambitious, is a comp elling takeaway from Ghikas's process.

Could you elaborate on any challenges you faced during the design and production of the Soda tables and how you overcame them?

Ghikas: "The project started during the pandemic so I didn’t have the chance to travel and see the production. Initially the glass makers weren’t 100% sure about the feasibility of the project because they hadn’t done something like this (size, shape) before but they accepted to try. The first piece that was successfully produced was exactly like the final product we all know. With the new soda square we increased the level of difficulty even more. It is very hard to fill the corners of a square shape by blowing glass. Thanks to their high experience they succeeded again. I consider that soda tables are more the outcome of their effort than mines."

The obstacles Ghikas and his team faced, particularly during a global pandemic, highlight the resilience and adaptability required in the creative process. The collaboration between designer and glassmakers, despite initial doubts about feasability, resulted in a triumph of craftsmanship. This story underscores the beauty of collaborative creativity and the importance of trust in the expertise of each team member.

What kind of feedback have you gotten from the people who have created, bought or used the Soda Tables?

Ghikas: "The feedback is very positive. People often say that they look much better in reality than in photos."

The overwhelmingly positive reception of the Soda tables speaks volumes about the impact of seeing and experiencing design firsthand. It reminds us that while photos can capture the essence of a piece, the true beauty and intricacy of design are best appreciated in person. This feedback also serves as a testament to Ghikas's ability to translate his visioniary concepts into tangible, mesmerizing pieces.

Have there been any unexpected uses or applications of the Soda table that have emerged from customer feedback or experiences?

Ghikas: "Some clients of a hotel in Athens used them as stools and broke two of them…"

This anecdote from Ghikas provides an insightful look into the unpredictability of how designs are received and utilized in the real world. It underscores the importance of designers considering the various ways in which their creations might be used, or misused, and serves as a reminder of the practical considerations that accompany the aesthetic ones.

Can you elaborate on the use of Soda as one of the ingredients in the Soda table? Are we talking about regular soda (Diet Coke?)

Ghikas: "One of the three basic ingredients of glass is sodium carbonate and Soda tables are totally made of glass. That’s why we used Soda to name the product. At the same time soda is used for refreshment drinks and we believe that Soda is a … refreshing product."

The clever play on words with the name "Soda" illustrates Ghikas's thoughtful approach to every aspect of his design, right down to the nomenclature. Thr choice reflects not just the material composition of the tables but also their intended effect on spaces and those who use them bringing a refresheing new perspective to the concept of furniture. It's a delightful reminder of how creativity can infuse even the naming process with deeper meaning and wit.

Miniforms soda

About Yiannis Ghikas

As we reflect on the innovative journey of the Miniforms Soda table and the creative mind behind it, Yiannis Ghikas's story serves as a vivid testament to the power of integrating diverse fields of knowledge into design. Born in Athens, Greece, Ghikas's educational background in Computer Science and Design has equipped him with a unique lens through which he views the world of design—a fusion of functionality and emotional resonance. His approach to design is comprehensive, aiming to satisfy both tangible needs and intangible desires, highlighting his belief in design as a holistic process.

Ghikas's work has garnered international acclaim, with his Monarchy stool winning prestigious awards such as the Red Dot Design Award (2009) and the German Design Award (2016). However, it is his Soda tables for the Italian brand Miniforms that have particularly captivated the design world. These tables, crafted from mouth-blown Murano glass, have been recognized with multiple acccolades, including the Archiproducts Design Award, the Azure Magazine Award, and the Dezeen Design Award 2021. Additionally, the Soda table has been selected for the ADI index and was a nominee for the Compasso D’oro 2022, underscoring its innovative design and impact.

Yiannis Ghikas Matteo and Mario Bardini Miniforms

Ghikas's dedication to his craft and willingness to immerse himself in different cultures is evident from his participation in a three-month design residency in Arita, Japan, in 2018. Working closely with the local potter’s community, Ghikas not only honed his design skills but also gained invaluable cultural insights, enriching his work and perspective.

Collaborating with various companies globally, including Objekten in Belgium, Miniforms and Hiro in Italy, and Marubun in Japan, Ghikas has demonstrated his versatility and the universal appeal of his designs. His work, exhibited internationally, continues to inspire and challenge the conventional boundaries of design.

Yiannis Ghikas at Megaron Maximou


In the story of Yiannis Ghikas and his creation of the Soda Coffee table, we see more than just the birth of a piece of furniture; we witness a narrative of exploration, collaboration, and the relentless pursuit of beauty in functionality. Ghikas's journey underscores the significance of pushing boundaries and embracing the unknown, a philosophy that resonates with designers and creatives across the globe, urging them to explore the full potential of their visions.

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