How do you keep your promises of research, functionality and quality while pushing the boundaries of progress? Ideal Standard has embarked on a journey to discover new inputs in order to stay innovative and up to date. The first five legs in this journey of exploration touched down in Milan, Berlin, London, Paris and Dubai, where the latest collections were presented. The result? Each location came up with original messages to shape the design of the future.
Always moving forward in order to learn more about a future that we are already experiencing… Seeking new stimuli, suggestions and new relations to stay one step ahead of the goals we have already achieved…The Together World Tour was born with a pioneering spirit, while remaining conscious of everything that has been done to date. It is a journey around the world to meet and be met, to understand the needs of different communities, and to present the work carried out in recent years. The latest design pieces from the Ideal Standard collections were put together with selected cities in a sort of game of matching pairs. With its harmonious meeting of styles, the exercise highlighted the richness of a catalogue that speaks many languages.
Milan, Berlin, London, Paris and Dubai saw Linda-X, Extra, Conca and Atelier Collections unveiled. Captured through the camera lens, each itinerary has been made into a video that explains the brand’s creative dynamics and international positioning, while uncovering the destination’s hidden gems, revealing memorable places and introducing local characters. Viewers can accompany Jan Peter Tewes, CEO of Ideal Standard International and Roberto Palomba, the company’s Chief Design Officer, who uncover the atmosphere and architectural culture of the various urban centres from city to city, along with the elegance and variety of Ideal Standard design.
Jan Peters Tewes — Joern Fredric Kengelbach
Jan Peters Tewes
Soheila Sokhanvari — Cordelia Simpson
Joern Fredric Kengelbach
EVERY DESIGN PIECE RELATES TO EVERYDAY LIFE.
Meeting Marco Sammicheli, Director of the Triennale Milano Italian Design Museum, we learn that “before entering a museum, every design piece has improved all our lives at home, in the office, in the city. Because a good designer always thinks about human beings”. Capturing the essence of an era and transforming it into iconic forms is another key objective for any designer.
And so, reconnecting with the great masters of the past, Roberto Palomba explains how reinventing shapes and updating functions while incorporating new technologies and innovative materials is an important part of his work. This journey inspired the Atelier Collections, which includes Linda-X, created in homage to the series of washbasins designed by Achille Castiglioni in 1976. The collection uses Diamatec®, a next-generation material that enables us to create ultra-thin objects. Linda-X features a stepped platform base that enables the basins to be placed on narrow furniture, while creating a visually lightweight, almost floating appearance. “Transforming limits into opportunity” continues Palomba, “is another challenge that pushes designers to create not only new aesthetics, but above all new types of products.”
SETTING STANDARDS, CREATING PRODUCTS FOR EVERYDAY USE THAT COMBINE BEAUTY AND FUNCTIONALITY AND CAN BE USED BY THE GREATEST NUMBER OF PEOPLE POSSIBLE.
Speaking with Hartmut Dorgerloh, Director General of the Humboldt Forum, a new centre for art, culture and science, we discover that the past and present intersect continuously in this German city to create innovative research in constant transformation. The architecture of the building, uniting the Baroque style with minimalist shapes, projects a language stratified by a timeless aesthetic. David Chipperfield, the English architect who oversaw the restoration of the Neues Museum, also maintains that the complexity of Berlin’s history, “is an element to be respected, not from an educational point of view, but because of its value and deeper meaning”. “Presenting the Extra collection in Berlin” says Roberto Palomba, “reinforces the idea that form and function are deeply linked, as the best dictates of the Bauhaus school affirm. Extra is a pure project composed of a square volume with light proportions and slender materials.
It is an archetype, an absolute that helps to offer ever-changing settings. It becomes classic when combined with a traditional tap, or ultra-modern and minimalist when paired with a monobloc tap. It is chameleon-like – it adapts to the space that hosts it.”
ALWAYS NOURISH YOURSELF WITH INNOVATIVE, AVANT-GARDE CREATIVE ENERGY.
“London is a melting pot of ideas born from a mixture of stimuli from the world of art, music, bars and the streets, from the many cultures that coexist and a background that has ancient and deep roots” says textile and fashion designer Darren Cross. It is precisely its multimedial nature, eclecticism and diverse ethnicities that create bold and revolutionary new aesthetics, making London an eternally surprising destination. Roberto Palomba recognises the same inspirational impetus in the Ideal Standard proposals:
“If design is contamination then today, in the Internet era, anything goes. So, the question is: how can we turn around time without losing the drive to interpret the society we are currently living in? Reinterpreting design icons from the past allows us to blend the seduction of a vintage touch with the strength of technological innovation.
The company’s readiness to invest in exper-imentation has resulted in collections capable of giving any bathroom a strong identity and refined elegance.”
LEARNING FROM ARTISAN WORKSHOPS WHERE ATTENTION TO DETAIL, CONTAMINATION, EXPERIMENTATION AND THE ABILITY TO TRANSMIT KNOWLEDGE FROM MASTER TO STUDENT ENABLE US TO ACHIEVE EVER MORE HIGH-PERFORMANCE GOALS.
What can industry learn from the artisan world? Which processes are applicable to the world of design? L’Atelier is based in Paris in the 11th arrondissement, at 37 bis rue de Montreuil, also known as the Cours de l’Industrie. Around 50 artists and artisan workshops have managed to preserve a site founded in 1673. Visiting the various workshops, we discover ancient crafts that are still thriving alongside a lively, collaborative and generous community spirit. From artists to carpenters and wigmakers to fashion designers, everyone here upholds the manual work from which creativity blooms; work that takes time and the greatest attention to detail to achieve ever-higher quality. The 34,000 square metres of former railway depot Halle Freyssinet, on the other hand, are home to the world’s largest start-up campus. Promoted by Xavier Niel, born in 1967, and directed by young talent Roxanne Varza, this project is a place in which to work, organise workshops, prototype products and receive personalised financial and marketing advice.
This digital innovation hub is supported by the government, who would like to make it a global reference. It is home to more than 30 fast-track programmes, each of which is managed by a large company that rents desks and creates tailored programmes in its areas of expertise. The two realities get together to come up with new marketing strategies and share their different cultures and novel production processes, proving Paris to be the ideal city to present Atelier Collections, an ideas factory designed to promote the creative process and enable the creation of timeless collections.
A FUTURE THAT LOOKS TO THE PAST TO DESIGN A SUSTAINABLE TOMORROW
In an era that courses along at a dizzying speed of thought and often propelled by technologies whose full potential is yet to be explored, the importance of individuality has become an indispensable heritage – something demonstrated by the 2020 Expo hosted in this United Arab Emirates city. “Every entity, with its history, its needs, its requirements and expectations, becomes the focus of a global synergy that exponentially increases its capacity,” explains Robert Platt, Vice President of Visitor Experience Integration at Expo 2020 Dubai.
Dubai could be a paradigm for this idea: born almost as a sociological, urban and architectural experiment located in a dry, barren geographical region, it has become an icon of modernity, unimaginable engineering feats and architectural challenges. “Having overcome the initial phase”, says architect Joe Tabet, founder of JT & Partners, “Dubai can now stop to reflect on its origins to rediscover the deepest sense of its roots and development. By observing nature and the buildings of the last century, the city has become a part of the whole and, precisely for this reason, it is now seeking harmony with the planet.” At this point, the technologies and knowledge acquired are put to the service of the common good in a connection aimed simultaneously inwards and towards respecting the planet.
As Ahmed Hafez, the CEO of Ideal Standard Mena, confirms, “Ideal Standard fits perfectly into this journey because, although its past is still highly present and visible, it manages to stay dynamic and draws vital energy from technologies, but above all from creative thinking.” Roberto Palomba introduces two concrete examples of this way of thinking. Conca, a collection created in the 1970s by Paolo Tilche, is now a symbol of sustainability thanks to the use of advanced technologies, leading to a reduction in the quantity of ceramic material used. We then turn our attention to Intellimix, the latest generation in touch-free mixers, which dispenses soap and water at the same time. Designed for hygiene in public spaces, it is also a functional addition to domestic settings.
Looking towards the future while keeping a decidedly level head is the key message from this last stage of our multifaceted tour around the world. Stay tuned for more trips and messages of note.