The second life of the bathroom. At the Flaminia showroom in via Solferino 18 new shapes, places to share, new bathroom rituals and innocent provocations in the designs by students from Industrial Design Master’s.

Flaminia Experience is a new research from Scuola Politecnica di Design on the evolution of bathroom environments. The workshop was developed within the Master in Industrial Design SPD in collaboration with Ceramica Flaminia: a cutting-edge company in bathroom furnishings thanks to the constant innovations both at an expressive and a technological level.

The study involving thirty-one international students, was led by the Dutch designer Huub Ubbens supported by Giulio Cappellini and the Flaminia staff. The design phase was preceded by a brainstorming conducted by Denis Santachiara. It is a complex result making now the public debut during the fuoriSalone 2007, from 18 to 23 April: a non-conventional revisit to contemporary bathrooms, home areas and public areas in continual transformation. Seventeen designs are on exhibit, starting off from different philosophies and aims: researches into shape and functions, the recovery of elementary and natural behaviours along with innocent provocations to help people build a more conscious idea of well-being. Some of these designs, chosen by Giulio Cappellini, are presented with prototypes.

The bathtub Leggera by Swiss Gilda Borgnini is a balanced work of art involving the imposing dimensions of the bathtub, made of pietra luce, and its essential shape similar to a simple piece of paper, curved in at its four corners. The same style is recalled in the entire collection and more specifically in the shower where the base has the same style, cushioning the soft concave shape of the bathtub. The product can be easily placed in a hotel suite as well as in a household situation.

Take off pushes a deliberate change of scene: it is a design laid out specifically for public spaces and airports. Within a particularly neutral environment, Evangelos Karapetsas (Greece) and Jumpei Ushiyama (Japan) imagine a space for total relax, scenically pleasant but also functional, involving and yet private. The collection is built around a column-shaped sink. It is a leaning cylinder in white porcelain finished off with either acid treated or coloured glass surroundings. It is a simple and pure volume that, when positioned together, outlines paths or create collective areas in spaces that are usually narrow and secluted. The other pieces of the collection propose the same lines, styles and materials. For example, the toilet cabin always balances its private dimension with a strong communication impact: the cylinder in transparent coloured glass becomes opaque when in use.

Suspended between a game and reflections is the design AABKA (Adults Are Becoming Kids Again). It is the intelligent bathroom designed bySpanish Jorge Mañes and Thai Bhurich Sukumalchan to relax and entertain the entire family while visiting a roadside restaurant. Here the bathroom offers exercises for both the body and the mind. Adapted for adults and for children too, the sinks have a double height with taps in the shape of a gun. They seem to ask a question: “And if only all the guns in the world shot water?”. The original Neck Experience loosens your muscles after hours at the wheel and clears the way for the urinal, an object until now only used for its actual function. On the walls, the sequence of urinals are huge round eyes spying on the users ironically. Strange sentences are placed at different heights and angles, inviting slight neck movements whilst reading and following the sentences. “And now that you’re smiling, even your neck feels better”.

Not forgetting the various points of interest in other designs oriented towards the domestic area. FlaminiaForest is a project for those who love to go to the toilet outside in the open air and for those who do not do so anymore. The system from Katia Mattioli (Italy) and Pepin Gelardi (USA) plays on transferring this experience into our household bathrooms. Pee on a tree, Sit on a stone, Canopy: the urinal, the toilet bowl and the shower transform our bathroom into a forest to rediscover the basic gestures and the little disobediences from our childhood memories. The prototype can be seen on display in the SaloneSatellite at the SPD stand. (pav. 22-24, stand E9; Fiera Rho Pero).

Each design allows two different interpretations: the concept of the environment and the product itself. Flaminia Experience outlines the future of the bathroom in public areas exploring new territories in design. The intervention ranges from urban business hotels to five-star plus hotels, including also restaurants and crowded transit areas. The key to all different projects is the challenge to work with such a complex material as porcelain, investigated thanks also to the support from the Flaminia technical staff and to the visits to its production plants. This new experience confirms the increasing attention for the bathroom environment, interpreted here through the work of young designers who bring their significant contribution to the product developement.

Flaminia Experience
dal 18 al 23 aprile 2007 dalle 10 alle 22
Spazio Flaminia, via Solferino 18, Milano
Informazioni: +39 02 21597590