Boutique Design - March/April 2010 - (Page 52)

B AT H A N D S P A S E C T I O N BY WANDA JANKOWSKI Phoenix Rising An Emotional Connection between Art and Hospitality Bath Design Far left: The design process for PuraVida bath products began with sketches. Left: The Lamy Accent pen embodies Pheonix Design’s approach in eliminating non-essentials without making that an end in itself. Below: Phoenix Design’s founding partners Andreas Haug and Tom Schönherr. an arts and culture really influence such a functional space as a hospitality bathroom? According to designer Tom Schönherr, the answer involves defining the essence of great design. Schönherr founded Phoenix Design in Stuttgart, Germany, with Andreas Haug in 1987 and two years later, opened its Tokyo branch. Today, the firm consists of 30 designers who offer brand, product and interface design, as well as design strategy and consulting services. Phoenix Design has won more than 380 design awards with clients in fields ranging from electronics and fountain pens to, yes, bathroom fixtures and fittings. In fact, 2009 brought the debut of the PuraVida Collection, created by the firm in collaboration with its clients, Duravit and Hansgrohe. Here, Schönherr explores the roots of bath design in the philosophies surrounding the creation of essential fittings and fixtures. BD: Is there a relationship between arts and culture, and design? TS: In principle, design and art or culture are always related, and one influences the other. However, there is a fundamental difference between art and design. Art is radical and reflects the Zeitgeist most directly. Art is unfiltered; it doesn’t have to please anyone. Art is avant-garde; there are no restrictions limiting what you do. Design, on the other hand, has to meet certain requirements. There is no point in designing something if it doesn’t meet people’s needs. Design, in contrast to art, has a serving function: it should improve the quality of life, work well and be easy to use. At the same time, design should also fascinate people and appeal to the senses. In this respect, design sometimes also comes close to art. BD: So it is the ability of design to fascinate and evoke emotion in people that connects it with art and culture — how does that concept fit in with your design philosophy? TS: In our design concepts, we follow the basic principles of ‘Logic, Morality and Magic,’ which reflect the three elements of good design. The design has to be logical in that it works well, is selfexplanatory and meets rational requirements. The morality aspect is that as designers we have tremendous responsibility toward the environment because the products we design may be produced in the thousands or millions. The third key element is the ‘magic’ — the fascination in people that the product creates. I believe that this emotionality is an essential part of every product. The PuraVida Collection, composed of Duravit fixtures and Hansgrohe fittings designed in collaboration with Phoenix Design. BD: How do you create designs that evoke emotion? TS: Let me give you an example with PuraVida. We thought intensively about the bathroom space — and that’s why the whole line follows a natural, flowing form: the fixtures and fittings create a harmonious unit, just as if they had grown out of the earth like a tree. All the outlines run smoothly and give the whole line a poetic lightness. We found a subtle emotionality with PuraVida, which results from creating a balance between precisely cut edges and flowing outlines. BD: Why particularly is emotionality important in hospitality bath design? TS: Hotels, especially, are spaces where comfort plays a role. Visitors spend their precious free time there and let themselves be inspired by their surroundings, away from what they see every day. That’s why expectations to create a sophisticated design are very high in this area. Phoenix Design is dedicated to defining and rising to the aspects of art that are also in design, even when it comes to the basic, functional elements of the bath. BD 52 • boutique DESIGN march/april 2010

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Boutique Design - March/April 2010

Boutique Design - March/April 2010
Table Of Contents
Hyatt Opens First Andaz Hotel On Wall Street In NYC
Brintons Announces Second Collection With Scottish Duo
AB Concept In Hong Kong Creates The French Window, Overlooking The Harbor
Washington D.C. Celebrates Revamped Design Center
Q&A With Kit Kemp, On How She Successfully Brought Firmdale Hotels To The U.S. With The Crosby Street
Adam Tihany Delivers Las Vegas’ First Mandarin Oriental After A Collective Deep Breath, CityCenter Opens And Adam Tihany Delivers Las Vegas’ First Mandarin Oriental
World By Design
Fathom Creative Turns A Dilapidated Brake Shop Into New Multi-Use Space For Art, Business, Life And Inspiration
German Theorist And Author, Boris Groys, Discusses His Book, Art Power And The Idea Of Tourists As Architects As Part Of This Month’s Inspiration
Designer Meetups Hosts Big Wigs In Design To Share Inspiration And Discuss Trends In Informal, Open Environments
Brian Orter Weighs In On The Popular Debate In The Design Community About Hand Drawings Versus Realistic Computer Renderings
EnVogue: BD Brings You Snapshots
Bath And Spa:
Calender/Advertisers Index

Boutique Design - March/April 2010