Last year, during the second term of the Master Italian Product Design, the students worked with Flaminia. Flaminia is one of the greatest Italian producers of design ceramic bathroom fittings and Giulio Cappellini is its Art Director. The brand asked the students to design a new washbasin and left them carte blanche during the creative process to come up with any ideas, as long as they were coherent with the brand.
The class included students of many different nationalities, and this became the starting point for most of the designs. Some students developed their designs in relation to a geographical location and condition linked to water activity. The results were two designs with freeform natural looks, one inspired by the formation of stalactites and stalagmites, and the other a reinterpretation of the classic ‘Acquagrande’, designed by Giulio Cappellini with its inside carved in the form of an eroded canyon.
A couple of students came up with designs inviting the user to immerse himself in peace while in contact with water. The washbasin became part of an everyday cleaning ritual both for the body and for the soul. In one case, it was presented as a sort of stand, made of a thin matte black structure with a natural looking stone placed on its top. Another design appeared as a magnificent extra-large Asian-looking cup with a metallic tube cut at an angle, thus recalling the traditional bamboo Asian fountains.
One design aimed to raise awareness, by reminding everybody of the dramatic situation of water shortage in the world and specifically in Brazil. The washbasin was round and full at first, but then represented the lack of water by appearing very shallow and with very little capacity when approached.
One student invented a democratic washbasin made of stackable elements that could be customized and supplied indifferent sizes for people of different heights. The different colour combinations would make it easy for architects to design a full range of very different bathrooms for homes, offices and hotels. Those colours, inspired by morning and evening landscapes were extruded on the piece in a revolutionary way which recalled the style of rotating hand-made pottery, enabling the user to experience an object made by incorporating natural moment.
The last design was a modernized version of the classical Turkish bath washbasin, used to store water before pouring it onto hot stones. The two circular platforms of the design were no longer used to keep pouring cups in, but became places in which to leave a cellphone, a watch or any unwanted object when the user needs to use the bathroom. The design was user-oriented and displayed an inward curve on its front, facilitating the access to the washbasin and so making the design particularly suitable for the elderly or those with physical.