Director of marketing and products at Laufen Bathrooms AG
WHO: The idea of working with raw materials that could be transformed into exquisitely designed products held a special allure for Marc Viadot, which is why he joined Laufen Bathrooms AG in 2003, and has been with the 122-year-old company ever since. He went from export area manager of commercial subsidiaries to head of product management in 2009 and today is director of marketing and products at the manufacturer of premium bathroom systems and fixtures. In his capacity, Viadot takes care of worldwide branding, communication and product portfolio strategies, including design management and design leadership.
The company works with some of the best designers and design studios in the world to create its range of products, including Wiel Arets, Alessi, Kartell, Atelier Oi, Andreas Dimitriadis and Toan Nguyen, to name a but a few. Viadot’s definition of good design is that it is sustainable — “sustainable in its consumption of natural resources during production and during the intended use but also sustainable in its aesthetic”, he explains. “The bathroom is an investment that the user has to be happy with for many years. The objects become part of the architecture and cannot be replaced easily when they become old-fashioned either in terms of aesthetic or functionality. To create such evergreens is an art that we aspire to achieve with our passion for every piece we design and produce.”
WHAT: Fine aesthetic and durability are the hallmarks of Laufen, and its design philosophy is strongly connected (though not exclusive) to ceramic and the exploring of new forms and uses for the material. The company “aims to transform the basic function [of a bathroom] into its best possible form and performance. Combining straightforward design with pure function and high-quality materials as it has been done for centuries”, says Viadot.
One of Laufen’s renowned lines is IlBagnoAlessi One, introduced in 2002. The creation of Italian star designer Stefano Giovannoni, the line is “characterised by a timeless form, sparkling imagination and a hint of eccentricity”. This year, the range has been extended with new size variations, products and accessories made from SaphirKeramik, Laufen’s revolutionary material that “enables defined edges and small walls while maintaining a high level of structural stability”, says Viadot.
Last year, the company unveiled a new line called Kartell by Laufen. The collection features multi-coloured transparent plastic elements that add a touch of vibrancy to the rigid geometry of the ceramic items. Viadot says, “Designed by Ludovica and Roberto Palomba, it spoke a different design language from its competitors. In addition, it offers many innovative solutions, like concealed drains, which can be combined with a concealed overflow or a tap-mounted tray for storing small objects.”
Laufen’s products exemplify Swiss design, which “combines the best of the famous European design schools — the Nordic, known for its clarity and straightforward design approach, as well as the Italian with its emotional, sometimes playful, forms — and peppers it with a pinch of French finesse”, says Viadot.
WHERE: To find out more about Laufen, head to Agrow Corp Sdn Bhd, Wisma King Koil, 2C-1, Ground Floor, Jalan SS6/6, Kelana Jaya, Petaling Jaya, or call (03) 7805 4748. Also, log on to www.laufen.com.
IlBagnoAlessi One range
This article first appeared in The Edge haven, on Issue #69 October + November 2014.