Monday, 17 September 2012

The 'F' word

In the design world there is constant discussion and debate over originals and design replica's, aka fakes.
Just like fashion, furniture and artwork there are fake and imitation bathroom design pieces.

Most people don't realise that the bathroom fittings they use everyday have been designed by some of the most infamous and influential designers of our time like Philipe Starck, Alessi, Patricia Urquiola etc.

These designers are normally commissioned by the world leaders in bathroom ware such as Hansgrohe and Duravit, and they spend huge amounts of time designing a product which is aesthetically pleasing as well as practical. These are brands that focus on environmentally-friendly manufacturing and all products are made to keep up with water saving technology and sustainable materials.

Not only do bathroom fittings need be pleasing to the eye, they need to work. So the designers must have an understanding of plumbing, hydraulics and even electrics.

Hansgrohe's Axor Starck range (originally designed in 1994) was designed with the concept of our past dealings with water. For example, the slanted spout resembles that of a water pump while the bath and basin mimic an old-fashioned tub. 
This joystick style mixer and tub-like basin have been copied countlessly, however the elegant proportion and manufacturing quality cannot be replicated. 

Probably the most copied mixer tap of all time is the iconic Vola which was designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1961 after being contacted by the owner of Vola, Verner Overgaard.  He imagined a design where all the mechanical parts of the mixer are hidden leaving only the handles and spout exposed. At the time this was a completely new concept, but Jacobsen realized that this idea combined with his functional approach to design could be developed. With that basic principle in mind, the simple and concise VOLA design that we know today was conceived.

These are just two examples of the hundreds of methodically thought out products available in the bathroom market. These products combine classic design which will never date and the world's best quality product to ensure it will last a lifetime.

Many of the replica bathroom products available are not only crude copies, they don't have the quality behind them that is so essential to bathroom ware.

Unlike furniture, a toilet/basin/bath isn't something you can easily change over once it is installed. So it is extremely important to purchase a product that doesn't need to be replaced in say 2 years time.

Yearly we spend 21,900 minutes in the bathroom, so wouldn't it make sense to surround yourself with the real deal?

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