Bathroom furnishings are an unexplored project area for you. What prompted you to tackle this project?
In my job, as in all jobs based on team effort, sharing goals and having good chemistry with the people you work with are basic prerequisites. I was instantly intrigued by Noorth’s corporate project, the desire to explore new directions combined with a high level of expertise, which made me feel immediately at ease. Furthermore, the bathroom has undergone a profound transformation over time, both from a technical point of view and in terms of habits. A very stimulating dimension, certainly ideal for a designer.
How much importance is attributed to the bathroom in contemporary homes?
Taking care of our bodies is becoming increasingly important. With all the hustle and bustle of everyday life, we need a private space where we can regenerate ourselves both physically and mentally, a place where we can feel good, enjoy moments of relaxation and focus on our well-being, in a welcoming and relaxing environment. This need, which is relatively recent, has stimulated the search for solutions that go beyond the functional aspect and also touch on the personal emotional sphere. With Fjord we tried to suggest a new stylistic interpretation, where natural materials, such as wood and stone, are grafted onto the rigorous frame of the aluminium chassis. A flexible system, to be composed freely with respect to one’s personal needs, but at the same time able to serve as a precious piece of furniture, rich in original details and refined finishes.
In home furnishings, as in other product sectors, the concept of luxury is clearly evolving. What are your beliefs on this?
The concept of luxury is cultural, closely linked to personal experience and, therefore, fated to evolve over time. What today appears exclusive and is perceived as luxurious has not necessarily been so in the past. For example, silence, simplicity and naturalness are now seen as a luxury, because they are hard to find. The evolution of the concept of luxury is further enhanced by a constantly increasing interaction with different cultures and sensitivities. Moreover, today the evolved concept of luxury must always take into consideration the quality of the environment where we live and of the objects around us, including materials, details and finishes. A dimension that, as far as I am concerned, is reflected in a discreet and never “attention-seeking” lifestyle, in which the pleasure that derives from owning a well-designed product is authentic and supported by the guarantee of compliance with more general values.
Like other sectors, the furniture sector is also undergoing a phase of huge transformation, in particular from the distribution point of view, with ever-increasing internationalisation. Do you imagine that this trend affects design choices?
Our design, and in particular the Italian lifestyle of which it is the direct expression, are increasingly considered as a model for many countries. Of course this trend represents a great opportunity for Italian companies. I believe that this advantage should be construed as an incentive to improve the quality of the proposal: formal research, technical innovation, attention to detail must always be evident so as to confirm the value of Made in Italy. An aspect that we have taken into consideration with Noorth.
The pursuit of technical innovation is a characteristic feature of your work, almost an unmistakable stylistic trait. Where does this choice come from?
I think that the furnishing sector in general needs a new approach to design. This is primarily an environmental requirement associated with reducing consumption, material recycling and sustainability principles that are now widely known and shared. In addition, when designing bathroom environments, it is important to take into consideration that, unlike other areas of the home, water and steam are essential elements. It is therefore extremely important to choose materials with high-performance technical characteristics – and this also applies to the technologies that will be used to create the furnishings – which must take into account wear and tear and deterioration due to the constant presence of these elements.
Why was the name Fjord chosen?
It is an evocative name. It is linked to the concept of water, the main element of a bathroom, but also of calmness and silence. It is synonymous with feelings of peace and tranquillity, which I feel are conveyed by these extraordinary natural landscapes, typical of Northern Europe.