(Original article by Jonas Bjerre-Poulsen at bobedre.dk, translation by Nicholas Frickelton)
It is often a very helpless experience to part with your drawings, models or ideas, handing over the task of communicating your ideas to a company that will produce and market your product. However, when collaborating closely with a producer the experience can fortunately be very different, allowing you some influence over visual style, graphics and text. For our new bathroom series for MENU we not only designed the product, but also took the pictures and designed the layout for the product magazine.
Through the years we have designed countless bathrooms, both as part of a renovation or new construction. One thing most bathrooms have in common is a lack of space. Despite this, people still want big tubs, toilets, double showers, plenty of storage, and spaciousness. At the same time, the bathroom should also be simple and inviting; reminiscent of a trip to the spa. Of course, so much functionality entails a whole lot of hardware: fixtures, sinks, basins, cisterns, etc. It always requires maximum effort on our part to pull off simplicity without all the elements of the room tripping over each other visually.
Even when we finally manage to get all these basins, fixtures and cabinets to stop arguing with each other we still have to furnish the room with towel holders, paper roll holders, trash bins, soap pumps, storage glasses, toilet scrubbers, and so many other things. That is really a lot to squeeze into such small spaces. Therefore, one our primary goals with this project has been to design a bathroom series that is simple enough to fit into all types of bathrooms without being too noisy; a bathroom series that satisfies both our functional and aesthetic criteria when designing a bathroom.
The form was inspired by our fascination with the Japanese process of cutting very precise surfaces into otherwise soft, natural and voluminous rocks. Thus the starting point for us was to create an expression of form that has a soft rounded shape on the bottom that fits naturally into the hand, while also having a clean and precise cut on top, along with a material transition. We then imposed our own strict and geometric design language on the idea and tried to arrive at a form that could be improved with neither additions nor subtractions.