Lovegrove goes with the flow for bathroom collection

Ross Lovegrove is unveiling his first comprehensive bathroom collection – spanning more than 100 items – for Turkey-based bathroom brand Vitra.

The items are the first in a series of designs, which Lovegrove plans to create for the company as part of a rolling three-year relationship to help the business double its turnover.

The Istanbul collection includes ceramic tiles, fixtures, accessories and bathroom furniture. Lovegrove says he drew inspiration from the city to design the collection, looking at its unique ethnicity, architecture and custom. He studied traditional Hamam bathing and geometries from the Ottoman Empire, analysing the Turkish ceramic culture and reinterpreting designs digitally to use as screening, tiles, structural elements and soft textile applications.

Traditional calligraphy also influenced the products’ designs. Data from two-dimensional graphics were morphed to create surface patterns for printed products, milling panels and screens to define interior divisions via multiple layers, material properties and play of light.

The project was run under the conceptual working title ‘Liquid Space’. The theme was based on water and Lovegrove sought to draw out the individual characteristics of water, such as its viscosity, to influence the design of the collection.

‘The process of design was very elegant, careful and thoughtful. These pieces are very refined sculptures, organic and liquid, which suits ceramics. There is a harmony of product and form.

‘Vitra is a very cultured company. We wanted to elevate the brand and deliver something new and intelligently thought through, to make the collection accessible. I looked at the big picture, how aesthetically and philosophically, everything was related. There was a need for a new language which was waiting to enter the bathroom design,’ says Lovegrove.

The entire collection will be available to buy next spring.

Lovegrove is currently working on a number of other projects. He is creating furniture for a New York-based Japanese restaurant MoriMoto scheduled to open in December. Tadao Ando is the architect on the project.

Lovegrove is also collaborating with Japanese fashion designer, Issey Miyake, to develop a host of ‘new products’.

Ross Lovegrove

• Studied design at Manchester Polytechnic and at the Royal College of Art

• Worked for Frogdesign, in-house designer for Knoll International Paris, co-member of the Atelier de Nimes, acting as consultant designer to Louis Vuitton, Cacharel, Dupont and Hermes

• 1990 established Studio X, London. Clients include Sony, Tag Heuer, British Airways, Apple Computer and Phillips

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