To celebrate the 20th anniversary of its first designer collaboration, Axor/Hangrohe turned again to Philippe Starck, whose Salon d'Eau from 1992 is widely credited with kickstarting the notion that a bathroom was more than just a space to wash.
The 111-year-old, third-generation German family business unveiled the collection last week in Berlin with a celebration that included 900 guests.
Here's what the Paris-born and -based Starck, who remains the enfant terrible of the design world, had to say about his design process.
"My work is not to add but to propose the essence of what we need. I stop working when I see it's impossible to make less, when we get to the bone. I don't care about making something beautiful, that's just an easy label. I don't know what is beautiful. Harmony is more important, the balance of the parameters of a product." And with good humor, he added, "I am always disappointed with myself, that's why I keep designing."
Philippe Grohe, left, and Philippe Starck, right, unveiling the Axor Starck Organic faucet
“The history of Axor is intertwined with Philippe Starck,” said Philippe Grohe, Head of Axor, the designer brand of the Hansgrohe company. “The Salon d´Eau, which Philippe Starck designed for Axor, Duravit and Hoesch 20 years ago, is a milestone in the development of the bathroom as a space for living.”
Since then, Axor has developed a niche in the industry for creating products envisioned by top designers, never in-house, that forces the brand to constantly innovate its technology. Its cadre of collaborators includes world-renowned talent like Antonio Citterio, whose collection debuted in 2003, Jean-Marie Massaud, in 2007, Patricia Urquiola, in 2008, and most recently, Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec, in 2010.
The Axor Starck Organic collection of 40 products will debut in the US in Spring 2013.