Architect Fabrice Knoll questions the “necessity of intensive use of technology” in our connected society, notably in the bathroom, in his opinion piece for this issue. While Knoll searched out smart products with a sense of simplicity at the Idéobain exhibition for ArchiExpo, we sat down with “sentimental” Italian designer Roberto Lazzeroni to discuss his Il Bagno bathroom series, released in 2014 for Italian brand Antonio Lupi.
Here’s what the designer had to say:
Roberto Lazzeroni: I call my approach “sentimental design” because sensations, feelings and impressions play an essential role in it. My objects have soft, sensual shapes. They’re made to be caressed.
When I design I try to transcend the simple concept of function. I like to think that my objects are capable both of developing a warm feeling, a sort of amiability towards those who watch them, and of becoming real life partners.
ArchiExpo: Let’s talk about materials for your Antonio Lupi ll Bagno project.
Lazzeroni: “Il Bagno” originated from a precise request by Andrea Lupi, who asked for a powerful project that could entice a market bored by constantly similar and not very impressive ideas, a project that would aim at reinterpreting the middle-class bathroom from a contemporary perspective. The collection is very light and elegant with American walnut wood shaped in narrow sections.
“Reinterpreting the middle-class bathroom from a contemporary perspective.”
I also designed a series of mirrors inspired by an old Lupi model from the ʼ50s/ʼ60s.
Lights consisting of Murano glass appliques were specifically designed for the project. The faucets are a reinterpretation of old cross handle types. The collection also has bathroom fixtures, a claw-foot tub and shower enclosures made of decorated glass. The sets can be used to design an entire bathroom.
ArchiExpo: How do you relate to the Italian design heritage?
Lazzeroni: The great designers of the first half of the 20th century—Albini, Ponti, Mollino, Caccia Dominioni—are constantly my models. Their approach to projects, the groundbreaking and visionary power of their objects, the poetic naiveté of blending poor materials and decoration, have always inspired my research as a designer. I believe this is part of the heritage of Italian design, a past on which we all base our research. These are our roots, and we need them to create our future.