Expressive designs: the expressive designs of designer and architect, Stefano Giovannoni play with the symbols and metaphors of the sub-conscious with virtuosity and fascinate with their narrative qualities.
The brands Stefano Giovannoni works with include Alessi, Flos, Helit, Inda, LAUFEN, Magis, Nissan, Oras, Seiko, Siemens, 3M and many others. Not only does he design industrial products in the fields of kitchen, bathroom, furniture and living, car and electronics, he also creates interiors and architecture. His works are part of the permanent archive of the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris and of the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Stefano Giovannoni was born in 1954 in La Spezia and studied architecture in Florence. He now lives and works in the Studio Giovannoni, a restored old factory area in Milan city centre.
With "ILBAGNOALESSI One" he has placed one of the most remarkable bathroom designs of recent years on the market. The Tam-Tam floor-standing washbasin, with its rounded, soft shape which highlights the organic aspect of the bathroom, received a Design Plus award and is the visual anchor and determining design feature of the bathroom, which was a cooperative venture between Alessi, LAUFEN, Oras and Inda.
Designed by Stefano Giovannoni "ILBAGNOALESSI One" became a real bathroom classic. Now "ILBAGNOALESSI One" has been extended by new ceramic designs and a complete new furniture range. What attracted you to extend this line?
When "ILBAGNOALESSI One" was introduced in 2002 it was one of the most innovative collections. Today it has become a bathroom classic, characterized by iconic products like the floorstanding washbasin "Tam-Tam", the faucets characterized by primary shapes, or the drop-shaped WC with the ceramic top. I felt a great desire to find out how much potential can still be tapped in this successful collection - and what LAUFEN is capable of achieving with its state-of-the-art ceramic technology. In the first collection, we focused more on the appeal of each product, rather than covering a wide range of typologies. In the second collection, after almost ten years, we felt that it was the right moment to develop the project, creating new typologies, more sophisticated and more related to contract projects, equipped to address a wide range of specific requirements. So we filled this gap by defining the missing typologies through semi-recessed and new counter-top basins, larger than the previous ones, and we introduced totally new products, always strong and innovative, like the "Tuna" basin, a new set of "Tam-Tams", and a new electronic faucet.
What makes the design of "ILBAGNOALESSI One" timeless and yet still up-to-date?
From the very beginning the aesthetics of "ILBAGNOALESSI One" were characterized by emblematic shapes with a strong identity, that derive from nature itself and are anchored deeply in the collective subconscious of mankind - like the idea of a white stone polished by water. The products do not distinguish themselves by their details, but by their strength, the clarity of their concept and by their primal forms, transmitting a message of purity and expressiveness. "ILBAGNOALESSI One" really seems to be a timeless archetype, fashionable yet not following any particular style, like something created by nature itself.
"The formal elements of this project are highly innovative and exemplary. Stefano managed to transcend his own personal stylistic paradigm, which has characterized practically all the best design of the 1980s and 90s using a highly innovative approach to design, which I would define as "meta-stylistic", he was able to freely and adroitly draw from the extensive vocabulary of forms that have been made available to humankind, creating objects that are at once more striking and more human." - Alberto Alessi.