Architecture during Art Laufen Symposium 2015


Around 180 International guests joined us for the collateral event “food for thought” during ART Basel at the Laufen Forum where culture, creativity and art become the multi-sensory stimulation and provided inspiration and considerations for the future of design.



On 17th June, in the striking architecture of the Laufen Forum next to the company’s headquarters, Laufen had the pleasure of hosting an incredible evening for the architectural and design community. It was heralded as an event of great scope, conceived to be out of the ordinary and to promote interaction, reflection and the sharing of experiences: in three words food for thought.


L-R: Ido Garini, Zuzanna Skalska, Jovan Jelovac, Christophe de la Fontaine

“We are honoured with the task given by Laufen to present a clear extract of pure intelligence thinking, experiencing intelligence within the context of the creative industry” said Jovan Jelovac, co-founder of Brand New World who acted as moderator of the debate.

High-profile speakers and guests enlivened and stimulated a fascinating multidisciplinary debate and a fervent exchange of ideas on different levels of communication. Some of the most eclectic and influential personalities in the world of art, architecture, design, publishing and institutions took part in the Symposium.


L-R: Athanasios Argyropoulos, Alberto Magrans, Marc Viardot

“Sharing is the new form of possessing”, words by Marc Viardot, Director of Marketing and Products at Laufen, who encouraged the presence of the Marina Abramovic Institute (MAI), represented by Athanasios Argyropoulos, of the Bjarke Ingels Group with Kai-Uwe Bergmann, of Dante Goods and Bads with Christophe de la Fontaine, authors of the installation designed for the presentation of the Laufen products, of Dezeen with Marcus Fairs, of 360Inspiration with Zuzanna Skalska and of Studio Appétit with Ido Garini.

What all of them have in common, with Laufen first and foremost, is an avant-garde approach, understood as a tendency to break the mould, to transcend their own boundaries through acts that are risky yet brilliantly illuminated by thought.


Athanasios Argyropoulos

As Athanasios Argyropoulos says “there are no limits, there is a lot of pain when you push the boundaries…and then they break, but we need to stay close to our values”. Tackling unexplored paths, launching new projects with the clear desire to place the human being at the centre of experiences and therefore to arouse emotions, reflections, astonishment, to succeed in the intention to create completely new things or else, to reinterpret what already exists in an unusual way never before experienced: this is the modus operandi that leads to success, that paves the way for new trends – “we need to be very entrepreneurial, not afraid to take risks and very flexible” as Marcus Fairs pointed out.

Marcus Fairs

As trendsetters, experts and innovators, all the speakers contributed with enthusiasm to the multidisciplinary debate on the themes of art and architecture, but above all on the role of culture in creative and productive dynamics, and on the need to always keep alive and in continuous evolution an intellectual process that can lead to new and different forms of expression, interpretation and sharing.

 "It needs culture and in the widest sense the intelligence of an organization to push boundaries for being creative and developing new skills - over all it needs emotions and commitment to establish such a culture of cooperation. By sharing we can be original. We do things different and we are setting the trends in design and innovation – even setting new industry standards."

Marc Viardot

Director of Marketing and Products Laufen Bathrooms AG


Kai-Uwe Bergmann

“Architects and designers have a role in society that is much larger than what we actually fulfil now. It is built upon systems, we can design the world by seeing how things are interconnected in these systems” says Kai-Uwe Bergmann from Bjarke Ingels Group. See more of their work here including the 2WTC project [click here].



The conclusions for the future focus with lucidity and enthusiasm on the creation of networks, multi-level plans for interaction, synergies and experimentation. The aim is increasingly to create sensory and magical experiences, to tell stories rich in content and character, to bring about innovation through a culture of the project.


Christophe de la Fontaine

“It is not worth nowadays talking about quality, because quality is not an argument, it is a must. And I can’t sell in the XXI century quality because it needs to be there. What we have though to tell is a story, a real story”, says Christophe de la Fontaine.



All this is also visible in the installation by Dante Goods and Bads (Christophe de la Fontaine) together with products from Adrien Rovero, Dante Goods and Bads, Reiner Bosch & Carolina Wilcke, Talents Design Gallery und Tom Strala. The installation in cooperation with Brand New World was presented originally during Milan Design Fair at the Brand New World Installation and now brought especially for ART Basel to the Laufen Forum.


Ido Garini

Ido Garini, creator of the interactive dining experience, is also focusing on experiences as the key to public engagement: “In today’s market we are constantly absorbing so much information and the level of anxiety, the level of thrill that we have is so high, that we have to find new ways to give the customer a different kind of experience.”



On the other side creativity and forward thinking needs to be on a scale that is significant and responsible: to be as successful as it is social responsibility. Laufen has more than 120 years and around 1’800 employees and wants to be open to find the best ways to succeed for the next generations.



As also Zuzanna Skalska points out in her speech: ”design is about being responsible, good for yourself, for the society and being closer to the community”. Furthermore, the importance has emerged of recovering the bond with your very own context, to value the precious cultural background of your local territory, which is made up of tradition, food, architecture and craftsmanship. After years of pushing for globalisation, the strong need is being felt to return to the local, to treasure its specific heritage, for instance, to integrate hand crafting skills, also at industrial level; yet this approach is not new at Laufen, where they have been making ceramics for over 120 years, taking their know-how from the place and from the skills of workers who, from generation to generation, have handed down the secret of a perfect product.

Enjoy all the pictures from the event on our facebook page. [click here]


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