It’s a rare sort of company that appears more youthful as it grows older. Swiss bathroom specialist Laufen – which celebrates its 125th anniversary this year – is one such forward-thinking brand.
Established in 1982 in Switzerland, Laufen has celebrated several milestones along the way: the invention of both the first wall-hung toilet and one piece floor-standing washbasin, and most recently, the launch of its groundbreaking SaphirKeramik. But it’s Laufen’s creative collaborations that have really captured our imagination.
‘Swissness’, fine fireclay, cast by hand using a shaped mould, glazed and sintered, by Peter Wirz
So to Design Miami/ Basel, where Laufen has brought together luminaries from the spheres of art, architecture and design for the project, with Atelier Oï, Konstantin Grcic, Alfredo Häberli, Ludovica and Roberto Palomba, and Patricia Urquiola among them. Curated by Beda Achermann, the objects are playful explorations of Laufen’s materials.
Toan Nguyen created a vase in glazed and sintered SaphirKeramik, reimagining a drop of water in an abstract way, while Atelier Oï envisioned the cross-section of a sapphire crystal using 3D printing. Peter Wirz’s contribution – a fine fireclay recreation of a Toblerone chocolate bar – was a humorous tribute to the proudly Swiss bathroom brand.
The exhibition made its debut in March at the German Architecture Museum (DAM), before travelling to Milan for Salone del Mobile, and Copenhagen for 3 Days of Design. Further stops on the tour include the London Design Festival, and Vienna Design Week, culminating with Design Miami in December.