Design Raid Architecture & Design Projects Design In the bathroom with Philippe Starck

In the bathroom with Philippe Starck

An exclusive interview with Philippe Starck, the long-time Duravit collaborator, about the Cape Cod and ME bathroom ranges

Philippe Starck

How much design does a bathroom series need today?

Design is an important factor. Nowadays it’s integrated as a normal component of society. In the end, apart from the design, only authenticity and usefulness count. First, it’s about choosing partners with integrity and serious manufacturers like Duravit. Then, it’s about creating a useful product. We can never save lives with design, but we can try to improve them. And we create design objects for their usefulness. And that’s why it’s worth working with a partner like Duravit. Making a pretty product is easy, but if nobody buys it, it’s not interesting. The ideal is to deliver a good product at a good price. I think that’s what we have achieved with the new ME by Starck and Cape Cod from Duravit ranges.

What was your original design intention for Cape Cod from Duravit?

We all dream of a hut on the beach where we can find stranded deadwood and enjoy the simple life in the company of our loved one. I am lucky to have something like that.
In the beginning, this collection was designed just for myself – for me it was the most simple and perfect thing I’ve ever designed. Then I thought: what a pity that I’m the only one enjoying it. Why not ask Duravit whether they’d like to produce it on a larger scale? Of course they agreed to manufacture it in various materials recalling stranded deadwood.

Cape Cod by Philippe Starck
Cape Cod by Philippe Starck

How do you choose materials for the series?

First, it’s all about sustainability. We have gone back to durable fundamentals like long-lasting ceramics and natural high-quality materials like wood. Further it’s important to offer an imaginative choice of colours – such as light and dark wood, which give scope for individual ideas.

We worked a long time on the Cape Cod bathtub, with precision design of shape and function, and on DuraSolid, the new material we’ve developed with Duravit. It is surprisingly smooth, surprisingly feminine, and surprisingly human to the touch. It is also incredibly bright and deep, and extraordinarily solid. DuraSolid makes it possible to create a sculptured bathtub with amazing light effects and a fine interplay between light and shadow.

Tell us the basic ideas behind your designs for Duravit.

In my collaboration with Duravit in general and the Cape Cod collection in particular, I have mainly used iconic shapes. Some people would call that archaic, but it’s not.
The word archaic relates to the past, whereas icons refer to continuity in time. I step back and put all signs in perspective; all signs that are cleaned by time, washed by history, and therefore extremely comprehensive and universal in all cultures around the world. While we want quality, acceptable prices and mass-produced goods, we also want to have a unique object for ourselves. That’s human. But it is important that the longevity of high-quality products is never questioned. Longevity is fundamental.
Because you are not going to change a washbasin every three months, it is part of the house – maybe for generations. It has to be perfectly factored. And that’s what products from Duravit are all about.

ME Duravit by Philippe Starck
ME Duravit by Philippe Starck

What additional benefit has ME by Starck for us, the consumers?

I asked myself: what do we all really need? Because everything we don’t really need is useless, and every useless thing will become obsolete one way or the other. So this collection, ME by Starck, is mainly and simply about our true needs, about me and you. Without any design gesture, without any trendiness, without any advertising effect. It’s all about what we really need. With the Duravit engineers we focused on true ergonomics, true body movements, how the water flows, how to have less dirt and how to clean up easily. These seem very modest requirements but done with fundamental and structural honesty they are the most incredible things. ME is simply designed with honesty and rigorous ergonomics. That’s it!

Subscribe to our newsletter

To be updated with all the latest news, offers and special announcements.

Competitions

Storyhouse includes a large main theatre space with a 20m high flytower, a studio with a dedicated bar, a boutique cinema and a city library
Experiencing a home like Murray Music includes exploration, giving another meaning and other use to spaces that normally have specific functions
The SIX is a 52-unit affordable housing project provides a home, support services and rehabilitation for previously homeless and/or disabled veterans
The project is located in one of Dubai’s busiest residential neighborhoods and accordingly surrounded by many low rise houses.
Like a kaleidoscope, the Andaz hotel reflects the culture and tradition of the neighbourhood, creating a stimulating and inspiring atmosphere ...
Located in Toronto’s Roncesvalles neighbourhood, the Galley house challenges conventional notions typical of a semi-detached, Victorian era home...
‘Two Tree House’ is designed for a young family on the steep terrain of a north facing escarpment in Australia.
In this Crown Heights brownstone, spaces are defined by built-in graphic millwork compositions and vivid three-dimensional color treatments ...
This newly built brewery with a restaurant and a bakery is located at the periphery of a Prague residential area called Hostivar
Restored interior and skylight bring new life to Chicago’s landmark Union Station

Frank Gehry Interview: Jump Into the Unknown

Watch the Canadian-American architect talk about his life, architecture and the world today in this in-depth video by Marc-Christoph Wagner for Louisiana Channel

Alejandro Aravena – To Design is to Prefer

In this personal video interview, the Chilean Pritzker Prize-winning architect Alejandro Aravena shares his unorthodox path to architecture

Inside the converted orangery that Muller Van Severen call home

Fien Muller and Hannes Van Severen—the creative duo behind Ghent-based design studio Muller Van Severen—are no strangers to having unknown visitors ...

Torkwase Dyson for MoMA PopRally-The Shapes that Make the Black

Responding to Wolfgang Laib’s evocation of the past and present in his seminal work Milkstone, Dyson’s one-day presentation is concerned with the ritual ..