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For 25 years, AXOR has been a pioneer in avant-garde design for luxury bathrooms & kitchens and this legacy continues with the launch of AXOR MyEdition in 2018. The collection of taps, created in collaboration with the Stuttgart-based design studio Phoenix Design, presents a new faucet concept with interchangeable plates in metal, wood, marble and leather.
AXOR partnered with Disegno to host a panel discussion exploring the topic of ‘Product design and Individualisation’. Held at Hansgrohe’s London showroom, the Water Studio, and led by Oli Stratford, Disegno’s Editor-in-Chief, the panel included the V&A’s Corinna Gardner, Pearson Lloyd’s Tom Lloyd, and Silo Studio’s Attua Aparicio Torinos. The discussion covered a lot of ground – below are some of the highlights.
To launch the conversation, Oli asked the panel about their personal interpretation of ‘individualisation and the individual’.
Tom Lloyd was first to answer, stating:
“When I was thinking about this subject, I came to the word “personality”. In effect, we are all trying to project personality onto everything we do. Whether it’s our own style, look, feeling or whether it’s for a project.”
The V&A’s Corinna Gardner summarised her thoughts;
“I think the idea of the self and the expression of identity through things is an increasing trend across the 20th century. If you look beyond product design and into our society today, you can see that on a governmental level there is a shift towards the individual and individual responsibility. The way we navigate our lives is through Twitter, Instagram and Facebook – it’s about the individual and how we articulate ourselves within the world in those terms.”
Oli then explored the topic of individualisation and mass-production and Attua Aparicio Torinos discussed new methods that could progress the manufacturing process of individualisation on a mass-production scale:
“More recently we have worked with injection moulding, which is more mass-production orientated, but what we’ve done is make every piece individual by incorporating different colours in small amounts. I think this could be an example of introducing uniqueness into mass-production: having an algorithm that picks colours randomly and adds them one after another in small amounts.
To conclude, the panel was asked about customisation and designers, in particular how the relationship between the two could help or hinder the process of individualisation.
Tom said; “As designers, I think we’re guilty of embedding flexibility into systems of design because we think it’s clever, but we actually end up embedding price and complexity. You might design a table that allows you to have a series of accessories, and so you end up adding 30 little inserts into it, which means it becomes unaffordable. You can make really bad choices very quickly with the ambition to give more to your customer – you can end up screwing it all up.
Attua added; “I don’t know if it’s being clever, or if it’s about not being able to make up our own minds.”
As an apt closing statement, Corinna concluded; “So it’s the designers’ inability to individualise that enables us to individualise as consumers!”
AXOR MyEdition is available to buy from October 2018.
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