Innovative, bold, revolutionary -
Villeroy & Boch remembers Luigi Colani
It was a memorable collaboration that has continued to shape Villeroy & Boch’s history to this day: in 1975, the ceramic specialist commissioned the designer Luigi Colani to create a complete bathroom solution. Famous for his futuristic designs and organic shapes, his creations marked the start of transforming bathrooms into a living space. Luigi Colani has now died in Karlsruhe, Germany, aged 91.
New approaches: from the wet room to a living space
The inspiration behind Villeroy & Boch’s and Luigi Colani’s new product philosophy then was the realisation that the bathroom had a multifunctional role within the home, fulfilling a range of requirements that extended beyond the simple provision of sanitary facilities. Considering people's special needs in this very private space, Colani was assigned the task of creating an atmosphere of well-being conducive to physical and mental relaxation. An emotionally appealing, functional and consistent design encompassing all elements was an important aspect of this approach.
Organic shapes: inspired by nature
Colani's focus for the design of his washbasins, toilets, bidets and urinals was people and their habitual movements in the bathroom. The result was a new collection showcasing both aesthetic and ergonomic dimensions of bathroom design. The inspiration for the Luigi Colani collection was the timeless flow of water and people's natural movements, reflected in shapes with no difficult-to-clean or potentially hazardous corners and edges.
In an impressive demonstration of the company's technical prowess, Villeroy & Boch achieved the seemingly impossible challenge of turning these drafts into reality. However, the success of the end result was down to more than technical excellence. The organic design illustrated, to a greater extent than Colani's other futuristic works, the importance of nature as an inspiration for the renowned designer’s ideas.
Pioneering developments: new products for individual effects
The Colani collection heralded the dawn of a new era for Villeroy & Boch. From this point onwards, design took on a pivotal role in the company's sanitary collections, and the 1970s saw the introduction of complementary new bathroom items to meet consumer demand for “living bathrooms”. The expanded range also included a selection of colours conveying an emotional element and providing scope to express individual style preferences. The new horizons explored by Villeroy & Boch with Luigi Colani’s bathroom collection are now familiar territory for all of the company's divisions. Demanding design standards are applied to each product as part of a holistic development approach extending beyond individual products to the creation of spaces allowing consumers to express their own individual attitude to life.
Luigi Colani: “My world is round”
Luigi Colani was born in Berlin on 2 August 1928. He studied sculpture and fine art at the Academy of Arts in Berlin and later aerodynamics and ultralight design at the École Polytechnique in Paris. Colani designed cars, including sports cars, furniture, tableware, cameras and clothing for leading manufacturers. By combining his knowledge of aerodynamics and ergonomics with his love for organic, biomorphic design, he was able to develop his own distinctive style that made him famous the world over.
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Villeroy & Boch:
Villeroy & Boch is one of the world's leading premium brands for ceramic products. The family business, which was founded in 1748 and is headquartered in Mettlach/Germany, stands for innovation, tradition and exceptional style. As a renowned lifestyle brand, Villeroy & Boch offers products from the sectors Bathroom and Wellness and Tableware, and is active in 125 countries.