expressing highly sculptural, unexpected and unique forms, daniel libeskind designs the ‘hera‘ collection of ceramic basins and sanitary-ware for azzurra. debuting during milan design week 2018, the three pieces translate a continuously moving appearance, which, almost in complete contrasting, still evokes an overall sense of balance. this harmony delivers a detail that enables the products to match the style of any interior space, be it in a home, shop or restaurant.


image © designboom

 

 

from first glance, the azzura ‘hera’ collection by daniel libeskind is defined by unexpected geometry that appears to fold and curve with clarity, which also react uniquely with differently positioned light and shadow. at the core of the design, the three designs source neoclassical marble sculptures, with its instantly recognizeable grandeur in style, shape and material.

 

the launch of the new ceramic collection coincides with the italian brand’s opening of its new showroom in milan, italy. to celebrate both these occasions, designboom visited the store on via giuseppe sacchi and interviewed the architect behind the work, daniel libeskind. here, we discussed the contemporary ideas behind the collection, its complex material manipulation and how the designs will be expanded in the future.

 

 

 

 

designboom (DB): first of all, how did the collaboration with azzurra first come about?

 

daniel libeskind (DL): they approached me! I was approached by other companies — large companies that are famous for doing these things, but they were just not able to innovate with form. most companies said: ‘don’t even bother’, ‘it cannot be done’. but azzurra were amazing because they said: ‘why not? we can do this! we’re a small company, but why not, why can’t we change the shape, why can’t we use the traditional material but create something completely different?’ — and they succeeded.


image © designboom

 

 

DB: can you introduce the ‘hera’ collection and what it currently encompasses?

 

DL: you can see that it is not related to the hygienic health ideas of 1910. pretty much all of these things are the same all over the world, just variations of decorative aspects. wherever you go these forms are the same, but there is no reason for them to be. this is really a formal variation, but it has a neoclassical and lightweight delicacy. these are objects we see everyday. they should be contemporary, they shouldn’t just be utilitarian stuff from 100 years ago.


image © designboom

 

 

DB: can you expand on that a little bit, the idea that neo-classical sculptures informed the design?

 

DL: you can see that they have motion. they have a complex geometry, which is not that easy to achieve. but when you have the technology and the will to do it, you can create a sense of elegance.


image © giorgio possenti

 

 

DB: how complex was it to develop the form? especially in the profile where you notice that sense of movement.

DL: it is complex because it requires an understanding of sculpture. it’s not just put into a machine and 3D printed. you need to have a sense of the tradition of craftsmanship, which italy is famous for, and this company has proven it. and of course, in terms of sustainability, to use less water and to innovate with environmental and technical ideas was part of it.


image © giorgio possenti

 

 

DB: the pieces are very expressive individually. how do you imagine that they work best in the context of a space?

 

DL: as an ensemble, and we intend to use them for that. we do a lot of high density housing complexes all over the world. I think people want to have elegance wherever they are. by the way, it has a very good price point. it’s amazing that they were able to do this in a way that is really affordable, so I think it’s a step forward.


image © giorgio possenti

 

 

DB: do you envision the collection being continued further, in terms of both new products and finishes?

 

DL: it will be, this is just the beginning. it will extended significantly in terms of different markets, different types, and other different things. the form can also be developed and amplified, of course. it is just the beginning.

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