In cooperation with the Basler Brasilea Foundation, the Swiss bathroom brand Laufen has launched an art project that combines material and design innovation. The works of art called “Impressões” can be seen as part of the “Satellites” of Design Basel/Miami 2019, which will take place from 11 to 16 June 2019 parallel to the Art Basel. The Polyhedra, made of Laufen’s Saphirkeramik, serve as a multi-faceted “canvas” for the artworks.

 “Impressões” includes works developed by the Brasilea Art Foundation in collaboration with the artists Maria-Carmen Perlingeiro, Alex Flemming, Zezão, Christina Oiticica and SHN (Eduardo Saretta, Haroldo Paranhos and Marcelo Fazolin). The artworks of the Brazilian artists were then printed as transfer prints on the polyhedra made of Saphirkeramik, the basic form of which Maria-Carmen Perlingeiro created together with Laufen.

With their flat polygonal surfaces, straight edges and pointed corners, the polyhedra have geometric properties that could not have been produced with classical sanitary ceramics with the necessary precision. The fact that the art project could nevertheless be realised is thanks to Laufen’s innovative Saphirkeramik, which the company developed over several years of research and development work.

The innovative SaphirKeramik possesses all the hygienic advantages of traditional bathroom ceramics, but is thinner, more defined, and extremely robust. The special properties are due to the addition of corundum, a colourless component of sapphire. Since its launch in 2013 SaphirKeramik has developed into a favourite material of many architects and bathroom planners, because it permits a whole new design language with ceramics in the bathroom: minimalistic, architectural lines, extremely narrow radii and filigree walls with high robustness.

Meanwhile Laufen has integrated numerous bathroom products made of Saphirkeramik into its ranges. In addition to the washbasins and accessories of the collections The New Classic (designed by Marcel Wanders), Sonar (designed by Patricia Urquiola), Val (designed by Konstantin Grcic) and Ino (designed by Toan Nguyen), the washbasins of Kartell by Laufen (designed by Ludovica + Roberto Palomba) as well as the sapphire bowls of the Living Square collection (designed by Andreas Dimitriadis) belong to this exclusive circle.

In addition, the new ceramic also has functional and ecological advantages: thus in the case of Saphirkeramik washbasins, with less material more functional space is created. In the process Saphirkeramik is exactly as hygienic and safe with drinking water as traditional ceramic material, and can also be recycled completely. The low material quantity, thanks to a simplified ceramic structure, has further advantages in terms of environmental protection and sustainability, since fewer raw materials and less energy are required for the firing, production and transport of those products.

“The artistic collaboration in the development of the Impressões collection has enabled Laufen to further expand the design scope of Saphirkeramik and to open up a new, extraordinary perspective on a material that is familiar to everyone from everyday life,” explains Roger Furrer, Head of Communications at the company. The creative campaign is intended to promote the international dialogue between architecture, art and design that Laufen has cultivated for many years – among other things as a partner of the “Salon Suisse”, an official part of the Collateral Events of the Biennale di Venezia, and with the annual symposium “Architecture during Art”, which the bathroom brand organises on the occasion of Art Basel.


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