Interview with designer Kai Steffan discussing the creative process behind Octagon
Villeroy & Boch has an exclusive new premium product – the new Octagon column bathroom sink – combining both top-line materials and high quality design to symbolize exclusive luxury. Designer Kai Steffan – who created numerous premium designs and unique products – is responsible for the extraordinary design. Steffan had his hand in creating the gift article collection Authentic Avantgarde and the solid bathroom furnishings in the True Oak collection and the matching bathroom sink with Farmhouse decoration. In Octagon, the designer uses the form of the octagon in a completely unique manner, creating a completely new bathroom sink design. In this interview Kai Steffan will describe the creative process behind Octagon – from the design concept to the perfect implementation in a new type of ceramics.
Mr Steffan, what makes Octagon different from other products on the market?
I would say the difference is in the extremes: extremely thin material thickness, extremely precise forms, extremely good craftsmanship and extremely high premium standards.
What was the main design idea behind Octagon?
The name says it all: The form of the octagon inspired me in the design of the inside of the bathroom sink.
Why the octagon?
Anybody can make a rectangle, circle or square. An octagon is a new, unseen, extremely difficult form in the bathroom sink segment. And it gives the basin a very classic feel. Ever since antiquity the octagon has been a symbol of perfection, recalling the archetype of an eight-tipped star. My idea was to transfer the perfection of the form into ceramics.
You only used the octagon on the inside. Why?
The combination of a simple, round exterior with an octagonal bowl creates unique emotional tension, giving the overall design an expressive force, and also harmonizes the object. Octagon is both symmetrical, while also being a soft, malleable form, intended to be pleasantly reserved.
How would you describe the impact of the inside of the bathroom sink?
The octagon on the inside creates a surprise that you do not expect at first glance as it is only visible on second glance. The three dimensional interpretation of the octagon creates precise facets which are reminiscent of a polished crystal. These facets are the second design idea behind Octagon. They stand for precise craftsmanship and tight radii, they help clearly position the product in the premium segment.
How was it possible to implement such exact edges and precise angles in Octagon?
Our «secret» is TitanCeram. TitanCeram is a material made from clay, quartz, feldspar and titanium oxide, which Villeroy & Boch developed specifically for use in high-quality premium designs. The uniquely precise forms with extremely thin walls and sharply drawn edges in bathroom fixtures are only possible with TitanCeram.
Why did you combine various materials for Octagon?
We used extremely high quality materials for Octagon, which we combined in completely new ways. In doing so we composed a three-part harmony: The TitanCeram ceramics are combined with the glossy copper link to the natural materials in the column such as real wood veneer, leather or stone veneer covering the impressive column.
And why the column?
Presenting Octagon on a free-standing column helps make it perfect. The column is a masterpiece, which emphasizes the straightforward effect of the bathroom sink. And then the covering available in the select wood veneer Dark Chestnut, the fine Mocha Leather or the extravagant Smoky Slate stone veneer give the ensemble an exclusive note. An integrated ceramic valve completes the harmony of the overall design.
Who do you want to reach with Octagon?
Octagon is a unique masterpiece, which is only made to order. I am sure that Octagon will appeal to aesthetes and avant garde individualists, who want to turn the wash basin in their bathrooms into a design highlight.