Marcello Ziliani is the architect and designer behind Apice, the new collection of Bossini hand showers, shower heads and mixers. An opportunity to discuss how the bathroom has changed in recent years. And what design can still bring to the most intimate space of the house.
"I seem to have perceived, in more recent times, as a waste, an evolution from an approach in which well-being was mainly interpreted in a dynamic-therapeutic key (hydromassage, chromium-aroma-music-etc. therapy, fitness equipment ... ) to one in which a more intimate, intimate, silent dimension is emerging, in which to enjoy the pleasure of feeling pampered in a warm, welcoming, familiar environment. In this sense, the atmosphere plays a fundamental role as does the presence of elements and objects that evoke soft images and sensations ".
What does Apice add to the shower systems market and, also, to the Bossini story?
"If we talk about additions, I think the search for a multi-sensory dimension linked to water is interesting in which even touch and direct contact with the skin become sensations that elevate a daily action to a moment of well-being. To achieve this we have designed the surface of the diffuser as a continuous texture, soft to the touch, composed of small pyramid trunks arranged orthogonally, so as to make possible, and desirable, a much more direct contact with the body, almost a massage tool, but also of scrub, both with and without water supply. Furthermore, compared to the radial arrangement of traditional jets, the design of the diffuser has an orthogonal geometry which, together with the slight pulsation generated by the cavitation effect created inside the thin supply chamber, manages to make the water a tangible and physical element , enveloping and clearly perceptible on the body. As regards the history of Bossini, we strongly wanted to introduce for the first time, alongside the shower components, a complete series of taps. And this with the precise desire not only to offer the possibility of furnishing the entire bathroom, but also to develop each component with a character and an identity capable, on the one hand, of immediately evoking belonging to the Apice family and on the other. to be appreciated as single pieces. The expressive tool that made it possible to obtain this result was the study of shapes obtained by subtracting parts of the volume from primary solids, as with a chisel stroke ".
How did you work to keep in mind, in addition to aesthetics, the environmental issue?
“Sustainability is a complex, and often complicated, issue by definition. The factors that come into play are many, difficult to verify and to keep under control. Moreover, each project that is faced has different characteristics in terms of function, materials, production techniques, distribution, lifespan, etc. and therefore you must almost always start from scratch. For Apice, being a series that has to do with the use of water, a precious resource, we worked a lot, together with the Bossini technical studio, on the quality of the jet delivered for each single component, trying to combine effective completion of the function (rinse just to understand each other) with the maximum perceived pleasure in the face of extremely low flow rates and therefore consumption.
Subsequently, the voluntary choice to avoid multifunctional jets for showers was made precisely to reduce the number of components, processes and assemblies as much as possible, obviously with a view to sustainability. The fact that Bossini has inside most of the processes is another piece that plays an important role, which is accompanied by the incredible attention that I have found on their part for the updating of the systems precisely with a view to attention to the environment. I was amazed to visit chrome plating plants, both for metals and plastics, completely closed-cycle and already in compliance with provisions that will come into force in two years ".
What does it mean for a designer today to design in a sustainable key and avoid greenwashing?
“We know that almost all of a product's sustainability is played out in the design phase, so a designer cannot ignore it, he must equip himself with the tools and skills necessary to carry out his role responsibly. I was lucky enough to start more than ten years ago to dedicate part of my time to experimenting things with the students of the University of San Marino, an activity that gave me the opportunity to study and explore topics that I had already started with method. to attend for a while, such as the ecological footprint, sustainable design, circular economy, life cycle assessment, etc. I must say that one of the syntheses I arrived at thanks to this long and tiring journey is that everything is fine, everything is essential to try not to leave our children an unlivable world, but the first principle that I try to follow in facing a new project is that this must have duration as its first objective. Making well-made objects, simple, solid, easy to maintain and repair, which do not go out of fashion in a few seasons and which parents may pass on to their children. In this same direction we have also worked for Apice trying to create products of high construction quality, simple and solid, with the lowest possible use of materials and above all, I hope, with minimal formal obsolescence. But time will tell ”.
So is sustainability a driver and not just an obligation?
"Of course, a very powerful creative driver, it must be interpreted as an incredible opportunity to experience new dynamics, new perspectives, new combinations of meanings. A new gaming platform in which to try your hand at putting our creativity and innovation skills to the test ".