In the bathroom collection for e15 and Kaldewei the German designer blurs the boundaries of the bathroom area with a new crossover collection

The German Stefan Diez has accustomed us to technical solutions with his pieces associated with the austerity of the lines. This time he softens them in graphic forms with elegant roundings, stripped in pursuit of a less is more which required a great effort.

Diez has collaborated with the German furniture companies e15 and sanitaryware Kaldewei for a collection of seats and accessories in treated oak wood and water-repellent leather.

Includes stools in various heights, bench, footrest, magnetic anchor tray adaptable to all metal tub models; then again, an ipad-sized storage pocket, and the leather strip that becomes a head support with the towel. Others will be added to these, such as the towel holder and a screen.

No screws or bolts, just wooden joints for the various elements: «They seem elementary but we spent a year and a half between design and development, and they can be obtained independently through the two companies», explains Philipp Mainzer by e15.

They are pieces that will change over time, including escapes outside the bathroom, according to the wabi-sabi philosophy.

We met Diez in the Kaldewei factory in the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia, who told us about this new job together with his next challenges for which he has Italy in mind.

You've accustomed us to technicalities, but here you've reduced them in a vaguely oriental way...

Stefan Diez: "An exercise that turned out to be, above all, challenging! Removing it notoriously takes a long time. I've been to Japan and frequented the Onsen, their thermal baths. Their rituals led me to familiarize myself with wood in the context of the bath but no, the shapes and aesthetics are not borrowed from Japanese culture."

What does water mean to you?

Stefan Diez: "All the places that have taken on importance for me are connected with water. My studio in Munich is and also the one in Bassano del Grappa, especially with the 'flowing water".

Synonym of life: here comes Japan again. Instead, what origin do rounded shapes have?

Stefan Diez: "I decided to work in a typographical way. I started from the sketch of myOyo Duo bathtub for Kaldewei to which I initially added some generic elements that have taken shape, refined by the ideas of functionality and user experience.

We have composed a sort of alphabet in which all the various attempts have together taken on an almost semantic meaning. I associate curved lines with an idea of tension, like when you have a balloon full of water that deforms."

Certainly with this work you have reached a new level of sophistication...

Stefan Diez: ""Only because Philipp Mainzer of e15 was stubborn, forcing me to continue until this result: he is never satisfied with the banal . To be honest, my practice has been gaining the experience and confidence needed to get things done for twenty years.

But what is needed is to be determined in finding the ideal time situationto develop projects, with total concentration which is not always feasible. As happened with the Oyo Duo bathtub, conceived at the right time, I remember, just before the holidays."

What vision do you have for the design of the future?

Stefan Diez: "A belief of mine: optimizing the collaborative relationship with other people or between the brands I work with is the key to achieving a good level of mutual quality, as response to the need for authenticity that we must rediscover."

What projects are you working on?

Stefan Diez: "At the next Milan Design Week we will present the Either chair for e15 and I am designing an office one for Herman Miller.

There will be a new Kaldewei tank at the end of the year and I have a very complex project with the German OMC°C - Office for Micro Climate Cultivation for a green facade system.

Work will start on my new headquarters in Bassano in September, strategically located between Milan and Venice, which I consider as an experiment also open to local designers, which happens at the right time to create the manifesto of my work and the things I believe in."