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MATERIAL­MESSAGE: Laufen x Snarkitecture

During Milan Design Week 2019, the Swiss bathroom company LAUFEN will present a juxtaposing installation in collaboration with New York-based studio Snarkitecture.

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All Images Courtesy of LAUFEN

During this year’s Milan Design Week, the Swiss LAUFEN Bathrooms AG company will present a juxtaposing installation in collaboration with Snarkitecture.  Established to investigate the boundaries between disciplines, the New York-based studio Snarkitecture has been creating work that includes large-scale projects, installations and objects.  Their collaborative installation, titled “MATERIALMESSAGE”, takes visitors through the iconic bathroom brand’s 127 years of history and reflects on its bright future. The installation focuses on using materials from the company’s industrial ceramic production and connects the experience with two precise points in it: the original (the material) and the arrival point (the finished product). In 26 days of construction, about 198 tonnes of clay and 701 washbins have been used to create this immersive experience – an impressive feat in itself. 

The installation will be hosted at Teatro Arsenale, situated in the most historic crossroads of Milan — inside the innovative and lively 5Vie (5 streets) district. At the entrance of the installation, visitors are met with a mountain of clay. The broken down, raw material — water and kaolin — not only forms the basis on which Snarkitecture’s structures are built on but also of LAUFEN. Every layer of the space reveals another stage that the material goes through, without filters or alteration: from clay to ceramic — from powdered earth to liquid slip — to the shiny polish of SaphirKeramik.

Ultimately, the installation shows how the most basic materials, like clay, can take form; it can mutate, evolve and transform into a product with its own unique design and qualities. In this case, they take the forms of a precisely stacked sequence of washbasins that LAUFEN is renowned for.

MATERIALMESSAGE” is on view during Milan Design Week between the 9th and 14th of April at Teatro Arsenale. 


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