Celebrating the beautiful science of less.

Perfection is achievednot when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery

A great many really famous bods, over the years, have looked at the world and agreed that it is a better place when we keep things beautifully simple. Over-spiced food, over-embellished fashion, or one too many scatter cushions can ruin one’s appetite.

“Any intelligent fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction”. Those words were from all-round brainbox Albert Einstein, and no-one knows more about getting down to the bare bones of the nature of things than him. But perhaps the sanitaryware design innovation engineers at Laufen come close.

Laufen and the beautiful science of less.

Laufen – if you haven’t yet been formally introduced – is a brand name that has been synonymous with Swiss perfection since 1892. They are also famous for forming partnerships – with both like-minded designers to create award-winning ceramic sanware, and with similarly inspired delivery networks. Which is why, back here in SA, we’re honoured to be their exclusive stockist.

The rebellion against mainstream – swimming against the current of the expected – is what has always inspired artists to push the edge. Laufen’s design and manufacture team are on that edge like white on rice. Good enough isn’t good enough. Finding better, more sustainable, more beautiful ways to refine the bathroom experience is all part of Laufen’s focus on maximising the creative potential of ceramic materials. Enter SaphirKeramik™.

Laufen’s revolutionary ceramic technology is ahead of the design ‘curve’.

Like the courageous rebels they are, the design genies at Laufen kicked against the curve and developed revolutionary SaphirKeramik™ technology. The traditional ‘curve’ is dead. Long live the ‘tight-edge radius’. Developed and launched in 2013, SaphirKeramik™ is a futuristic technology that produces bionically strong ceramic material that allows itself to be moulded and fashioned into extremely minimal, almost architectural lines: a dream material for designers looking to push their boundaries and do more with less.

Discovering the bare bones of beautiful.

SaphirKeramik™ creates exquisitely wafer-thin walls of 4 – 5 mm and tight-edge radii of just 1 – 2 mm, that are way more robust than the more traditional, thicker and rounder ‘old school’ forms. How? The secret’s in the ‘source’: corundum. Corundum (AI203) is a colourless mineral found in sapphires. Laufen’s torture testing revealed that its strength is equal to that of steel.

A little earth-spiration.

Laufen leaves less of a carbon footprint. SaphirKeramik™ offers a host of benefits, including: a thinner ceramic body, simpler structures, lower materials cost, space saving, lightweight units and lower energy consumption in manufacture and transportation.

Two new, beautifully workable works of art.

Laufen’s Ino and Val washbasins, exclusive to Italtile.

In partnership with Laufen, Toan Nguyen and his design studio have created many award-winning and forward-thinking sanitaryware designs. A year after the introduction of SaphirKeramik™, Toan Nguyen started experimenting with design possibilities, and focused on the study of a washbasin as part of Laufen’s SaphirKeramik™ project. The result of the joint venture was the creation of Ino, a spectacularly unique bathroom collection.

Konstantin Grcic has always been associated with the minimalist design ethos. He prefers to call his design journey ‘a search for simplicity’. Much of his work finds its way into the permanent collections of some of the world’s most important design museums, including New York’s MoMA and the Georges Pompidou Centre in Paris.

Konstantin Grcic’s aim has always been to create work that speaks of industrial precision with a tailor-made touch: being a revolutionary himself he was fascinated by the design possibilities that Laufen’s new ceramic material offered. Together with Laufen, he created Val, an excitingly futuristic collection that includes rectangular and circular washbasins with almost impossibly ‘filigree’ ceramic surfaces and textures.

Invest in workable art, currently featured in Italtile’s ‘sanware gallery’.

‘Live beautifully’ is a journey, not a destination, and if you’re reading this, it means you’re well on your way. Thank you, fellow style traveller, for choosing to make the journey with Italtile. Make 2019 your year of acquiring ‘less-ness’. Make a pilgrimage to your nearest Italtile, and ask one of their design-certified sales advisers to show you our two new pieces of Laufen minimalist art. Whether you fall for Ino or Val, it’ll be a love that lasts forever.