Great design, much like great art, has the ability to touch us in a spiritual manner – to lift our mind, body and soul out of our everyday existence and onto a plane in which we shed our human short-comings, frailties and stresses, and become ethereal creatures filled with joy, peace and love. Great design is transformative, and it can be found in the most unexpected of places.
Recently I was in Germany to cover Messe Frankfurt’s Ambiente consumer goods and design fair for our publication, and as I hurriedly made my way from hall to hall, I found myself in front of a bathroom vignette (Part of a larger exhibition honoring Ambiente’s country partner, France.) curated by Olivia Putman, daughter of the late, grande dame of design, Andree Putman. I was mesmerized, unwilling to move on about my business – I just wanted to stay put and experience this extraordinarily designed bathroom vignette. I was captivated by Studio Putman’s sculptural bathtub with its whimsical bubble legs sitting gracefully upon a shimmering silver Bisazza mosaic rug. This was a design still life – much like a still life composition in art or photography – but it was meant to be lived in and enjoyed on a physical level.
I had seen many beautiful designs at the show, but this vignette left a signature of inspiration upon my spirit. It’s difficult to describe what constitutes great design – it’s not a science, it really is an art and when well done it speaks beyond the aesthetic and the functional; it lights a fire of passion within us.
Editor’s Note: I was recently honored to have my divine design discovery at Ambiente highlighted in the luxury lighting and decor magazine, ON. Please flip to page 24 to see the interview.