Utopia    Guest Blog 19 Jun 2017

Frances Leate, Utopia Kitchen & Bathroom magazine editor discusses art, and her recent trip to Laufen.


After getting our glossy and gorgeous Utopia Kitchen & Bathroom magazine August issue off to print (look out for it on the shelves in WH Smith on July 1st!) I took the opportunity to not only get out of the office but also the country, thanks to bathroom company giants, Laufen.

They invited me and a team of fellow journalists on a trip to Switzerland where the company were first established a staggering 125 years ago.

There’s not many companies that can boast about being 125 years old, so it’s no wonder Laufen are celebrating in style with an art collection curated exclusively for them by a number of highly acclaimed international artists. The impressive art collection, made up of 17 individual, three-dimensional pieces, is currently being shown at a string of leading art exhibitions throughout the world.

I was there to see the collection at Art Basel 2017 in the city of Basel, Switzerland and to visit Laufen’s headquarters in the sleepy Swiss town of Laufen, just a short drive away.

With the unusually hot weather in Switzerland, we were treated to an Al Fresco lunch at Laufen HQ and a tour of their impressive (although very hot!) factory where the ingenious craftsmanship of turning quality ceramics into beautiful bathroom designs takes place.

I always enjoy seeing behind the scenes of the kitchen and bathroom industry, I take my hat off to the talented people who are able to design and make such unique, innovative and visually pleasing pieces.

We were then treated to a tour of Art Basel, a highly respected art exhibition that features thought-provoking artwork from all over the world. Some of the more ‘out there’ performance pieces weren’t exactly my cup of tea, but there really was something for everyone and one thing that struck me was the way in which artists have been able to use their artwork as a unique form of expression during these turbulent political times.

Laufen’s very own collection, created by architects, artists and designers, featured 17 unique pieces made from the materials used to create Laufen’s world renowned bathrooms. These cleverly crafted items were made using a variety of simple and complex techniques including digital fabrication, 3D printing and new patented technology not even us journalists could prize any information from the experts about!

As well as the very appropriately placed giant Toblerone made from fine fire clay, the collection included a hand modelled ceramic robot and some striking architectural pieces.

The fact that Laufen have an art collection exhibiting around the world speaks volumes about the sort of company they are. Since they were first established the company have been creating cutting edge designs that push the boundaries of what we expect from our bathroom spaces.

“We love to explore new ideas and new concepts, we are not afraid to experiment,” says Sabina Durdik, Marketing Manager of International Project Business at Laufen. “It’s about expressing our creativity and what better way to do that than this wonderful art collection?”

And with a number of new bathroom collections out this year and with new ranges due to launch in 2018, the thriving company is showing no signs of slowing down!

For more information on Laufen visit: laufen.com