Roberto Palomba, of Palomba Serafini Associati, is Chief Design Officer at Ideal Standard, the leading company in the bathroom sector. He will be in Athens on October 5-6th for the official launch of the Ideal Standard showroom and will deliver a keynote speech at the Goulandris Foundation.
When did your collaboration with Ideal Standard begin and how do you describe your relationship? Also, what brings you to Athens?
I started working with Ideal Standard as their Chief Design Officer more than three years ago. It fills me with great confidence to be the exclusive designer for Ideal Standard, but I am also humbled by the hard work, and crucially, the passion of everyone in the business. The opportunity to combine elegant design with technology that will have a genuine impact on the daily lives of people is amazing.
As we grow our collections at Ideal Standard, we are strengthening relationship between the brand – Ideal Standard – and architects, designers and specifiers, because we are providing more options to them to create deeply personalised bathrooms. This is what I find most rewarding about my role.
I am in Athens to officially open Ideal Standard’s new flagship showroom. The space has been designed by myself and my design firm Palomba Serafini Associati, not just to demonstrate Ideal Standard’s latest contributions to the bathroom sector, but to the field of design itself.
Bathrooms are probably the least photographed rooms of an interior, due to constraints of space and restricted viewpoints. is the reduced importance of architectural photography a factor impacting bathroom design?
There is a kind of ambiguity in the world of the bathroom this place is the least photographed room in the house but at the same time the most used for taking photographs. In this sort of ambiguity, the bathroom has become a place/not a place where in reality one can talk about oneself and not about architecture. The fact that people and influencers photograph themselves a lot inside the bathroom has allowed this room to be cleared even more.
You will be in Athens, October 5&6, to officially open the new Ideal Standard showroom; what are the main considerations in the design of this space, and how can you bring such bathroom displays to life/ make them feel real?
I am happy to land again in Athens which, as everyone knows, is my second adopted home!
The project was conceived as a meeting place for professionals who try to find an architectural and interior dimension inside the bathroom, for which there are references to the Ideal Standard product part, but also to what is the contribution that these products can give this space. We have made a selection of materials, finishes and colours, proposing complete solutions for the bathroom even if only hinted at, which may entice the interior designer or the end customer to inspire new solutions or the use of Ideal Standard products.
With “Atelier Collections” Ideal Standard is returning to its roots of working with master designers of their time and demonstrating its renewed focus on design-led products. Which were the most important elements, and which were the difficulties in the design process of the different ranges within Atelier Collections?
This year we have just concluded what we have decreed as the first phase of the relaunch of Ideal Standard’s leadership in the world of design.
In the past, Ideal Standard represented the company with the greatest sensitivity to the design and use of creatives.
It is useless to mention the story of a brand that has been one of the greatest examples of the good use of creativity, with long lasting collaboration with well known designers.
I am very honoured to have been decreed as heir and interpreter of this legacy and to be able to carry it and spread it among the new generations. To do this, we have brought the historical values of the brand back into vogue by projecting them into the future of the new collections that will be contemporary and that will try to investigate the new vision of design.
Ideal Standard has developed Singular, a new approach that was specifically developed to streamline bathroom design and simplify the selection process, while still inspiring creativity. In what ways can creativity be guided and what does Singular mean to you?
We believe in inclusivity and diversity.
As the Chief Design Officer of Ideal Standard, I need to be able to read the trends of the society.
At this time, the vision of style is extremely varied, in fact we have entered the phase of neo-eclecticism, which means that we can mix a classical aesthetic along with extremely contemporary and minimal products.
Not just trendy products but an eclectic, pluralist, and transversal vision.
Of course, this leads the company to create collections as perfect tools to help designers from all over the world in the creation of their projects, being able to draw from a series of complete and multifaceted catalogues, called Sector Books, that are specially focus on the bathroom of Residential spaces, Hotels and hospitality, Offices, Public places, leisure, Health services etc. Different sectors need different approach.
We call this strategic approach, Singular, where we believe it best represents the inclusiveness and diversity of different styles and needs giving everyone the opportunity to express themselves as they see fit.