; 5 questions with Asutosh Shah, Duravit India's MD and Philippe Starck

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5 questions with Asutosh Shah, MD of Duravit India and French designer Philippe Starck

MAY 21, 2021 | By Saloni Rege
Minimal from D-Neo series by Bertrand Lejoly uses black oak surfaces, a wall mounted vanity, an asymmetrical under-counter basin, a free-standing DuraSolid bathtub and a circular mirror from Universal Licht & Spiegel range that radiates an ambient glow; Photographs by Duravit AG
Monochrome from D-Neo series features a single hued character, paired with Oak Terra surfaces, a wall mounted vanity, an oval countertop basin and a circular mirror from Universal Licht & Spiegel range; Photographs by Duravit AG
The elegant White Tulip series by Philippe Starck displays its Nature setting that uses circular countertops, wall mounted vanity and oak surfaces; Photographs by Duravit AG
Seen here is a graceful freestanding bathtub in seamless acrylic cladding, belonging to the Nature theme of White Tulip series; Photographs by Duravit AG
Sanitary fittings in White Tulip series have been exquisitely designed to match the superior quality of the range; Photographs by Duravit AG
Culture setting from White Tulip series exudes warmth with its oak wood panelling, against which a wall mounted vanity with illuminated automatic drawers, a ceramic washbasin and a rectangular mirror with soft glow, is placed. A freestanding bathtub adds to the expressive details; Photographs by Duravit AG
As the name suggests, White Tulip series renders its wall mounted urinal and bidet in similar form. They are equipped with the newly launched HygieneFlush technology; Photographs by Duravit AG
The innovative HygieneFlush cleaning technology impresses with its powerful vortex of rotational flushing. It is further combined with the antibacterial HygieneGlaze in ceramic glaze; Photographs by Duravit AG

Resorting to the virtual medium like all other physical events, Duravit Design Days 2021 took the digital route, live streaming across the globe for the first time! During the event, the brand unveiled its latest collections that ingeniously transform bath experiences into ethereal realities.

Learn all about the White Tulip Series by Philippe Starck, D-Neo collection by Bertrand Lejoly and lots more from this conversation we had with Duravit India’s MD, Asutosh Shah. Excerpts…

Duravit India’s Managing Director, Asutosh Shah; Photograph courtesy Duravit India

How was Duravit Design Days’ digital experience?
We started our virtual initiative last year, as a prerecorded screening. However 2021 marked the first digital-only, live-stream event in our history, and it was a great success as it addressed a broad target group. We take this as a sign that our products have connected with a larger audience.

Boho from D-Neo series renders elegance and sophistication with its natural oak appeal; Photograph courtesy Duravit AG

Tell us about the latest D-Neo range…
This collection is created in collaboration with Antwerp-based designer Bertrand Lejoly and offered in four variants—Minimal, Monochrome, Boho and Pop—so it will definitely appeal to a wide audience and their discerning tastes. The range will outlast fads and trends because it is the perfect accompaniment to daily lifestyle. This is the first time we’ve collaborated with the Belgian designer. He is open-minded, uncomplicated and seeing his extraordinary instinct for interior design come to life, made the working process so much fun!

Minimal from D-Neo series radiates an energetic vibe with its black hue. The freestanding bathtub is made of DuraSolid, a cast mineral-based material developed by the brand; Photograph courtesy Duravit AG

What about the  White Tulip series?
Expressive and timeless! Its design exemplifies high-class workmanship and cutting-edge technologies. Philippe Starck has ensured that the series has unique features that include the mitre-cut with finely crafted edges for improved ergonomics. The versatile designs are ideal for all interiors—from sophisticated urban environments to the fresh and natural ambience of country homes.

White Tulip series’ Nature theme explores a cosy and soothing setting. Seen here is a freestanding ceramic washbasin, derived from the outline of a blooming tulip; Photograph by Duravit AG

What’s it like collaborating with Philippe Starck?
No matter how many times we’ve worked together, it is always a special experience because he is incredibly creative and thinks so differently than others do. We certainly cherish this long time association.

White Tulip series’ Culture theme features intricate details and smart technology. A rectangular ceramic basin (with an inward slope) offsets a wood panelled backdrop. The mirror is installed with a sensor that can dim the light and adjust the heating; Photograph by Duravit AG

Can you tell us about Duravit’s new technologies for toilets?
The first is HygieneFlush, which is a system with a powerful volume of the flush that flows from two separate openings. This new technique optimally cleans the entire inner surface of the toilet using only 4.5 litres of water at a time. We also work with HygieneGlaze to eliminate bacterial growth—after just six hours, 90 per cent of bacteria (eg coli bacteria) are removed and 99.9 per cent after 24 hours. It is the best addition for today’s times.

HygieneGlaze is baked into the internal part of the sanitaryware to eliminate bacteria; Photograph by Duravit AG

A SHORT TETE-A-TETE WITH PHILIPPE STARCK

We spoke to the designer to understand his point of view on his latest creation—the White Tulip Series—as well as his association with Duravit.

What’s it like associating with Duravit?
My collaboration with Duravit always naturally leaned towards minimal and timeless designs. Yet I realised that this perfection was perhaps missing a parameter, a feeling of positive nostalgia.

Seen here is another variation of a sculpted tulip washbasin with storage facility, belonging to the White Tulip series; Photograph by Duravit AG

Is that how the White Tulip series came into being?
Instead of creating absolute timeless pieces, I wanted to place the White Tulip collection more into human time; it could either be an ancient collection that would have been considered modern at the time, or a modern collection with a memory of the past. White Tulip is a uber-sophisticated collection with a strong sense of ergonomics but it is, above all, delicate and affectionate, which makes all the difference.