5 June 2009

Designers do make the difference

If I needed reminding of the vital role designers have in the KBB sector, the latest work by the team at Amanda Levete_Architects (AL_A) does just that.

Personally, a plain sheet of Corian does not really get my pulse racing. But give that same sheet to a team of good designers and it can be transformed into an item of outstanding beauty.

Amanda Levete and her cohorts are the latest in a long line of great designers to work wonders with a material that started life as a by-product of mining. Her show in Milan, captured here on video, all but stopped the traffic last month - no easy task in any major Italian city it should be said.

Corian has come a long way since it's main role was in worktop and spashback construction and one has the sense that it will continue to wow us for may years to come.

But the transmogrification of a humble sheet of material into a thing of loveliness is also an example of what every kitchen or bathroom designer does each and every working day.

They take a group of products, which individually do not cause great excitement, bring them together, arrange them in an order of their choosing, and produce amazing rooms that have the power to transform lives.

Of course there are some individual kitchen and bathroom products that have an elegance of their own - the Zaha Hadid taps for Triflow Concepts instantly spring to mind.

However even this working work of art only really comes into its own when combined with other kitchen and bathroom elements. Mounted on its own and the tap's almost a dead ringer for one of the trophy's handed out at the recent kbbreview Awards.

With great products and great designers the KBB sector will pull through the temporary setback of tough trading conditions.

With Corian and Amanda Levete, we have both in spades.

Luckily for all of us, they are not alone.

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