In Conversation with Frank Richter of Duravit
August 4, 2017 | BY Philippine Tatler
Learn more about Duravit’s DNA, history, and future in this Q&A commemorating the company's 200 years of existence
This year, German manufacturer of bathroom fixtures Duravit is celebrating 200 years in the business. Since 2012, the company has been led by CEO Frank Richter, and has employed the philosophy of “living bathrooms” in its design and development. Find out more about the company’s history and the future it has charted out for itself in this Q&A with the CEO himself:
What does Duravit stand for today?
Early on in the company’s history, Duravit started out as a ceramics specialist, before going on to become a manufacturer of sanitaryware products. Today, Duravit AG is a leading international manufacturer of designer bathrooms. Duravit has carefully managed its brand, which is synonymous with holistically designed bathrooms. In fact, we see ourselves as interior designers for bathrooms as living areas, and have ourselves played a key role in establishing the new significance of bathrooms over the past 30 years. In the late 1980s, Duravit worked with Dieter Sieger to present its first designer series for the bathroom. Yet Giamo was only the beginning, and the first complete designer bathroom, created with Philippe Starck, revolutionised the sanitary industry when it was launched in 1994. Today, numerous internationally renowned designers are working for Duravit. A brand new addition for 2017: Cecilie Manz.
Does Duravit have its own unmistakable DNA?
Our aspiration is to make designer bathrooms come alive. This is guaranteed by highest quality, original design and comfort-enhancing technology. This brand essence defines our DNA worldwide, and it distinguishes everything we do. For us, the bathroom of the future is the ideal combination of these three core competencies, and in order to continuously advance our expertise in these areas, our product management works closely with research and development departments both inside the company and externally, as well as with our designers.
What is it that accounts for Duravit’s quality?
Duravit is universally recognised for its long tradition and outstanding expertise in the field of ceramic processing. We have been involved in the production of top-quality and precision ceramics since the time our company was first established, and in this area in particular, close collaboration with our R&D team has allowed us to create a continuous stream of innovations, including DuraCeram, HygieneGlaze 2.0 and c-bonded, a process that makes it possible to seamlessly combine ceramics and bathroom furniture. Our product development combines software-supported simulation techniques with series of tests conducted on physical models. In the areas of bathroom furniture and wellness technologies, too, Duravit’s quality is evident in the combination of craftsmanship with high-tech. This combination in every area is certainly one of the most significant factors.
Does Duravit have a uniform design language?
Duravit has a precisely formulated and recognisable design language that is unique, and which is clearly based on fundamental archetypal forms. We are contemporary without being trendy, more straightforward than opulent, and always timeless. We integrate comfort-enhancing technology, but never at the expense of design, with the result that we have been able to create a consistent design language that extends beyond the individual products in the bathroom. In the Duravit design language, everything fits together to create an overarching whole.
How much technology does the bathroom of the future need?
We always put ourselves in the user’s shoes, and we never accept technology for technology's sake. Comfort-enhancing technology should be sustainably integrated into an appealing overall design, and should generate added value on a daily basis. Duravit continually develops innovations in all areas, from materials engineering to flushing technology and electrical engineering for light, sound and whirl systems, and the look, feel, acoustics and usability play an important role here, too. It is this unique interplay, paired with our innovative prowess that makes it possible to intelligently digitise the bathroom. This is how Duravit is able to satisfy the current and future demands of our customers.
In the Philippines, Duravit is distributed by Kuysen Enterprises (website here).
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