Britta O’Boyle speaks to the Sieger Design brothers about the Happy D 2 range
The Sieger Design brothers Christian and Michael are impeccably dressed men. But then you’d expect nothing less given their 40 years of design experience. It spans from monuments to china plates, fashion to brassware and office buildings through to furniture. Most recently, they have finished updating the Happy D product range to bring Happy D 2, as well as the X-Large range for Duravit.
K & B News: What was the inspiration behind Happy D, as apparently it is not the letter D?
Christian Sieger (CS): [Laughs] No. My brother always said I hope not everyone thinks I was eating those noodle soups with the letters for children and I just pulled up the spoon and said ‘oh D, of course, a shape for a washbasin’.
Michael Sieger (MS): It was the idea to create a modern interpretation of the architype washstand. Six or seven years before, we designed the Tara faucet for Dornbracht, to create a modern interpretation of the star handle mixer. Since this was, and still is, a big success, we asked ourselves could we put the same concept on a washbasin. We looked at what is really the architype ceramic washbasin. [We wondered] how should these look nowadays so that was the approach for the first Happy D line.
K & B News: What is your favourite piece in the Happy D 2 collection?
CS: The freestanding washbasin with the metal structure underneath.
MS: For me it is difficult; I always say they are all my children. If you have children, everybody knows you love them all the same.
K & B News: Why did you keep the name Happy D and add the 2, rather than give it a new name?
MS: The first idea from Duravit was not to have it as Happy D New because I think they found with the Darling line caused some problems when people were ordering. It was not really clear if they meant the old one or the new one. Duravit decided on D2.
CS: It is helpful for people in the market to orientate and know where this line is positioned, so they have a clear understanding of how it looks and price positioning etc. There is nothing wrong with evolution. Revolution can be going beyond, and it can also destroy everything that you have built up over the years.
K & B News: Did you have any design restrictions?
MS: Unfortunately, we didn’t manage to have the same shape as the single ceramic basin, which also has the edges on the back. We tried to transfer this to the furniture. We did models and mock ups, but it was much too expensive. So finally we decided we had two different styles, the one with the edges and the one that goes straight to the wall.
K & B News: The Happy D 2 furniture comes in a new linen finish, where did this idea come from?
MS: It is very difficult to look for new surface materials, new colours, new wooden veneers because everybody, the designer and also the company, know that they will sell 80% in white.
CS: We keep trying to inspire people and give them a chance to see alternatives. But a lot of [consumers] still stay on the safe side and say ‘this is going to last forever’, or at least for the next 10-15 years. However at the same time, the more emotional we get about the bathroom and as more people start to interact and see it as a room to decorate, live in and spend more time in, they will also start thinking about different materials. It has the textile feeling, look and touch, but at the end of the day, it is absolutely waterproof for the surroundings. We have to take the consumer by the hand and lead them step-by-step into this direction to see the room a little bit differently.
K & B News: Where do you think the trend for furniture is coming from?
MS: We are strongly persuaded within the next 20 years, the bathroom will be furnished like every other room in the house and not use so many [hard] materials. You want the bathroom to become more cosy, use more warm materials. So, [it will have] more furniture and more a feminine look, not so cool, clean and shiny.
CS: We have 60% women in the team having a different look at the [bathroom design]. There is a different respect with men and women and luckily more and more designers are working in this field. Patricia Urquiola is making her contribution to the bathroom with a different view [on design], which is also helping to inspire.
K & B News: What do you think will be future trends?
CS: We try to give people the chance or the inspiration that they should enjoy more time in the bathroom. We create beautiful designs together with the industry. But if people don’t spend more time in the room, they are not enjoying the beauty and functionality of these items. So we need to inspire architects and interior designers to tell the consumer ‘make your bedroom smaller, make your bathroom bigger’ because where do you actually spend your time awake?