Gumdesign: “It’s better to open a path than run on the highway”

Laura Fiaschi and Gabriele Pardi answer our questions about the new Bolgheri washbasin designed for Antoniolupi, their favourite designer (the sea) and the superpower they would like to have (lightning bolts of kindness).

The colours and materials are the leitmotif of the new Bolgheri sink designed by Gumdesign for Antoniolupi, where water and nature play a pivotal role. The colours – olive green, reddish brown and deep sea blue – are those of Bolgheri (a small town in Tuscany that lent its name to the collection, with its skies, meadows, vineyards and land) and the result of detailed research and exploration. As the designers, Laura Fiaschi and Gabriele Pardi, explain: “Bolgheri was born from this land and by observing it; it conveys the sensations of nature and its creations; it provokes a close and intimate bond with memory, with landscapes, with matter”. Instead, the materials are a Cristalmood sink – recyclable resin transparent like crystal and durable like stone – ‘mounted’ and paired, in an elegant, bold and courageous way, with a base in cork. The real surprise is the cork: “It comes from wine bottle corks, ground and joined with natural rubber, without the use of synthetic glue, then crafted by numerical control or poured into moulds and, finally, smoothed out by hand,” explains Andrea Lupi. “Besides being eco-friendly, it is elastic, versatile and resistant to humidity, which make this material quite interesting for bathrooms. Moreover, it is natural, light, waterproof and very scratchproof”.

The cork base is a real surprise: what kind of maintenance does this material need?
Very little, cork is a natural material that does not need maintenance, you just need a damp cloth.

How long do you expect it to last? Can it be changed?
Among the characteristics of this material, there is durability, it has no problems of consumption and fits easily among the materials of very long life; the base can still be easily replaced thanks to a simple and immediate assembly.

Sketches of Bolgheri by Gabriele Pardi and Laura Fiaschi – Gumdesign
Sketches of Bolgheri by Gabriele Pardi and Laura Fiaschi – Gumdesign

What are its qualities?
Above all elasticity, versatility and wear resistance. It is, in short, a very interesting material: natural, light, elastic and waterproof. Its resistance to humidity allows it to age without deteriorating, it is highly resistant to abrasion and, finally, it is also hypoallergenic. By not absorbing dust, it helps protect against allergies.

How are base and sink combined?
Cristalmood and cork elements have been designed to be simply stuck and fixed through the mechanical system of the drain; there are no additional fixing points because they are useless and expensive.

Who did you think this sink is for?
The Bolgheri washbasin is born from the territory and from its observation, it transmits the sensations of nature and its fruits; it provokes a close link with memory, with landscapes, with matter. We believe it can be simply a beautiful object to own, a unique object that can characterize the bathroom and the house. It is dedicated to those who appreciate the aesthetic research, the balance of materials, the right balance between colour and naturalness.

In which price range is it placed?
It has the ability to position itself - from a perceptive point of view - on a high-end range, but commercially it is in an intermediate range (between the high cost of the marble washbasin and the lower cost of Flumood).

What makes you happy as designers?
The search for meaning. Meaning is ethical and creates relationships. The lack of meaning, however, especially if it is voluntary, is harmful to minds and the environment. Objects are born from words and, together, they create relationships. When an object is composed of matter and emotion, it slows down its fading, survives scratching, chipping and even breaking.

How do you share tasks in your study work?
From the search for meaning to the drawn object is Laura’s (idealist) territory. It is an identity path of the object, a semantic analysis expression of place and time, tradition and language, contradictions, diversities and hybridizations. Written words are attracted – and abstracted – until they become manual and digital signs that define the object.
From the drawn object to the tangible object is instead the task of Gabriele (realist). Once the design and conceptual path has been defined, we move on to the more pragmatic phase: the executive drawings, the verification of the materials and equipment available for processing, the observation of the production phases and the comparison with the craftsman or company to enhance the final product.

A designer you admire? Why?
The sea, because it creates wonderful works with method and patience. He can listen and he can talk. He knows the bad weather of living and gives life. His thoughts, as well as his artifacts, are always evolving. We are geographically mapped between the horizon of the sea on the X axis and the imposing presence of the Apuan Alps on the Y axis. An encounter between natural forces that continuously stimulate creativity and respect towards immaterial and material.

Gabriele Pardi and Laura Fiaschi – Gumdesign
Gabriele Pardi and Laura Fiaschi – Gumdesign

If you could have a superpower, which one would you choose?
Lightning bolts of kindness. Because kindness nourishes empathy, makes you happy and stress-free by releasing dopamine, endorphins and serotonin, in short a real "super power" with unimaginable chain reactions.

A tip for a designer who starts?
Have the courage to explore: it's better to open a path than run on the highway. Be ethical, first of all with yourself.

What is, today, the object that more than any other improves the quality of your life?
The mirror, if you know how to cross it. The mirror for reflection; certainly not for vanity.

Product name:
Year of production:
Cristalmood, cork
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