The following post is brought to you by AXOR. Our partners are hand picked by the Design Milk team because they represent the best in design.
At bathroom and kitchen fixture brand AXOR, form follows perfection down to every detail: design, technology, and innovation. Their latest campaign – AXOR Places – focuses on places and memories, two things that arouse emotion while bringing about inspiration and encouragement during these strange times. A handful of popular designers and architects that AXOR has had the pleasure of working with over the years have shared their own Place of Memory with us, as well as why the location is such a sweet spot for them.
For me, the truly fantastic spaces are those we build in our dreams.
Andreas Diefenbach, product designer and Managing Partner at Phoenix Design Stuttgart, Munich and Shanghai, created his Place of Memory in his imagination. After spending the first 13 years growing up in northern Kazakhstan, he set off to chart his own path in the wilderness of central Asia and the civilizations of Europe. Andreas had an uncle who lived near Lake Baikal in southern Siberia, and when he would visit he would be regaled with stories of ice fishing, hunting, and foraging for mushrooms in the taiga. These memories became a freezing cold canvas for his fantasies and adventures. Today Andreas still harbors a love of frost, snow, and ice, with snow symbolizing warmth and familiarity, while frost and ice express something clear and calm within his mind. Even today, Andreas says, he has his own personal memories of this place, even though he has never visited the taiga. Read more of the interview with Andreas here.
For me, the most important place is the family.
Architect and designer Antonio Citterio opened his first office in Milan in 1972, but the most important place for him to be is with his own family. A residence in St. Moritz, located in Switzerland’s Engadine Valley, is his favorite spot for them all to retreat to. It’s a place where they can experience the magic of the mountains, enjoy a beautiful winter landscape, celebrate Christmas, or simply spend time together as a family. His children were even born in this very place, surrounded by lakes, bright larch forests, and 3,000-meter majestic peaks. Antonio’s Place of Memory is a world away from the hustle and bustle of Milan, where the focus can be on family, culture, and natural landscapes, as well as the warm cocoon of a well-loved home full of memories. Read more of Antonio’s interview here.
We value moments of quiet, preferably near the sea where we can think clearly.
—Edward Barber, Jay Osgerby
Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby’s most cherished Place of Memory is located far away from their London design and architecture studio, it’s a cottage in Trearddur Bay on the west coast of Holy Island in Wales. This small Victorian stone dwelling that looks out over a stormy Irish Sea is a place they would retreat to while studying at the Royal College of Art. There they would work together to develop and illustrate idea after idea, lost to their thoughts and processes for hours. Edward and Jay both find the continuously changing weather and tides of the location fascinating yet calm, suddenly changing from rain to the most breathtaking sunlight without a moment’s notice. Read more of their interview here.
Creating is an idealization of feelings and memories.
The Land of the Rising Sun, Japan, holds Jean-Marie Massaud’s Place of Memory. Fifteen years ago, shortly after founding his Paris studio in 2000, he was in the middle of the woods about 30 kilometers from Kyoto on a rainy afternoon. In a meditative wooden temple with white paper lanterns along the footpaths, Jean-Marie proposed to his partner – only two hours before they were to be married in a surprise ceremony. She said yes, and they were wed shortly thereafter in front of a group of their closest friends in this magical place full of lovely smells and the sound of water. Now and for always Japan’s rural Resonance Chambers stands strong in his memory for its harmony of nature, culture, and time on that very special day. Read more of Jean-Marie’s interview here.
If we don’t want the earth to become only a memory, fight to save water.
Philippe Starck is a big thinker, and he chose the entire planet Earth as his Place of Memory, not just how much it needs to be protected so that others can enjoy its gifts forever. Fascinated by evolution, from amoebas to humans, Philippe dedicates his life to creativity. He has no hobbies, takes no vacations, and prefers to work alone in the middle of nowhere, so long as he is surrounded by nature. Forests, dunes, mud – they’re all powerful sources of inspiration to him and his work. The natural light, the power of the elements to form waves and other phenomena, the importance of water and more all play like music to Philippe’s ears. Read more of the interview with him here.
It can be difficult to focus on bright moments when so much is happening in the world around us. AXOR invites you to take a moment to think about your own special Place of Memory, and look to it for comfort and solace when needed most.