The New Wave at Milan Design Week
Paul Flowers – Four tiers of GROHE SPA
As Leader LIXIL Global Design and Brand Identity, Paul Flowers has the job of representing design values at the very highest corporate level. He heads the internal Global Design Organization, which works across the LIXIL brands to integrate a culture of design into everything LIXIL does. He sees designers as storytellers, creating products that invite users to interact intuitively with them, as they reveal their nature and make what he hopes is a personal connection. His design process always starts with the user and their needs and expectations, working back from there to create the perfect product to fit the space that has opened up in the user’s imagination. He believes strongly that technology should be applied to the social or individual purpose, not the other way around.
Paul is here at Milan Design Week 2023 to introduce the premium sub-brand GROHE SPA to the world. The launch will take place at the prestigious Pinacoteca di Brera art gallery, where his team’s installation and exhibition will occupy centre stage. Four immersive cubes have been created which mirror the four tiers of the GROHE SPA strategy. The cubes showcase in turn the latest 3D-printed metal products, the GROHE Atrio and Allure Brilliant Private Collections, GROHE Aqua shower modules, and the enhanced range of GROHE colors. The overarching GROHE SPA concept, which is to promote “Health Through Water” and facilitate the creation of bathroom spaces that are in fact holistic wellness retreats, is unpacked to reveal its constituent elements: cutting-edge technology used to produce refined, high-performance products; unprecedented levels of customization delivering one-of-a-kind pieces; consumer-centric design solutions that allow total sensory immersion; and choice to realize the most personal of design visions. The result is a portfolio that responds brilliantly to the growing demand for spaces that redefine true luxury as the opportunity for individual personal renewal.
We meet Paul at the Castello Sforzesco, built by the dukes of Milan in the fifteenth century. This really represents the beginning of Milan’s rise to power in the modern era, both politically and culturally. Leonardo da Vinci contributed frescoes to the interiors. As well as leaving a huge artistic legacy, the Renaissance was also the time when the city as we understand it today began to emerge. Urbanization is one of the macro trends that has always informed Paul’s work. As cities become ever more populous, designers like Paul have to imagine ways to make living at close quarters to one another not just viable but actually fulfilling. And as Paul is keenly aware as a creator of products that consume water and energy, designers have a responsibility to find ways to preserve our precious natural resources that consumers can embrace. The cityscape that spreads out from the old castello was once a vision of a future where urbanization was human-centred and perfectly compatible with pleasure and self-realisation. Paul believes GROHE SPA is another.