Danelon Meroni design studio, set up by Claudia Danelon and Federico Meroni, creates humancentered design to deliver products and experiences with meaning and personality. Their home and bathroom collections are in a class of their own and used daily by hundreds of thousands of people around the world.
Before establishing Danelon Meroni in London, they worked internationally on the design of furniture, retail environments, lighting and bathroom products for small independent companies, as well as leading manufacturers. Claudia spent four years as a product designer for renowned architects Foster + Partners, during which time she collaborated with Molteni, Velux, Steelcase Details, Poltrona Frau, Cathay Pacific, Luce di Carrara, Stella and Tecno to design products and bespoke interior elements for high-profi le international projects.
In an exclusive interview, she gives her insights on design to The Luxury Collection. – By Aruna Rathod
1. What according to you is a good design?
Good design channels and targets human feelings while fulfi lling its purpose. When design is naturally intuitive and goes beyond satisfying functionality through carefully planned multiple levels of interaction, then it is good.
2. What makes design human-centric? Could you give examples?
Human-centric design is a framework that considers human perspectives throughout the design process. We try to make an impact in the lives of others through design. We bring improvement to simple actions and needs. In the process, we ask people what they need without forgetting to surprise them with innovative aesthetics.
3. With your wide range of experience, is there any particular product category that you prefer working with?
Bathroom ware is certainly one of my favourite categories. I love working with water, shaping its behavior and thinking about the positive impact it has on our daily life. In fact, we call it wellness design.
4. Does design add to the cost of a product and the luxury quotient?
It does sometimes, but good design should be found at all levels, from entry range to luxury. We have a responsibility, as designers, to deliver good solutions for everyone. Of course, some products deliver exceptional aesthetics and performance, requiring special craftsmanship to be created. There we have luxury and higher costs. But I don’t necessarily associate a 0high price tag with luxury.
5. What would you say is good design in interiors?
A good interior reflects the needs of the people living in it now and in the future. It should make people feel comfortable and be authentic in every detail.
6. What makes bathroom design modern/contemporary?
We wrongly tend to pair the definitions of modern and contemporary. In design, modern usually refers to the “modern” age attitude towards simplicity and minimalism. Contemporary though is constantly changing as today’s contemporary is different from that of yesterday and what is to come tomorrow. Let’s say 2018-19 contemporary bathrooms mix curvy minimalism, neutral colors and extreme functionality with classy decoration and matt textures.
7. How did the inspiration for the Tailwater design come about?
We were looking for a fluid form that would be able to combine the spout and the lever in one single shape. Originally, we were more inspired by art and architecture, fluid lines and the flow of water. But we realized that we wanted to add some emotion to it and we looked at nature for inspiration, because nature has a deep connection with human beings. An image of a bird appeared in our sketches, but we wanted this not to be too obvious. We wanted to keep a very pure shape, just a resemblance.
8. Could you share some products created by you and the concept behind them.
I don’t like to describe the products I designed, you should see them and understand the concept immediately. You know the saying “Don’t tell me, show me!” I am one of those people.
9. Who are your favorite designers? Do you have any favorite products?
There are many style icons I profoundly admire as well as great designers from various backgrounds, from fashion to industrial design. I love Issey Miyake. I love his creations so much, I wore one of his dresses for my own wedding!
10. Where do you look for inspiration?
I look at people to raise the question, then I look at nature to find the answer.
The award-winning Tailwater design
Claudia is also associated with Tailwater, a striking and iconic piece of bathroom fi tting by the Jaquar group. Tailwater was awarded the Red Dot Design Award. The Red Dot Design Awards’ panel of experts awards its internationally recognized seal of quality only to products that win them over with their high design quality.
The product is inspired by the abstract image of a bird, perched on the edge of a pool. Through this design, Danelon Meroni has explored how a sense of the natural world can be expressed in bathroom design. The lever and spout are united in a single, friendly form, which is simple and enjoyable to use. The tail acts as a mixer lever, which moves smoothly backwards and to the left and right. When tilted backwards, the tap’s form is transformed into a graceful silver arc, evocative of a mermaid reclining on the shore