Duravit has well over 200 years of history when it comes to bathroom design. Back in 1817, in a factory located in the Black Forest, George Friedrich Horn started the company. This small company since its inception has become a powerful global company that produces high quality spa and bath products bathroom furniture, sanitary ceramics as well as various items for the semi-public and public sectors. As of today, Duravit has more than 4,700 staff at eight different locations in more than 75 countries across the globe.
Back in the 1980s is when the actual beginnings for Duravit’s design course began to take off. At that time, Duravit had to reassess their future regarding success for the next decade. It was apparent to the CEO that the small locations located in Bischwiller and Hornberg would not be able to keep up to pace for mass production. In order to differentiate themselves, the company put an importance on design and began to work with Sieger Design in 1985. Giamo, their first common manufacturing line, was an immediate success, proving Duravit’s vision, “to conquer bathrooms by design.”
Franz Kook, Duravit’s CEO has explained that the necessary success is that the design of the product is not handled at the last step of conception, but rather throughout the entire process. The design aspect must be an overt part of Duravit’s strategy because design will only work if it’s used for the long term. Ever since the 1980s, Duravit has been using this strategy and has completed well more than 40 projects with the cooperation of sever international designers, which included EOOS, Jochen Schmiddem, Massimo Iosa Ghini, Norman Foster, Phillpe Starck, and Sieger Design.
Every year there are two product families which are new that are brought to the market, whereas the majority are sold quite successfully. Duravit’s “Development Committee”, including the CEO, decides on a corporate level for the products look and design. The decision of these new products every year is not made by only one person exclusively, but rather based as a team effort. From an internally run database for the employees called “Duravit Innovation Intern”, allows all employees access to share their own suggestions and/or opinions on new processes or products.
Because Duravit is still located in the Black Forest, the company’s design processes, ideology, and history has been defined by the beautiful natural landscape surrounding the area. Also taking into consideration of the environment, Duravit‘s choice of the materials used, rely heavily on organization throughout the workplace, recycling, and use of resources.
The Duravit’s slogans, “Where there’s a bathroom, there’s Duravit, “”Design doesn’t have to look good, but it also must feel good,” and “Conquer the bathroom by design,” aren’t clichés or empty words. These are being introduced by Duravit’s manufacture and design team, to make Duravit a leader in the bathroom industry.