As part of our new series with today’s bathroom designers, we talk to Fernando Maceda, Product Design Manager for Acquabella, to find out his thoughts on bathroom design, lockdown, and what motivates him when he embarks on new design projects.

BR: What motivates you in your professional life?

FM: My motivation is to create new products to make peoples’ lives easier: functional solutions that make your day-to-day life more comfortable. Furthermore, I am motivated by creating pieces that transmit emotions and the capacity to generate unique experiences through textures, shapes and colours.

BR: Where do get your inspiration from when embarking on a new design?

FM: Inspiration is often found in everyday things such as social life, nature and also areas which are not related to the bathroom market. For example, I am particularly attracted to sports cars, whose designs are characterised by elegant lines and attention to detail.

BR: What do you enjoy most about being a designer?

FM: The capacity to influence peoples’ lives in a positive way.

BR: What is the one thing we will never find in your house or garden?

FM: Boredom! I have 2 young children and there are always games to play.

BR: What has been the worst thing about lockdown?

FM: Lockdown has been challenging, both professionally and personally. For me, it has been especially difficult not being able to see my closest family.

BR: What take-aways will bring with you when life returns to normal?

FM: I believe that I will give much more value to the little things that matter, and also to enjoy the present to the full because you don’t know when it might change.

BR: When we can travel again, where will you go first?

FM: To the places where we have wanted to go and we couldn’t since the beginning of the pandemic. I think the most important thing is not where, but the possibility of being able to travel again. That would be a great experience.

BR: Can you tell us about any projects you are working on at the moment?

FM: We are constantly creating and developing new ideas. We are currently fully focused on different projects that involve expandiing the Acquawhite collection – launched in 2020 and manufactured with our new material Dolotek-, as well as enriching the range of products manufactured with Akron – customisable in colour, texture and size. Currently, there is one I am particularly excited about, a design that brings us back to the origins of Acquabella. Watch this space!

BR: How has the pandemic changed design?

FM: Design must go hand-in-hand with our lifestyle. If these conditions change, the design has to provide solutions. Bathrooms are possibly spaces that have undergone the greatest changes. In these times when safety has become a priority, we want the bathroom to be as aseptic as possible, especially when it comes to bathrooms with higher transit of people. In the private sphere, the bathroom is the centre of well-being at home, becoming our refuge after everyday life.

BR: What design trends can we expect to see next?

FM: Design trends for 2021 are very much in line with those seen in the previous year. Nevertheless, I believe we are entering a period of renovation and change; people have spent a long time in their homes and they want to feel as good as possible.

Recently, Pantone presented the Colour of the Year 2021: Ultimate Gray and Illuminating Yellow. Whether you like them or not, the important thing is the idea they convey: a message of strength and hopefulness after a year marked by the Covid-19 health crisis. So that, I think we will see neutral, bright and warm colours that combine with each other while generating optimism, calm and relaxation.

In terms of product design, users generally require more and more simplicity of use, safety, quality, durability and sustainability. With regards to materials, we notice how the organic and natural look continues to dominate in interior design: fabrics, wood and stone. We will also see combinations of textures and materials like terrazzo and granite, or luxury materials such as marble and calacatta, all of them with a high level of detail.

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