Considering it’s the place we keep all our soaps and shampoos and cleansers, your bathroom can get pretty icky when left unattended. When Milan-based Rui Pereira and Kyoto-based Ryosuke Fukusada teamed up to create a clean, sustainable line of furniture for the bathroom, they were inspired by the function of Geta flip flops, a traditional Japanese shoe that tackles the issue in an elegant way. "They’re used to prevent silk kimonos from touching the floor. In the bathroom the principle is the same—people don’t want clothes or personal objects to touch the wet surfaces," Pereira tells Co.Design.
The Bug Collection, which debuted during Milan’s design week, is designed around a system of "floating" trays and bases, created for a wide variety of accessories: towels, sponges, dirty laundry, etc. The pair wanted to work with something natural to counteract with the cold lines of standard white porcelain. Wood was an option—it would soften the often stark environs—but consistent humidity makes it particularly prone to mildew and tough to maintain. So they turned to some previous research they had done together during a special workshop in France (developing this unique laptop case), and found the perfect alternative: cork. Good-old, anti-fungal, liquid-repellant, non-allergenic, renewable, and pleasant-to-the-touch cork, common in Pereira’s native Portugal.
The two developed the collection long-distance, via Skype, Facebook, and email. "It all happens naturally," Pereria says. "We send each other pictures of prototypes, sketches, materials." The forms of the minimal metal frames—painted in a rust-resistant matte black paint—were influenced by vintage freestanding furniture commonly found in shops and markets. And though the collection was created with the bathroom in mind, they built versatility into each piece’s DNA. "We think that nowadays and in the future the space boundaries inside of the house will vanish."