It seems as if designer Naoto Fukasawa can do it all. While he’s of Japanese extraction, and thus would seem to possess an intrinsic talent for clean, geometric lines and minimal adornment, he can also go full-on organic and curvaceous. Take a gander at his recent re-visiting of the iconic Grande Papilio to see whereof I speak. His latest, the AF/21 collection of taps and mixers for Aboutwater, is a synthesis of natural functionality and derived simplicity. The series of fixtures for tub and shower are crisp and cool like a drop of rain—they “embody purity through their gently curved lines and simple details.”
AF/21. Designed by Naoto Fukasawa for Aboutwater.
The wall- and deck-mounted faucets and knobs each originate in the form of the humble cylinder. Water/temp controls are formed into a simple disc, while faucets are elongated into slim tubes for precision water delivery. Fittingly, there’s a rain style showerhead as well, for none other of the manifold forms of overhead ablution precisely matches the spirit of AF/21. Fixture finishes include satin-finish chrome brass and polished chrome. The latter, set off against the stark white of a basin and vanity or the ivory wash of shower walls, exudes a calming elegance, very like the vibe one could hope to imbibe at a secluded mountain spa.
If you need more convincing that Aboutwater’s name is aptly chosen, the revelation that the manufacturer is, in fact, a collaboration between Boffi and Fantini—two of A & D’s most renowned purveyors of products for shower and bath—should do. After years of mutual observation and concurrent realization that many of their minds were thinking alike, the two companies formed Aboutwater with the intent of “creating a new collection of taps with a modern and elegant design, conceptually excellent with flawless production, and distributed through the commercial network of the two companies.” Fukasawa’s AF/21 is certainly an auspicious beginning to this worthy endeavor. I can’t wait to see more…