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Mi, 15/11/2023

Can design be a form of good fun? At Marmite, we know it can be. We are not only entertained by new product ideas but also by the opportunity to bring them to life, especially when they present a challenge. Magdalena Musiał, Industrial Design Manager at Marmite, tells us about what inspires us and brings joy in our work.

– What inspires the design of your new products at Marmite?

Everything, because truly, anything can be an inspiration for creation. I look for ideas while taking walks, visiting museums, and when surfing the internet. I analyse products from different ranges, such as living room furnishings, lamps, or cars. Concepts evolve in my mind gradually, and then I transfer them to paper, and later into 3D forms.

– From your perspective, can design be considered a more mature form of childhood play?

Absolutely. Design is a continuous play with form. As children, we moulded clay, made chestnut figurines, and built sandcastles. We had to master substances and tools to give concrete form to our ideas. Sometimes it didn’t work out.
Now it’s similar. A few aspects need to be taken into account, such as the user, ergonomics, or technology. Once we’ve mastered them and they no longer pose difficulties, design becomes a form of play that also generates income. Maintaining that childlike joy is the most challenging aspect of creativity. When a client joins the team who retains that childlike enthusiasm, collaborative creation becomes easier, resulting in exceptional products. Sometimes, however, you have to step out of the sandbox and create for many, which means safely. But it’s still play.

– In your opinion, what is the source of this playfulness?

Innovation is what amuses us the most. The quest for new, unconventional solutions that must be reflected in the approach to the design process, in production lines, technology, in the material itself, and even in sales. This variability is what makes it all the more enjoyable.
The material itself, which we work with, is also very accommodating. It offers many transformation possibilities – we can play with shapes, colours. What is also satisfying in this process is that it is relatively quick – I mean the time from creating an object to its completion. We don’t have to wait for years for something to be finished..

– In the case of Marmite, what would you define as the main outcome of these pursuits and playfulness? Will it be unconventional bathroom shapes, colours, or perhaps textures?

The bathroom’s obviousness is the white, shiny washbasin, bathtub, or shower tray. And there’s nothing wrong with that. They are wonderful and have served their purpose excellently for many years. Anything that deviates from this norm requires exploration in terms of craftsmanship, new technologies, and production capabilities. Fortunately, human nature quickly becomes bored and constantly craves new solutions. These invite us – designers – to play with shapes, colours, asymmetry, or the choice of materials that break away from the usual patterns. At Marmite, we explore in three areas: form, texture, and colour. In each of them, we find an intriguing space, new and fascinating. It seems that the more challenging the task, the more enjoyable the play. And what satisfaction it brings…

– How does Marmite expand its product offering in terms of colour, and why do you choose to focus on such portfolio direction? You’ve recently introduced full-colour products.

The ability to add colour is the simplest method to distinguish a product from others. The same washbasin in traditional white won’t make the same impression as it would in the colour of the year. Furthermore, it doesn’t have to be just one colour. This allows us to manage the attractiveness of our product range not only through shape or purpose but also through the available colour options. The ease of changing colours with evolving trends is also a compelling argument for investing in this aspect of our product range.
Full-colour washbasin are produced in our newly built, innovative paint shop. Thanks to this, we can offer a broader range without the need to create new, costly casting moulds, which are required for products with distinctive shapes or textures.

– Is Marmite more focused on creating bathroom colour trends or do you respond to market demands?

In our business model, awareness of trends and the ability to quickly adapt them to high-volume production are more important than creating trends. Close contact with customers, trend awareness, global reach, dynamic technology, and a team of designers ensure that nothing escapes our attention. Emerging interior design desires are quickly reflected in our products, which further emphasize their uniqueness.

– Are you open to implementing even the most outlandish ideas from your customers?

What was once considered „crazy“ or „innovative“ last year is now standard. Our capabilities to differentiate products in every aspect are accelerating exponentially. It’s wonderful to work in a company that embraces innovation as one of the key elements of development. As a result, even our most demanding customers are increasingly satisfied with the implementation. Sometimes, we persuade them to make changes that don’t compromise the product’s appeal but allow us to produce it in a more attractive price range. We constantly take on challenging customer projects and consider what we could improve or completely change in the standard production process to meet the market’s growing demands. We are a challenge to ourselves. Our projects for the Marmite range are often a true testing ground. We prefer to be prepared rather than surprised by a customer’s request.

– Today, bathroom trends change quite rapidly. In your opinion, how long-lasting can the trend of colour dominance be?

It will last a long time; only the popularity of specific colours will change. Currently, we’re playing with beiges, emphasising styles characterised by cosiness and comfort. On the other hand, there’s a revival of interiors dominated by bolder colours, and these will also stay with us for some time. Traditional white will still be a queen, but we will offer it a transformation through shape and texture.

– Has there been anything recently among bathroom equipment proposals that has pleasantly surprised you?

Bathroom wallpapers. They are as effective as traditional tiles. That’s real fun! You just need to trust them.

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