This coming January 21st sees the start of the KBIS 2020 fair in Las Vegas—an important kitchen and bathroom design event set to bring together over 95,000 professionals and over 60 exhibitors. This will be the fourth year in a row that the Spanish firm COMPAC will be taking part, showing some of the iconic designs created for the company by artist Arik Levy. We ask the popular Israeli designer about his creations in the interview below.
How would you describe the Genesis Collection?
Genesis is not only the start of the world but also the start of a new era at COMPAC. With the Genesis Collection we are seeking to create something new and different, not just for the company but also for what it represents the market it is in, as well as for interior design landscape as a whole. Genesis Collection is a new idea that makes what we do stand out.
One of the pieces on display at KBIS 2020 is the WaterStorm washbasin, one of your signature creations. What can you tell us about it?
The WaterStorm concept is about taking something really hard and solid, such as our mineral blocks, and giving them the sense of movement and sensuality of water. As with other COMPAC collections, this one is inspired by movement—a movement gifted to an otherwise inert element. This is achieved through the shapes of water, the most beautiful and incredible element there is of which we are made of. If we are over 70% water, why not use it to create new sensations? As an artist, working on this collection was hugely important as it enabled me to turn rigid materials into dynamic elements and by this manifest the impossible versus possible.
Another of your standout designs is MineralGravity, what does this one represents?
It is the representation of a giant mineral, as if asteroids had landed into your kitchen. When this piece is not being used, it works as a sculpture, a statement of nature. However, when it is being used, it shows just how perfect a kitchen island can possibly be.
What does the Arik Levy-COMPAC partnership mean?
It goes beyond a relationship: it is looking into each other’s eyes and seeing how we can go beyond what has been done so far. For both COMPAC and myself, it is much more than walking hand-in-hand; it is looking into the future and projecting by creating a dialogue and rolling out hundreds of ideas that can be used every day through the research, ambition and art murging-in design and engineering.
As an artist, what place does seek out innovative materials have in the creative process?
Employing materials comes from the imagination. Working simultaneously on the material and the imaginative force of things leads to a brand-new result —a new way of thinking and doing.
What ideas do you usually explore in your collaboration with COMPAC?
An artist’s expression goes beyond what we tend to see or even tell. Expression in art, thought and abstract creation is a place where we project our sense of freedom. We can see hundreds of different sides to an element. This is why creating a new idea from scratch, not based on past interpretations, offers the potential to do what the artist does. With COMPAC we provide a tool in the hands of interior designers, architects or any type of user working with our material, whisks us to a new dimension.
What does it mean when the world of architecture or design embraces art?
When industry embraces art, it expresses a desire to attain total freedom, but it also represents a risk as it moves from the here and now, to what the future may hold. It is a sign of perspective and courage, and that is what we develop, and this is what I love about COMPAC.
What does the future hold for the Arik Levy-COMPAC collaboration?
Hahaha this is a secret…. The future depends on COMPAC and myself evolving the dialogue as tandem. That is where freedom materialises into dimensions, quantities and directions never seen before. This allows me to experiment and expand COMPAC to new dimension. It also enables us to get to know one another in the process, which is important. It’s not about what we have but rather the experience we foster and the journey we take throughout the process. The future is in our hands—all we have to do is shape it. COMPAC and I have a dialogue: we test, we investigate, we agree and we differ on certain things, but in the end what is important is that the journey we take is exceptionally interesting and, on this journey, we discover multitude of layers that enable us to come up with the ideas of the future.