The Dec ‘12/Jan ‘13 edition of Ottagono, the prestigious international design and architecture magazine, has devoted a two-page spread to the partnership between Ariston and Up Design of Umberto Palermo.
Ariston’s new range of high-efficiency water heaters carries the label of the famous designer from Turin who has shaped them to create a family feeling through the “Latin curve” styling. The article reconstructs the stages of artistic development and design, from Velis – the first model designed and already on the market – through to a futuristic design concept for water heating.
DESIGN LIKES IT HOT
By Sara Bolognesi
An Up Design project breathes new life into Ariston products for heating water.
Umberto Palermo opts for rounded lines in tracing out the “family feeling” to the range.
Soft and meandering like the silhouette to a stylish sports car. This is the creative accent emerging from Umberto Palermo’s pencil, successfully rising to a true product design challenge. Eclectic and versatile, the founder to UP Design – a Turin-based studio set up in 2010 and now counting 19 designers – has accrued lengthy professional experience in industrial and transportation design. His multi-faceted talent is expressed in a Made in Italy approach that pursues design solutions with innovative contents and production processes adapted to customer needs. The results are end products that change in form, material and technique depending on the viewpoint; designs that also give substance to ‘passions’, such as that for the automotive sector. In fact, Mr. Palermo reveals him- self in this image: “I see myself as a Panda taking shape from Roberto Giolito’s crisp pencil marks (vice-president of Fiat Group Design – editor’s note)”. Design has, for Mr. Palermo, the same importance whether it be to achieve niche objects or to define ‘everyday’ products that become such by responding to consumer needs to the extent of growing ‘familiar’. This idea underpins the project recently tackled for Ariston Thermo, where design was chosen as a product upgrading and re-positioning tool. “The stimulating challenge was to give the water-heater a new identity, converting it into a furnishing accessory while accentuating its technological content.” The project set out from widespread analysis of the Ariston aesthetics, considering all products and geographical areas, to instill ‘common’ yet attractive style traits. An ambitious project, and one stirring great innovation, with new forms, colours and materials. ‘Latin curves’, as the designer calls them, are the common denominator that not only conserves the identity of each single product but also becomes a ‘hallmark’ for the brand and its different markets.
Published by Ottagono, December 2012 – January 2013, pp. 106-107