Experientia was chosen by Italian kitchen manufacturer Toncelli to update its current design identity and to create a new kitchen design. Toncelli Cucine (www.toncelli.it) has specialised in well-crafted, luxury kitchen designs for over 50 years. Family owned, the company is known for its dedicated craftsmanship, selective materials and attention to detail.
Experientia designed Prisma, Toncelli’s first entry-level kitchen, featuring a new type of design approach and a series of smart technological features.
A new communication strategy – including catalogue, website, press releases, marketing material, iPad/iBook application and a trade fair stand – for both Prisma and the overall offer of the brand, was also developed, timed to revitalise the company’s presentation at Eurocucina 2012 – the International Kitchen Furniture Trade Show, held in Milano in mid-April, 2012.
The Prisma design can be seen on the Experientia-designed Toncelli Eurocucina 2012 minisite: www.toncelli.it/eurocucina2012/
Toncelli was founded in 1961, specialising in luxury kitchens made from exclusive materials. They wanted to broaden their range to include an entry-level kitchen in the mid-price segment, and to update their image to communicate a new focus on Asian design and markets, and the incorporation of modern (and futuristic) technology into traditional kitchen environments.
For Experientia, this two-fold challenge involved a new communications strategy, and a new kitchen design.
The new kitchen and the new brand direction were introduced at the Eurocucina 2012 kitchen trade fair, an
unmissable event for the best in the kitchen sector. Experientia designed marketing materials, a new catalogue, a mini-website for the trade fair, an iPad/iBook application, business cards, a new corporate identity, and Toncelli’s Eurocucina 2012 stand.
The new communication style utilises bright Toncelli red and white, for a modern yet minimalist feel; the colour scheme extends to the Prisma kitchen, which fully embodies the revitalised brand feel. The trade fair stand for Eurocucina 2012 reflected the new approach, with essential, technological communication. The space was dominated by technical materials, such as perforated metal sheets that created a see-through, almost strobe-light effect, faceted surfaces, and canvas covers for the stand.
The project aim was to create a flagship kitchen for Toncelli’s 2012 range, to appeal to the international market, but also to increase Toncelli’s domestic market share in Italy. The concept development phase started with a brainstorm of relevant keywords describing different directions. Together with Toncelli, the themes of lightness and dynamism were selected.
The Experientia design team pursued two directions. While one played more strongly with the concept of dynamics, and the other emphasised lightness, the two designs incorporated both themes.
Light and movement
The final design, Prisma, is a stylistic departure from Toncelli’s other kitchens, but ensures a line of continuity which maintains Toncelli’s branding, dedication to luxury finishes, and its emphasis on Italian-made quality and style.
The minimalist design fits well with the high tech elements of the kitchen – red and white lacquered surfaces, anodized aluminium and black glass create a contemporary and dynamic feel. Angled brilliantly white wall surfaces dynamically reflect light to play with brightness and shadow. The prismatic composition of the shapes, such as the wall units, the drawers in the island bench, and the sink which supports the bench top, create a feeling of weightlessness and movement.
New solutions for old problems
Throughout the implementation process, Experientia worked carefully with Toncelli, to ensure that the design was feasible and effective. Experientia’s industrial designers went deeply into the details of each part of the design, prototyping together with Toncelli engineers, and seeking technical solutions to any difficulties encountered. Together they devised a unique solution for opening heavy drawers, cupboards and side-by-side refrigerators. The resulting handle-free opening method is exclusive to the Prisma kitchen, and currently has a patent pending. It ensures the smooth, uninterrupted look of the surfaces is both beautiful and functional, and adds to the sense of lightness of the kitchen.
This sense of lightness is enhanced by the illumination of the pieces, lit from below. Eperientia worked with Toncelli’s engineers to ensure that the final underfloor lighting solution offered a low, diffused glow, which highlights the kitchen’s features and adds warmth to the overall feel.
The technological innovations are continued in two other major features of the kitchen. The first is a raised chopping board that can actually slide along the bench top to any desired position and provides an accent of colour in the otherwise black and white kitchen. In the centre of the chopping board, a lazy susan sports a stand for a tablet computer.
Finally, the most striking feature is the touchscreen surface, integrated right into thesuspended black glass bench. Cooks will be able to use the internet connection to update chosen contents from a programmed menu. Designed for tech savvy home chefs, the Prisma kitchen picks up on the trend of tablet computers migrating to the kitchen, and then takes that idea to the next level.
The Prisma kitchen was showcased at Eurocucina 2012, as Toncelli’s new flagship kitchen. It is now ready for production. It is a modular kitchen, which can be ordered in configurations that suit individual homes, with the optional interactive bench top.
Final deliverables also included the new look and feel for Toncelli’s communications for 2012.