Appliances: Design Dynasty
When Michael Sieger took the creative helm of Sieger Design in 2003, he inherited a business that his father, Dieter, had nurtured for nearly 40 years. The elder Sieger—recently retired and now involved in other artistic pursuits—began his career in the mid-1960s as an architect and designer of luxury yacht interiors. He shifted to industrial design in the early ’80s when he was invited to create a collection for Alapé, the company that produced the glassed steel basins he often specified for his marine projects. Commissions soon followed from design-savvy plumbing firms Dornbracht and Duravit, for which Dieter Sieger developed extensive product lines, including Dornbracht’s best-selling Tara faucet.
Now under the dual stewardship of Michael and his brother Christian, Sieger Design continues to provide these same manufacturers with innovative concepts and products while also offering a wider range of design and marketing services, including graphics, brand development, and architecture.
Water has played a pivotal role in Sieger Design’s history. The company’s headquarters in Münster, Germany, are on an 18th-century baronial estate surrounded by a moat, and a satellite studio is located by the Grand Canal in Venice. Now, water’s qualities of tranquility and transparency have prompted Sieger Design to reconsider the bath and its place in the home.
“Today we have the techniques and materials to do so many more things than ever before,” Michael says. “It’s just a matter of rethink-
ing the possibilities.” Thus, he has begun to develop minimalist designs for the bath, such as Dornbracht’s groundbreaking MEM collection of plumbing products. As an integral part of a bathroom’s architecture, MEM fittings allow for the creation of personalized environments that are appropriate for open-plan master suites or home spas. One design that evokes the calming effect of natural water patterns is the MEM built-in overhead shower, which delivers a broad, refreshing spray much like that of a gentle rain shower, while its wide, flat faucets have been shaped and engineered to replicate the cascade of a waterfall.
“I think the tendency toward minimalism will last because of its ultimate functionality and style,” Michael says. “You want to have the function, but you don’t really want to see it.” His sculptural basin and vanity designs for Alapé take advantage of the unique properties of glassed steel, a material that is extremely durable yet so thin and light it appears to float when hung on a wall or mounted on a counter. “People spend more time caring for their personal needs and their bodies. But wellness must embrace all of the senses, including aesthetics,” he says. “How a room looks and feels enhances the overall sense of well-being.”