Graduating from the ENSCI (Paris) in 1995, Toan Nguyen pursued his training in Barcelona with Alberto Lievore, moving to Milan in 1996, where not long after he took over as head of Antonio Citterio’s design department, with whom, for nearly ten years he was to sign lines for, among others, Axor-Hansgrohe, B&B Italia, Flos, Iittala, Kartell, Technogym, and Vitra. In 2009 he founded his own studio in Milan, subsequently embarking on a series of successful collaborations with several major brands in high-quality industry and fine craftmanship in Europe, North America, and Asia, on furniture, lighting, ceramics, as well as on technological products.
For Toan Nguyen design is a discipline intimately bound up with the object, in the traditional sense of the term. Priority is given to physical relationships with users—to them sitting, washing, lighting, etc. Displaying an immediate sense for meaningful utilization, precedence is accorded to intelligible forms and optimized manufacturing processes, without, however, ever neglecting the sensuality of materials and the emotional impact of the object.
Toan Nguyen’s creative individuality has been acknowledged by flagship contemporary design brands such as Laufen, Dedon, Fendi Casa, Coalesse, Studio TK, Vibia, Viccarbe, Walter Knoll, Lema, Busnelli, among others, a substantial number of whose creations have been awarded prestigious international prizes.
Together with Laufen, Toan Nguyen has developed the innovative, water-saving urinal Antero and the urinal divider Cinto. Antero was awarded the red dot award 2012. In 2014 he explored the design possibilities of Laufens’ revolutionary SaphirKeramik by creating a study of a washbasin within the SaphirKeramik project. This resulted in the spectacular bathroom collection Ino in 2015.
Toan Nguyen: “Being able to work with a new material was an opportunity that rarely presents itself. The new ceramic has a high density and hardness, yet is very fine, allowing very precise lines. It is as hygienic as traditional ceramics, goes through the same manufacturing process - casting, glazing and firing - and is also a modern and high performance material.”