Turning the ordinary into the extraordinary is never easy. Designer Diego Cisi has gotten pretty close with his stylish redesign of the toilet brush.
“It is often one of the last objects within a home to be bought,” according to designer Diego Cisi. It is a supplemental item. Its function is to serve the hygienic and aesthetic needs of a more fundamental household device. And yet its inescapable presence – right there, out in the open – makes it ripe for rethinking and repurposing.
The lowly toilet brush has been a patented product since the 1920s, and most versions are concerned primarily with the engineering of its bristles and how best to keep them dry. Cisi, co-director of architecture and design firm Archiplan Studio in Mantua, Italy, considered the object from a different perspective: not the cleaner’s but the sitter’s. From that vantage point, an alternate purpose revealed itself: “In addition to fulfilling its primary function, the brush becomes an instrument of support to get up from the pot.”
Rather than render brush and holder in lightweight plastic, Cisi designed a brass-coated handle that can support 100 kilograms. The base is made from concrete to guarantee stability. “My intention,” he says, “was to give this object an intrinsic beauty. At the same time, I wanted to make it safer for people with physical difficulties.”
Topped by a streamlined hook in the shape of a question mark, Street resembles a carefully calibrated industrial counterweight. The unlikely name comes from the material. “Concrete belongs to the urban landscape and to roads,” says Cisi, “but it also gives the base a certain tactile sensuality.” The finished product turns something that is too often an afterthought into an anchor – stylistically and literally – for the bathroom.