KALDEWEI presents current survey "paradigm change in the bathroom as an answer to changes of society"
Ahlen, February 2011. In our fast-moving world, the demands on every single person continually increase. To remain able to perform, people need to be able to compensate for growing heteronomy and hectic everyday life by regeneration phases. Individual design options for the bathroom as a room for intimate relaxation becomes more and more important. At the instruction of premium bathroom furnisher KALDEWEI, the Cologne rheingold institute for qualitative market and media analysis has examined the paradigm change of the former wet cell. For the study "paradigm change in the bathroom as an answer to changes of society", a representative selection of test respondents explain their changed perception of the bathroom and their impressions of two fictional high-tech scenarios developed by KALDEWEI trend research.
Back to a Private and Individual Room
The changed requirements of bathroom function and design are proven by four surveys on the psychology of bathing already initiated by KALDEWEI. They focused on different aspects. A clear change was obvious to the proven definition of the former term "premium": Design and quality are just as important now as in the past. However, the external demonstrations of status expected back then are no longer as important. The bathroom is considered an individual room reflecting our real selves away from everyday life. More and more often, functional aspects such as the washing machine and, where possible, also the toilet, are banished from a wellness bathroom. There is a trend away from the "one size fits all" standard thinking towards strong customisation of furnishings and materials. The bathroom has become more important as a private retreat than the bedroom.
Future Perspectives: Man at the Centre of Nature and Technology
Two seemingly contrary approaches characterise the requirements for the bathroom of the future: The wish for more technology on the one hand is countered by an experience of originality on the other. This is not about returning to the washtub, but about using natural materials such as wood or natural stone and organic shapes. Additionally, large windows, sitting and lying areas are to provide comfort and the impression of wide spaces – people prefer wide, open bathroom designs that offer a view of nature. The bathroom as a mirror of one's personality is no longer banished into a corner. In contrast, it forms the central bathroom element, like a natural water basin. This new generosity is complemented by spacious floor-level showers. A bathroom designed like this is also suitable for use together with a partner. It thus contributes positively to relationships.
"The wish for organic forms and high-quality natural materials obvious in the respondents questioned is already being implemented consistently in our products," explains Marcus Möllers, KALDEWEI corporate communications. "We thereby create a combination of individuality and luxury for a space away from everyday problems; it is a wide space where we can find ourselves." Thus, the repeatedly award-winning portfolio of the premium bathroom furnisher offers not only free-standing bath and whirl tubs made of natural steel enamel, but also bathtubs lowered into the floor, as well as exclusive and relaxing lighting concepts.
Bathroom of the Future: An Experience Full of Atmosphere
The idea of two bathroom scenarios that were consciously designed in a futuristic fashion was implemented into the traditional survey approach. The reactions of the respondents asked correspond to the insights gained in the course of the survey: People are looking for elements that increase comfort, such as atmospheric video projection surfaces or new bathroom concepts. Complex shower systems that turn getting clean into an adventure also found approval. The same applies to the option of setting one's individual favourite water temperature. However, modern technology has to increase comfort unobtrusively. Those questioned did not approve of specifically technological future scenarios where the users are seemingly at the mercy of smart technology that "patronises" them, e.g. by automatically recognising and analysing moods. While the application of meditation music is generally well-liked, external communication such as chatting or phone calls in the bathroom are not desired.
Massive Increase in Importance
The requirements of our future bathrooms are essentially characterised by the desire to enter into a successful symbiosis of technology and nature. Our hectic lives must be balanced: we need a place reflecting our real selves away from everyday life, a place where our inner selves can recover. This role is more and more strongly assigned to the most individual and intimate room of our homes: the bathroom. Thus, as the present survey results indicate, it is increasingly at the centre of our personal wishes and requirements as the actual room reflecting our selves.
The requirements of the future bathroom are essentially characterised by the wish for a successful symbiosis of technology and nature. In particular, this applies to the use of natural materials such as wood or natural stone and organic shapes, which create a sensual component in our ambience. The bathroom should look out over nature if possible. Thus, the survey's results place new challenges to the whole bathroom architecture: In addition to a natural look, large windows, sitting and lying comfort are as important as an impression of wide space. Most respondents find spacious, open bathrooms looking out over nature fascinating.
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