‘What is typically individual?’ and ‘What types of individual bathrooms are there?’ – those are the questions the Pop up my Bathroom trend forum will be asking at the ISH 2017. Initiated by the German Sanitary Industry Association (Vereinigung Deutsche Sanitärwirtschaft e.V. [VDS]) on behalf of Messe Frankfurt, the trend platform will be exploring the ‘Individual Bathroom’ and presenting the current trends at the world’s leading trade fair for the combination of water and energy in Frankfurt am Main from 14 to 18 March 2017.
No fewer than eight answers will be showing where things are heading. That’s because the bathroom will look completely different depending on which trend most influences the user and what his priorities are. So what exactly are those trends and what options for customisation are already available to consumers, or will be in the near future? Pop up my Bathroom explores the entire spectrum in the form of eight 3D collages – in photographs and ‘in the flesh’ at the ISH 2017.
A bathroom that fits like a glove
The fact is that the desire for originality and self-fulfilment is growing stronger all the time. When we talk about an individual bathroom today, we don’t mean extravagant fittings and furnishings or exceptionally original ideas, but rather a bathroom whose look and functions have been tailored entirely to its user and the architectural circumstances.
The trend forum Pop up my Bathroom creates unusual models to demonstrate the many and varied aspects of individual bathroom design and presents them in a special exhibition at the ISH 2017 in Frankfurt. ‘The bathroom is increasingly becoming a space that people enjoy spending time in and can identify with,’ says Jens J. Wischmann, Managing Director of the VDS, of the trend towards individualism and consumers’ growing appreciation of an attractively furnished bathroom.
The bathroom as a place to enjoy
It doesn’t matter whether the consumer prefers a bathroom with a seamless, homogeneous look or a stylish arrangement mixed with vintage elements: thanks to the wealth of variants and extremely complex product ranges on the market, almost any brand-name manufacturer’s collection contains a solution for any type of setting. Once and for all, selecting products has become a question of taste, because many ranges permit customisation down to the smallest detail. In the shower, for instance, jets and outlets can be positioned individually; sandblasting technology allows personalised patterns to be ‘painted’ on the shower, and emblems can be incorporated into mirrors, glass or tiles. The big lifestyle brands are already offering “colour on demand” for their bathtubs and vanities, and in some cases the customer can even design the outer shape of the tub himself. Nowadays even ceramic vanity tops can be custom-sized without putting a strain on either the consumer’s wallet or the manufacturer’s production processes.
Custom-sized bathroom furniture and plenty of colour for more individuality
For customers in search of made-to-measure solutions – perhaps for cabinets built into alcoves, room dividers, benches, or shelves that cover the entire wall – leading bathroom furniture manufacturers offer custom-sized components or even entire segments especially for individually adaptable furniture systems.
A particularly wide choice of colours is available for finishes, which can be selected in virtually any variation you can think of. In some cases they can even be replaced with something different if customers decide they don’t like their cabinet fronts after a few years. In line with general furnishing trends, varnishes, lacquers and coatings are available in everything from high gloss to ultra matt (fingerprint-proof, naturally), all the way to knotted grains for the wood designs. And nowadays tiles don’t just come in all kinds of wood effects, textures and used looks, but in various formats and motifs for laying all sorts of patterns too – from ship’s deck to herringbone to linear mosaic.
Cutting-edge technology in the bathroom for individual needs
But customising certain elements of the furnishings isn’t the only way for individualism to manifest itself in the bathroom. Personalisation can take place behind the scenes as well: in the bits and bytes that regulate the individual settings for fittings, lighting and sound systems.
Individualisation represents the complete reversal of a concept that, in the early days of modernism, was regarded as the ultimate in progress and prestige: standardisation. This presents manufacturers and designers of sophisticated bathroom products and bathrooms with various challenges. Run-of-the-mill goods and stereotyped thinking have to be replaced with intelligent products, customising systems and continuing training for staff so that they can tailor the advice they give to the individual customer. But new concepts are needed too: concepts that integrate our digital way of life, liberate the bathroom from its tightly laced corset and open it up to the possibilities of individual design. In the long-term, this will also result in shorter lifecycles for bathroom furnishings and equipment.
Eight trends for an individual bathroom
‘The theme of individualism in the bathroom is the overarching connection between eight different trends that we believe will be very influential – at international level as well,’ says Jens J. Wischmann, Managing Director of the VDS. ‘On the one hand there are megatrends like digitalisation, demographic developments or ecologically motivated behaviour, which are having a lasting impact on the way bathrooms are used and designed. On the other hand, we’ve been able to identify various trends at product level too; first and foremost, they support the very strong development we’re seeing towards interpreting the bathroom as cosy living space. The bathroom is becoming a lot more fashionable, for instance.’
Besides being visualised in lavish photos, the trends will also be staged in a one-to-one presentation as part of the trend forum at the ISH 2017, which will be located in the conference room Europa. Visitors will thus be able to gain an overview of the most important developments taking place in the bathroom right now. In addition, the trend forum will also be hosting an informative lecture programme again. Renowned speakers from industry and research will be presenting interesting concepts on the theme of individualism and providing background information on this fascinating topic. Panel discussions with prominent representatives of the industry will put the finishing touches to the wide-ranging forum.
For further information on the ISH go to: www.ish.messefrankfurt.com.
Pop up my Bathroom trend forum at the ISH 2017
The Pop up my Bathroom trend platform has been monitoring developments in bathroom design since 2009. Using a sometimes highly experimental approach, the Pop up my Bathroom installations, photo productions and blog posts examine the impact that social developments, current design trends and technological innovations are having on the world of the bathroom. The resulting images depict the solutions available from the sanitary industry in direct context with the featured trends. As a result, the abstract idea and the concrete product suddenly find themselves sharing the same stage: bathtub meets fashion, shower enclosure meets LED lighting, shower toilet meets remote control.
Published every two years on the occasion of the leading international trade show for the sanitary industry, the ISH in Frankfurt, the study sums up the trends influencing the bathroom and is aimed at trade professionals and consumers alike. At the same time, Pop up my Bathroom is intended not so much as product advertising but as a way of showing the directions bathroom culture might take in future. Pop up my Bathroom was established by Messe Frankfurt, the organiser behind the world’s leading trade fair for the combination of water and energy, and the German Sanitary Industry Association (Vereinigung Deutsche Sanitärwirtschaft e.V. [VDS]).
Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is one of the world’s leading trade fair organisers, generating around €648 million in sales and employing 2,244 people. The Messe Frankfurt Group has a global network of 30 subsidiaries and 55 international Sales Partners, allowing it to serve its customers on location in 175 countries. Messe Frankfurt events take place at approx. 50 locations around the globe. In 2015, Messe Frankfurt organised a total of 133 trade fairs, of which more than half took place outside Germany.
Comprising an area of 592,127 square metres, Messe Frankfurt’s exhibition grounds are home to ten exhibition halls. The company also operates two congress centres. The historic Festhalle, one of the most popular venues in Germany, plays host to events of all kinds. Messe Frankfurt is publicly owned, with the City of Frankfurt holding 60 percent and the State of Hesse 40 percent.