Revealed: The Future of the Bathroom

    150 150 Daniel Fountain
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    Advancements in technology and changes in consumer attitudes towards the bathroom will dramatically influence product design, development and installation

    An independent report into the future of the bathroom by the Future Laboratory has revealed the paradox our bathroom is set to become in ten years time. Commissioned by Europe’s leading bathroom provider, Ideal Standard International, the report looks into the features, products, and services the industry can expect to see in the next decade and the diverse ways in which the bathroom will change going forward.The report has been based on research conducted by The Future Laboratory, which surveyed 1,500 homeowners on their current attitudes and future demands for bathroom solutions as well as the type of technology being developed in response. The research found that consumer attitudes towards shared and private space are changing and that the bathroom of the future will adapt to suit people’s moods and lifestyles.

    Ten million people in the UK people say that their work/life balance has suffered as a result of the financial crisis[1]. Four in 10 (41%) UK consumers use the bathroom as a place to relax. The bathroom has become a refuge from the pressures of modern life, ‘a sanctuary and a place to escape’, comments Ideal Standard’s Non-Executive Design Director, Robin Levien.

    The Future Laboratory research shows that consumers spend 13 days a year in the bathroom – however, it is the last room in the house to respond to social changes. The advancement of digital technologies is set to affect beauty and grooming rituals, and the way in which consumers manage both our health and the environment around them – and product design and installation will have to adapt to these advancements.

    Installation methods, which are common place today, will be a thing of the past as we see bathroom solutions becoming more intelligent, combining storage with products. For example, walls with ‘memories’ and membrane-like materials that allow 3D shapes to be summoned from flat surfaces creating storage and space.

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    [1] According to a survey by Cornwall Development Company

    Daniel Fountain / 12.12.2011

    Editor, Hotel Designs


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