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Digital technology has drastically changed the world. It continues to reshape people, nations and lives at a pace many of us struggle to comprehend. We are now more connected, more mobile and smarter than ever before.
The digital age is also giving birth to another mega trend. Health, wellness and wellbeing are fast becoming priorities as individuals seek solace from their supercharged digital worlds, while healthcare reform increases demand for preventative care.
The future of healthcare, according to analysts, will be focused more on wellness and wellbeing that define mind, body and soul. Digital transformation is radically shaping the health of tomorrow and design must respond accordingly, especially in the bathroom.
Over the last 15 years, Dornbracht has used the topic of ritual architecture to put the bathroom –a “low interest” area of the home– back on the agenda as a cultural phenomenon.
The influential Swiss architecture theorist Sigfried Giedion was the first to use this perspective to prove that the forces that have shaken modern life are focused in the small things we encounter everyday that become apparent, for example, in the mechanisation of household work, the kitchen, the bathroom and the regeneration of the body.
Despite its functional purpose, a bathroom has always been a place of retreat. It is one of the few interior spaces that commands the sanctity of privacy for physical and mental renewal. This is why people and their rituals of cleansing should take centre stage when considering bathroom architecture.
Complex technologies are simplifying and individualising our lives. These intelligent processes provide relief, lead to greater vitality and enable quality time in a way that is precisely tailored for our needs. It makes sense to adapt these technologies for the bathroom.
Technology in the bathroom allows us to redefine the bathing experience, to use water as a source of spiritual strength, as an energy transmitter and for purifying the mind. By manipulating the pressure, temperature and volume of water, we can create different therapeutic effects on the body.
Dornbracht was first able to achieve this with Ambiance Tuning Technique (ATT), in which a variety of jets are combined in pre-programmed choreographed scenarios of water temperature and volume that enhance individual bath rituals to influence the user’s own moods and emotions.
The three scenarios, Balancing, Energizing and De-stressing, form a symbiosis of the experience of water, aesthetic architecture, minimalist design, operating comfort and innovative control technology that completely redefines showering.
Technology also allows us to divide the bathroom into specific water zones to address peoples’ personal needs and individual spaces more initimately.
Remotely controlling the bathing experience is also made possible through integration with home automation systems and smart phones. Users can pre-programme the experience they wish to be greeted by. Start the day with a ritual of invigoration and end it with one of serenity. In the future we expect it to be possible to work with health practitioners who will help design specific water therapies to address individual ailments, such as cirulatory issues.
The digitisation of the applications in the bathroom offers exciting possibilities for product and interior design, and at Dornbracht we are exploring these further under our Smart Water platform.