GROHE’s senior vice president of design Paul Flowers is a native of London whose career has included stints at IBM, Electrolux and Philips. He and his teams have won a number of prestigious awards, including Red Dot, iF and Good Design. A+A recently interviewed him about future trends in the bath, and a recent installation GROHE sponsored to emphasize it as a sanctuary:
How do you describe your design philosophy?
GROHE designs for the pure enjoyment of water. It has a user-centric perspective and considers the home owner or hotel guest in all of its design choices. We design products that allow people to create their own individual experiences. As they create these spaces, people don’t want to use generic products. We’re inspired by trends in society – and GROHE products – relentlessly engineered – are experiential, thoughtful and sustainable.
What was your intent in curating the installation?
For our work, we have to look years into the future, beyond aesthetic trends. GROHE products are built to last, so we can’t plan for the short-term. That said, we are fascinated by the influence of technology in the modern world. This has tremendous implications for the way that our product is used and the environments that it lives in. For this installation, we wanted to challenge the design community to think ahead about the power of the bathroom—what it offers, what makes it unique. If you consider that the bathroom is the last true sanctuary – the last room in the home with a lock on the door, there’s a lot of freedom to create a meaningful design story there. For us, and the two designers who worked with us on this project—Ghislaine Vinas Interior Design and Slade Architecture—that raises the bathroom to sanctuary-status.
For their designs, the two firms had very different aesthetic approaches but they serve the same need, which is to rebalance the body and mind. In Ghislaine’s design, she took a rather artistic and personal route. She created an environment that enables escape. Her space surrounds her with meaningful references, pulling Delft blue from her Dutch heritage and tribal patterns South Africa, where she was raised. This concept changes the face of the bathroom entirely.
Slade Architecture created an environment with white walls and high-tech fixtures (using our F-Digital Deluxe product that allows you to turn on the faucet or shower from anywhere in the home). Through an aperture in the wall, you can see a short film that abstractly depicts elements in nature softly floating. It creates a little window of calm in an urban setting.
The challenges of the installation?
The ability to execute a vision within a defined space and budget. The designers developed something that has never been done before and it was interesting to see their imaginations unfold and come to life.
What’s your perception of the future of the bath?
While the kitchen is a “we” space. The bathroom is a “me” space. I think the designers that we worked with for this project portrayed that successfully.
I travel around the world, and I talk a lot about my study of Experiential Living (which inspired this project). I think the bathroom is the next big frontier for personalization, fantasy, and a more seamless integration into the bedroom.
A Drop in the Bucket Fabrication and installation: SITU Studio
With assistance from: SilverLining Interiors
Wallpaper: Flavor Paper
GROHE Faucet: Allure
A Mirror in the Bathroom Fabrication and installation: SITU Studio
Audio/visual: Mannic Media
Video: Ana Slade
GROHE Faucet: Allure F-Digital
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