A refreshing installation in many ways: Oki Sato, the creative mind behind Japanese design studio Nendo, enjoys his own "WaterDream" together with Axor head Philippe Grohe (left)
Founded in 1901, German manfuacturer Hansgrohe is still a pioneer in the today's sanitation industry. Its designer brand Axor has been rethinking the way water is used in housing for two decades now. “In this regard, the focus is not primarily on the products, but on providing additional scope for creative development, for breaking down established behavior patterns, and for conducting an open, interdisciplinary dialogue,” says Philippe Grohe, Head of the Axor brand and grandson of the company’s founder Hans Grohe. Axor continuously engages in a dialogue with various internationally renowned design partners, which from now on also include the Swedish design trio Front, and the Japanese design studio Nendo. Following on the heels of Phoenix Design, Jean-Marie Massaud, Patricia Urquiola and the Bouroullec brothers, Front and Nendo were given carte blanche to develop their own "Axor WaterDream". The brief was simple: research the relationship and potential of water in the field of architecture and design with a special focus on the shower.
As the two installations, featured here, show, Nendo and Front followed quite different approaches: Front explored the technical origins of the water installation, whereas Nendo drew inspiration from an emotional living space outside of the bathroom.
Axor WaterDream by Front
The Axor WaterDream by Front: An homage to artisanry and to the aesthetics inherent in technology and installation
Common copper pipe and elbow fittings wind their way up and down puzzle-like in the WaterDream installation by Swedish design collective Front. The room-sized installation culminates in three fully functioning copper shower heads.
Front focused on the most elementary components that are used to bring water to us – pipes, valves, couplings, and funnels
The installtation, created by Sofia Lagerkvist, Charlotte von der Lancken and Anna Lindgren, draws attention to the technology behind the wall. “Front show how something that is normally hidden from view can become a visually appealing and valued spatial construct,” says Philippe Grohe.
Sofia Lagerkvist, Charlotte von der Lancken and Anna Lindgren of Swedish design group Front
Axor WaterDream by Nendo
A hybrid between a shower and a lamp: Oki Sato's Axor WaterDream
The WaterDream created by Oki Sato of Japanese design studio Nendo is a concept series of lamp-shaped shower heads that can be used just like a pendant lamp or floor lamp. Each shower head incorporates an actual light source with water streaming from the edge of the shade.
The Axor WaterDream by Nendo and its creator Oki Sato
“My aim was to combine what is most archetypal about the living space, the lighting, with water, so as to give the shower an enhanced sensuous dimension in a way we have not yet seen before," says Sato.
Oki Sato's WaterDream in the form of floor and pendant lamps
Each of the two design studios – Front and Nendo – will be presenting together with Philippe Grohe new production-ready products, currently in development, at the Cersaie 2013 bathroom furnishings exhibition in Bologna, Italy, this autumn.