Thanks to modern technology, we don't have to go to the office to work, the cinema to watch a movie and the spa to alleviate tension. Our apartment can easily double as a home office, a home theatre and a home spa.
Consumers are bringing the experiences they used to have collectively outside into their homes. 'We are giving them the opportunity to take the spa experience to their home,' says Paul Flowers, Grohe's senior vice-president of design. 'For a spa you need to stimulate all the senses, so we have introduced products such as scented candles and body washes.'
Grohe's Digital Controller, which won the Reddot Best of the Best award this year, champions the digital bathroom. 'We believe the digital bathroom is the future,' Flowers says. 'We are looking at introducing new experiences in the bathroom. The digital bathroom lets you manage your water consumption.'
Designed to be accessible to consumers who aren't ready to embrace the latest trends for homes, the Digital Controller aims to provide people with a user-friendly experience. 'For people who aren't used to digital technology, particularly in the bathroom, it is a way of introducing a mechanical style of operation into a digital product,' Flowers says. 'When you turn the outside of the product, you increase the water volume. The accessibility of the product, such as the easy act of turning, makes it more human and emotional and [is] not scary for consumers.'
The new spa collection, Allure Gravity, will be launched next year. It features the aqua window, which lets you frame water and tells you how to interact with the product. 'This particular design was inspired by one of my trips to Shanghai where I visited the World Financial Centre which is an amazing building,' Flowers says. Design brands, such as Boffi, offer customers bathtubs that aim to make the bathroom a sanctuary. Examples are the Gobi series, designed by Marcel Wanders, and the Sabbia series, designed by Naoto Fukasawa. 'They are all made of white Cristalplant, matt smooth finish. Both are incredible designers, whereas the products present Boffi's core valuation which makes a perfect balance of functionality and visual appreciation,' says James Hung of Boffi.
He thinks that customers are more concerned about the individuality of the interior design of their bathrooms. 'In the past, Boffi was only well-known in the first-tier niche market, but now customers just love Boffi's freestanding bathtubs,' he says.