The bathroom is becoming increasingly important as a place with its own independent architecture. Accordingly, this room demands a new design and new functions. Sven Rensinghoff, Marketing Director at Bette, and the freelance Product Designer Dominik Tesseraux discuss trends in modern bathroom architecture, their work for Bette, and their vision for the future of the company.
1. Mr. Rensinghoff, Mr. Tesseraux, what does the interior of a bathroom tell us about the homeowners?
SR Today’s bathroom tells us a great deal about the style of its occupants. The role this room plays is completely different from that of even only 20 years ago. It used to be just for washing, and that was it. Since then, though, we have developed an entirely different kind of body awareness. Today’s user sees the bathroom as a haven of well-being, and therefore spends far longer in there, creating his or her own personal style world. It can be pared down or really playful. However, when it comes to creating the interior of the bathroom, the focus is always on comfort, on cosiness.
DT Yes, you could say it’s no longer about function or status today, but about character and emotion. For the first time, the bathroom is being seen as a living space, and accordingly the interior can be in a tremendous variety of styles.
2. Where is the trend you describe headed today, and what products has Bette used so far to respond to it?
DT The current trend is developing from the function to emotion. Systems will give way to ensembles, and eclecticism will replace uniformity. Materials are becoming more honest, more durable and more valuable. This also means variety in design, in the structures, in the way the rooms are used. There will be fewer rules. Bette has responded by making the portfolio more flexible, that is to say, by serving both freedom and system in equal measure.
3. As a specialist in glazed titanium-steel, Bette is also constantly testing the limits of what is feasible in the material used. What is the significance of the material in the design of current Bette products?
SR Extremely high. After all, glazed titanium steel is our DNA. It’s what we do. We are convinced that it is the best material for the areas in which we are active. Of course, we keep asking ourselves what is going to come next. Another point is that glazed titanium steel is quite challenging as a material. But in the end, it is this very challenge that continues to appeal to the ambitious streak in our colleagues in the production department. Function and design always have to complement each other sensibly.
4. What are the strengths of your co-operation with Bette? How do you complement each other; who contributes what?
DT It’s an interplay where the design usually provides the impetus for a new line of thought. The discourse that follows is extremely important, and this then also shows us exactly what the quality of the co-operation is. One example of this process is the 8-mm folded rim: it was initiated by the design. We quickly saw the potential, and so everyone then created an unmistakeable feature for Bette products. Of course, the design studio is also involved in developing the brand.
SR I can only agree with what Dominik Tesseraux is saying. We complement each other, and he regularly breaks through our reserve, or motivates us, to take the next step. It’s good to have someone from outside who provides additional food for thought and sets processes in motion that always lead to entirely new, fabulous results. Even though not everything can be implemented in exactly the same way, that’s also part of the dialogue between the designer and the company.
5. And what is your combined future vision of a new bathroom architecture?
SR In the long term, we want to give the entire range a clear structure. So we ask each other: what do we need to have in the port- folio, what does the brand need, and where can we create new applications? What parts of the bathroom haven’t we developed yet, and where can we take the next step in bathroom architecture, not just locally but throughout the entire range? Creating lots of style worlds from one interior – a process that we continue to enjoy.
DT The bathroom is going to become increasingly relevant. As the last truly intimate place. “Being in the bathroom” is going to become an increasingly sensuous experience, and as a consequence the products will become more emotional and more cosy. The architecture is changing, and giving the bathroom more relevance. Bathroom products are in direct contact with our body, which clearly increases the effect of the physical aspect. The way we handle water as a resource will also play an increasingly important role. The focus is on the keywords freedom, sensuousness and cosiness.