Freibad – Freedom within Four Walls


Pop up my Bathroom aims to tread a different path. The German Sanitary Industry Association's communication campaign develops pictures that encourage people to discover the bathroom as new living space and give deliberate thought to what they actually want. It isn't only aimed at consumers who leaf through magazines and blogs, but also at architects, creatives, bathroom planners and project developers, as well as the fitters who serve as the intermediary between the industry and its customers. The initiators have realised that it is no longer enough for manufacturers to devote themselves exclusively to satisfying basic needs and creating an appetite for beautiful bathrooms. Instead, they aim to develop potential solutions to tomorrow's questions.  

Society's needs, and therefore its requirements of the bathroom, are undergoing a lasting transformation. Interior culture is responding to an increasingly fast-moving pace, to the disappearance of the boundaries between private, professional and public life, to globalisation tendencies and changing family structures.  


Pop up my Bathroom is more than just a communication tool, it is an experimental platform as well. It aims to explore and illustrate what possibilities the bathroom can offer people as both an aesthetic and a functional space. On the one hand, it gives experts a chance to find out about new developments, on the other hand it aims to convert the designs it develops into pictures that will be understood all over the world. This website has therefore been expanded into a continuously updated blog that serves as a communication platform where, until the next ISH opens its doors, professionals and interested consumers can inform themselves not just about the Pop up my Bathroom trends but about the latest developments in various segments of the sanitary industry as well.  

The pictures on the Pop up my Bathroom trends "Busy Bathroom", "Bathroom (R)Evolution" and "Bathroom Bubble" (with Urban and Nature) that were presented at the last world-leading fair for the sanitary sector, the ISH 2013 in Frankfurt, certainly achieved that goal. Specially staged and photographed for the purpose, they met with a huge response and appeared in numerous publications all over the world. Penetration was considerably increased, thus strengthening the German sanitary industry's image as an innovative idea engine as well.  


Demographic change is undoubtedly the biggest challenge facing bathroom design. More and more people rely on an ergonomic and convenient bathroom in order to remain independent for as long as they possibly can. Pop up my Bathroom 2015 will therefore be dedicated to the theme of barrier-free bathroom design. The interdisciplinary approach with references from all product categories that has proven so successful in previous editions will be continued. And once again, the concept of "My Personal Needs", which introduced needs-based analysis as the most important instrument of all at the ISH 2013, will serve as the starting point. "Pop up takes a totally new approach to bathroom themes. And barrier-free access is of course a key theme – both for the sanitary industry and consumers. That's why we need to address it not just from the product side but from an experimental perspective too, and thus liberate it from the stuffiness of norms," says Jens J. Wischmann, Managing Director of the VDS


The initiators have very deliberately chosen the German title "Freibad" as the motto for Pop up my Bathroom 2015. The word usually refers to an outdoor swimming pool, but when used in the unusual context of interior design, this borrowing from outdoor culture takes on a whole new meaning. "Frei", or free, becomes synonymous with "freedom", independence and joie de vivre, whilst "Bad" stands for "bath" in the sense of bathroom. "Freibad" is intended to help create broader acceptance for the concept of the barrier-free bathroom.  


Cologne agency FAR_consulting, which has been in charge of the Pop up project on behalf of the German Sanitary Industry Association (VDS) e.V. and Messe Frankfurt Exhibition GmbH since 2009, will develop three bathrooms for different stages of life based on the aspect of barrier-free accessibility. Change is the common thread that connects them all – change in relation to living circumstances, user profiles and the way the bathroom is equipped. Pop up my Bathroom is intended to show how adaptable the bathroom can be if it is based on the principles of universal design. Therefore, it is not so much about disability-friendly features as about creating an "Easy Bathroom" that accompanies its user for a lifetime and remains timelessly attractive.