Pop up my Bathroom Atelier: trends and trade fair highlights at the ISH 2015’s well-attended lecture programme
The latest trend developments in bathroom design – that was the main topic at this year’s Pop up my Bathroom Atelier trend forum at the ISH 2015, the international trade fair for the bathroom experience that took place in Frankfurt from 10-14 March. And as announced, the programme – which was held in two languages – didn’t just provide informative lectures and fascinating panel discussions; it also led to some intense debates and talks that went beyond the scope of the actual presentations.
The programme made an impact right from the start: opening speaker Zuzanna Skalska, who gave a presentation about ISH partner country Poland, was amazed when two camera teams from Polish public television set about recording her contribution. And the first day provided plenty of other fascinating insights into trending topics such as age-friendly design, barrier-free accessibility, universal design and the KfW development programme. This selection of themes met with broad-based interest from the audience and led to a number of sometimes impassioned debates.
These topics were joined by the theme of health, which was explored from various perspectives. Besides finding out about design-related options, ambitious bathroom planners and architects were able to get tips straight from the experts on how the private bathroom can be used as a health centre.
“We’re particularly keen to give the relevant professionals ideas for reinterpreting the bathroom in new ways,” says Jens J. Wischmann, Managing Director of the German Sanitary Industry Association (Vereinigung Deutsche Sanitärwirtschaft e.V. [VDS]), and thus the organiser behind the Pop up my Bathroom Atelier. “Besides the unconventional and forward-thinking scenarios we develop for Pop up, that also includes sharing concrete information and experiences as we do at the trend forum.”
During the events moderated by Lars Mörs (far.consulting), the bathroom of the future was an ever-present theme – regardless of whether the lectures focused on digitisation, current trend developments, smart bathrooms, futuristic design or social aspects. In addition, the presentations of trend studies were amongst the top themes with the audience, and the in-depth contributions on trend topics such as colour or light met with lively interest too.
Accordingly, the daily trend lecture by design journalist Frank A. Reinhardt proved very popular as well: besides providing an overview of the latest trend developments in the sector, he also gave a prognosis that included the prospect of an enlarged footprint for new and remodelled bathrooms. “It’s not just that demographic change calls for more spacious layouts with more freedom of movement; the growing expectations of consumers and the comfortable, convenient bathroom furnishings and equipment with additional usage options now available from the industry indicate that this is what will happen as well,” argues Frank A. Reinhardt. His message to architects: “The floor area has to be compatible with the furnishing culture. Nowadays a lot of people see the bathroom as living space where they enjoy spending time, taking care of themselves or keeping fit. When it comes to choosing contemporary housing, consumers will be less and less willing to compromise by accepting an undersized bathroom that provides no scope whatsoever for this kind of usage.”
With a total audience of more than 1,000 visitors – which corresponds to average capacity utilisation of over 90 percent – the “Pop up my Bathroom” trend forum at the ISH 2015 was a complete success. It provides the participating companies with an attractive communication platform that goes beyond the presentation of new products and promotional events. But the trend forum also enables the international audience of trade professionals to gain different perspectives and serves as a source of ideas and inspiration.
“The good attendance figures show that ambitious bathroom planners and architects are extremely interested in improving their credentials in relation to the latest developments,” sums up Jens J. Wischmann. “We would like to thank the many speakers and companies from the sanitary industry who supported us with some extremely interesting presentations and panel discussions. With our Bathroom Academy and regularly held Bathroom Forum, we aim to provide sound, trend-based training between the ISH years as well.”