Transformative Spaces: Dornbracht initiates cooperation project with Technical University of Applied Sciences Augsburg

Iserlohn, 23 May 2024

Creative dialogue with Technical University of Applied Sciences Augsburg: As part of a joint project, Dornbracht invited students from the Interactive Media and Transformation Design degree programmes to rediscover the bathroom as a transformative space during the winter semester 2023/2024. The results of this process are inspiring design concepts that combine both virtual and physical experiences.

New perspectives on changing realities
Today’s younger generations face fundamentally different realities of life. In order to shape a sustainable future, it is therefore crucial to gain an understanding of their imaginative conceptions and explore their creative wealth of ideas. This prompted Dornbracht to give young designers from Technical University of Applied Sciences Augsburg a stage for their own visions. This exchange provided fascinating insights that reveal new perspectives and influence future innovation processes.

The project kicked off with the students questioning established concepts of space and materials, through the experimental use of artificial intelligence as well as augmented and virtual reality. The bathroom was conceived as a place of retreat, a haven of physical and mental regeneration. The students explored personalised elements to convey a sense of security and safety. The idea was that the space itself should adapt to the changing requirements, moods and routines of bathroom users. Gradually, this gave way to a wide range of approaches that integrated both the transformation of materials and shapes as well as the dynamic change of surroundings as a guiding theme.

In perpetual flow: transformative ideas for the bathroom of the future
Several outstanding concepts have emerged from the project. Shifting Sink is an interactive, kinetic sink that can assume different shapes depending on specified mood parameters. The series of honeycomb-shaped components that make up the washbasin originate from a 3D printer and provide a unique sensory experience for users.

For Living Tiles, on the other hand, the properties of classic bathroom tiles were enhanced with an auditory and visual element. Artificial intelligence created abstract, translucent shapes, which were then materialised using 3D printing. Animations are subsequently projected onto the tiles to bring them to life.

Eco Arc focuses on the integration of organic components in the bathroom and nurtures the return of nature to human-made spaces. A cube-shaped wooden frame serves as a classic bathroom module, but is filled with moss, soil and seeds. A time lapse is used to visualise how the plants thrive and grow freely in the space, forming a connection with their surrounding.

The Transformative Spaces project thus becomes an insightful exposition that combines technology, nature and customisation to offer new perspectives on established bathroom architecture and hygiene rituals. The approaches turn away from static components, create new sensory stimuli with the help of movement, sound or light and thus offer an immersive experience in the bathroom in harmony with the moods and emotional states of its users.

Fascinating practical experience for the students, inspiration for Dornbracht
In reference to the project, Dornbracht CEO Stefan Gesing states: “Dialogue with third parties is inherent to Dornbracht’s DNA and offers an indispensable tool for questioning the status quo of architecture and design. The collaboration with students at Technical University of Applied Sciences Augsburg proves this once again. I am deeply impressed by the wealth of ideas, creativity and openness that the students greeted us with.” Professor Andreas Muxel, who supported the project together with his colleague Professor Alessandra Zarcone, adds: “Dealing with real issues is particularly motivating for the students. I can’t wait to see how their ideas will be reflected in the bathroom of the future. Serving both to inspire and be inspired, this collaboration was enriching for everyone involved.”

The focus of the module was not only on the end result, but above all on the process itself – the moments of mutual inspiration, the exploration of possibilities and the joint exchange during progress huddles and the presentation of results in Augsburg. For the students, the project provided important practical experience; for Dornbracht, an inspiring dialogue with budding creatives. Alongside Dornbracht and the Technical University of Applied Sciences Augsburg, the creative agency Meiré und Meiré was also involved. Professor Andreas Muxel and Professor Alessandra Zarcone were among the professors responsible for the project. The students involved were Catharina Bierl, Christian Frey, Gina-Maria Gioia, Timo Holzmann, Lucilia Metzer, Andreas Outos, Bastian Rögele, Oliver Schunn, Lisa Schwabe and Dorian Spiegelhauer.

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