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Tis is a question of the creative process

responding to the imperative of creating sensual spaces. What do we need in order to feel in the moment? In the bathroom, one can experience

a space though the five senses and all the pores of the skin. We absorb the totality of spatial experience in this state of physical and emotional nakedness. It is a place where we come to terms with our humanity. Architecturally speaking, this does not mean

we should make a cathedral of our bathroom. We can create experiences that are as soothing as a gentle summer rain and as invigorating as a swim in a cool pond. Tese experiences rely on sound, light and temperature (of air and water). We can create the semblance of these experiences to touch all the senses. Tis is precisely where the future needs to answer the present. It is not a question of luxury, but of

functional human necessity. A good and balanced state of mind can make one a better version of themselves in all aspects of life. So much digital life is driving us out of our own skin into a mind-scape that is devoid of true sensation. We know it’s coming. Virtual Reality

allows us to visualise spaces and objects stereoscopically and to play at living. Te key word is visualise – the other senses are negated, and with it, the potential for a fully human experience. Technology must serve but not replace. Woody Allen nails it when he says: ‘I hate reality but it’s still the best place to get a good steak.’ It is a common experience that our best

ideas happen in the shower, and there is a scientific basis for this phenomenon. A pleasurable experience releases dopamine,

44 GS Magazine

which drive creativity. Te relaxed state allows the mind to wander, freely making connections faster than a supercomputer. Te sensual distraction of random water droplets frees the mind and lets the sub-conscious work. Te state of reality presented by a sensual, relaxing experience can bring us in closer contact with our inner world, which is the sum of all we have learned and lived. Tis state of internal life is much needed in these times of outwardly focused existence. Te bathroom of the future must be the

supporting backdrop of a calm state of mind. It should sense your presence; know what time of day it is, know what day of the week it is, and whether you are working too late, or going on holiday. It should respond to your voice commands and even sense an argument over the toothpaste with your partner. Te bathroom should be a space that allows

an effortless existence, where all things are in their place and out of sight. Te immaterial functions of space should be heightened by an array of scents, sounds, and lighting that responds and changes according to the time of day and your activity. Tis does not suggest a hyper-real tron-like space. Te materiality provides a specific balance with these sensual cues to provide a corresponding spatial identity that could lie anywhere along the spectrum between raw physicality to pure ethereality. Te bathroom, as a created space, must serve the trinity of human needs: Te physical, the psychological and the emotional. Whilst we regard the bathroom as a

machine-like necessity, we could rather connect the bathroom experience to the vivid enjoyment of nature. In the book, In Praise of Shadows, Tanizaki writes: ‘Te toilet is the perfect place to listen to the chirping of insects

or the song of the birds, to view the moon, or to enjoy any of those poignant moments that mark the change of seasons. Here, I suspect, is where haiku poets over the ages have come by a great many of their ideas.’ Te modern bathroom might just be the

place that ignites poetry to come. It is, after all, where the day begins, and the day ends.

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