I was reading an interesting article with bright shiny pictures recently that I found really impressive. The art in the pictures was big and bold with interesting textures and an off the wall modern feel. Some of the sculptural pieces had an interactive feel to them with jets of water that sprayed up or trickled down like rain or waterfalls. All in all, it was a lovely installation of art ... except it wasn't, it was a bathroom.
Some of the products that have emerged in the last few years in the area of bathroom design are utterly gorgeous. The big, solid, freestanding carved marble washstands look like pieces of abstract sculpture with water elements. The minimalist showers with glass tile mosaics and rain shower look more like elegant water fountains than places to wash in the morning. They're big and bold and innovative.
For those that have the money to spend on such unique works of functional art, there is a lot of interesting pieces out there to choose from. Pretty much any item that you'd find in a bathroom you can find in a sculptural version. There are carved stone varieties, sculptural porcelain, ceramic, glass, bronze. Due to the fine quality of many of these items as well as the vast quantity of some of them, many of these items are quite pricey however.
For those of us who're used to a far simpler form of washroom though, I can see that some culture shock could be inevitable if one found themselves in such a facility.
The downside that I can see to some of these fixtures and designs is what I like to call "The Seashell Experience". Consider the movie Demolition Man; for anyone who doesn't remember that particularly stunning piece of film history, the main character is woken up after spending 40 years in suspended animation and quickly discovers that the future that he has awakened into has evolved new bathroom fixtures that he doesn't understand how to use. The only clue being a set of three seashell-shaped fixtures where the toilet paper should be. At least he comes out and admits that he doesn't understand the process; how many of the rest of us would just spend the afternoon fiddling with the controls, too embarrassed to come out?
After reading through some of the sculptural design articles, I worry a little about finding myself in one of these gorgeously decorated bathrooms and not knowing how to turn on the water or flush the toilet but I suppose that as long as no one mistakes a stylish and dramatic piece of art for the commode it's all good.
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