Techno Bathrooms - Technology for the bathroom


Technology and bathrooms, is it shaping the modern day bathroom? is it creating trends for the modern day bathroom? how has technology sharped history in the bathroom? Well this post will cover it in a nutshell; 16 Years ago Simona and Darren set out to create a luxury bathroom brand and technology played a huge part in our past and it plays a massive part of our future. 



16 Years ago we decided to leave gainful employment to pursue our vision, a vision that was born from a single 3D CAD image. When we set out 16 years ago technology was not a big part of luxury bathrooms, luxury was seen as size, location and the use of marble.  

Fast forward to today and this is our team, over last 4 years in particular we have grown rapidly - our aim is to develop youth taking young students as they complete there training. Thru technology and our experience we have developed a proven system to deliver amazing results for our clients. 

We are a 3D CAD design studio, every client gets the opportunity to see their proposed new kitchen or bathroom design in true 3D CAD with all textures applied, lighting as it would be allowing the client to make informed and educated decisions about their project long before a hammer has been swung.  


A few examples or our most viewed and know bathroom projects. 


Our Dover Heights project has taken out International Design Awards as well as meany local accolades

Clovelly bathroom - Australian Bathroom Design of the Year 2016

Technology shaped this space but not thru gadget more thru development of materials



Technology is shaping the world but when we think technology we instantly think gadget right? no wrong, technology has changed the landscape of the modern Australian bathroom for ever. Thru CAD and engineering we are seeing technology shape materials and product design more than ever and of coarse we are seeing CAD design shape client decisions and designer guidance more than ever - heck we can even walk thru our spaces before they are built in full 3D! We use our smart phones to search images and trends from every pocket f the globe...

Before we get into how tech is shaping the modern bathroom we should go back and see how tech has shaped the last 150 years of the Australian bathroom. 

So lets start at the 19th century, the bathroom was considered the "ugly room" it was the ugliest room of any home, there was no running water, no lights, no sewerage and most defiantly no hot water.  


Out Room – The bathroom had no running water, the bath had to be filled with water heated from the stove top and the toilet was located in the rear of the yard. Washing was done only a few times a week.



Published in the late 19th Century the bathroom was suddenly seen as means to preserving health and enhancing the beauty of a individual – Although there was no hot water for the shower it was considered that a good breakfast would get you though the shock of a cold shower. The morning shower was designed to refresh & stimulate, the weekly bath (usually at night) was to relax and cleanse.

As the century turned there was a change of thought. 



1920 - THE Bathroom moves inside
The bathroom moved inside, the bathrooms where mainly white with with a nice border tile. Chrome became popular from your standard raw brass tapware.


1930 - Hot Water
Gas and Electric hot water systems are introduced to most homes. Advertisements begun to depict this relaxation thought our greater connection to water and it's benefits begins


1930 - Colour – A new era begins as the bathroom becomes a space with luxuries such as hot water. With companies such as Kohler pushing the boundaries of colour to push the consumer to this bolder new future



Everything that is old is new again – Check out the colours in this image. Pantone Colour of the Year 2016 was Rose Quartz and 2015 was Marsala. Typical features of the period is contrasting colours accents, vanity units began, showers over baths with no glass screens are the general go. 


1950 Mid Century
The beginning of a new era, the war was over and home making become a serious business – the modernist movement began so did a new found interest and commitment to design. This is the first time a bathroom featured on the cover of any lifestyle magazines here in Australia. 

1970's - Toilets 
New Prime Minister Gough Whitlam announces that the toilet is moving inside and all homes will have flushing sewerage and check out the colour selections of the humble toilet. 



1970's Things are getting bold – The seventies will be remembered for its free love, hair down and party freedom but the bathroom aesthetic changed dramatically in this period. History will be for ever changed when we see images like the next one with carpet in the bathroom we can understand why...what were they thinking!



 Those Curtains – the freedom of speech and free love…sorry i had to share it is very hard to un-see this image :) !



1974 - Pilkington Creates float glass, the consistent thickness and affordable manufacturing process is developed, hello shower screens!


1980 Dual Flush Toilets are invented in Australia by Caroma and the World goes crazy for them. Saving thousands of litres per toilet, per year - it even eliminated the 1970s saying "if its yellow let it mellow, if its brown flush it down"



1985 Warm Feet life's little luxuries start to develop. 



1990 - SPA Bathrooms have increased in sized and there is a flood of oversized spa baths taking over the suburban home.


A Small thing called the World Wide Web hits computers around the world, making the globe a smaller place. 23rd August 1991 Berners Lee launches the first web site to showcase his services - Initially launched so academics could retrieve data easily. People like Elon Musk - Steve Jobs and Bill Gates sore something different
2001 Minosa
We set out on our adventure (check us out) to solve the worlds problems, one bathroom at a time; A overnight success that as taken 16 years in the making. In 2001 as a direct response to water restrictions we developed our first washbasin - The Puddle. Before WELS we develop a system to reduce household water consumption and to push the change to the bathroom aesthetic.


2004 Freestanding Baths
This new style of bathtub takes the modern bathroom in Australia by storm.



Facebook in 10 years has defined a generation and shaped the social scene like never before. Currently 16 million users in Australia which has shaped the way we interact with each other and the way we consume information. 



WELS Water Efficiency Labelling System - Tapware has to now perform to a mandatory level of litres per minute to be eligible for sale in Australia. Prior to this date tapware at the average hand basin was running at 25 to 30 litres per minute! A crazy thought really, now we are running on average at 4 to 6 litres per minute. 

2007 Apple and Steve Jobs change history forever, the iPhone is released with more computing power in our pockets than what NASA had when America landed on the moon in 1980, we have never been more connected to the world and information is only a Google away. 

Social Media has changed the landscape for so much of our daily life, our lifestyles and it can even influence trends. Here a few stats to back this up

What happens in 60 Sec on Social media


Check out the Penetration of Internet users and Active Social Media users here in Australia to the rest of the worlds, we LOVE digital and Social Media 

So that is our short history lesson, so lets look to the future. 

With open plan living so big in Australia, we are starting to think, hey the bathroom is the only room in the house i get to myself...it is personal, it is indulgent it is all about you!

WARNING - THE JETSON'S ARE COMING.

Launched 23rd September 1963

Smart toilets are a thing folks, yes they come with seat warmers, feet warmers, music, there own PAD controller and a host of other features! Check out this Vid form Kohler. 




Micro LED is a computer chip that will burn for 60,000 human hours and is 1mm thin.


Advancements in LED technology has allowed us to make spaces feel warmer and more calming to be in; for so long we have been reliant on direct lighting i.e downlights to light a room but this is a very very poor way to light a space as the light is very harsh and there is a lot of glare. As LED gets more powerful and stable over a longer period of time we can use it to reflect light so the light levels are more even and balanced in a space....making them much nicer to be in. 



 For so long we have really had only one material for basins, ceramic - this whilst serving its purpose was a good material it does have a shelf life as the glaze will at some point wear out. Material advancements thru the use of Technology such as Corian, Staron and other acrylic materials and with the advancements in CAD CAM we are creating all kinds of wonderful shapes for the bathroom hand basin and they in some cases can be made form a single piece of material so there is no silicon joint. I can here you say YES as i type. 

By reducing the waterflow (WELS Labelling) coming from your tapware it means basins do not have to be so deep, they can in fact be very shallow so this changes habit also. Instead of filling a basin full of water to shave lets say, you can leave the water running so you are cleaning the blade not splashing around in dirty water.  A lot of basins coming out of Europe now do not have plugs, they are free flowing wash basins. 

Here we see the combination of CAD CAM, LED lighting and material advancements all moulded as one amazing solution. You can paint the front any colour you like, the light can be any colour you like.  



The humble bathroom vanity is taking bold new steps thanks to CAD CAM and market demand. As we search more and more thru our Social Media and get inspiration from all parts of the globe we are seeing the bathroom vanity change its name; it is now bathroom furniture. We want these furniture pieces to be better looking, better organised and made better so they last longer. 


Technological advances in mechanisms mean the traditional shaving cabinet cab redesigned to be more functional and practical for everyday use. 

Drawers that open by touching the face completely handle free allows a change of thinking. The waste pipe dominates any drawer or vanity when the drawer is placed under the sink. 







The shape of tapware has changed and this can only happing thru manufacturing techniques, machinery and the ability to create these amazing shapes thru Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Manufacture CAD CAM



We have all seen the way Black Tapware has come over the market place but in a lot of the cases the Powder Coat finish of the black taps (over a longer period of time) will not last the test of time. Now with PVD or Physical Vapor Deposition this is changing, basically this is a process that takes the material from a condensed phase to a film and is then vacuumed onto the brass or stainless steel.



 Like basins baths are breaking the mould; material advancements and CAD CAM really are shaping the future of the bathtub. We have seen over the years the freestanding bath take real shape in the Australian Bathroom landscape and now the design of these statement pieces is really progressing and pushing new boundaries.




Some of us start the day here. others end the day here hey some even do both and as the shower experience evolves i think i could become a two shower a day type of person to. 

Built in turbines allow you to generate your own electricity as you use the shower




I was going to do a topic on Tiles but we feel this is a area that has really transformed with all of the above technological advances we have mentioned above; Tiles have gone from micro mosaic to large format tile sheet of 3000mm x 1000mm and in some cases even larger. These sheets come in various thickness's ranging from 3.5 mm, 6mm, 10 mm and beyond. 


These large format sheets (thanks to printing techniques and graphic design) are reproducing nature with startling effect and the texture of them will blow you away. This is where we are seeing big advancements at the moment, pattern repeats (less of them i.e more random) and texture so they actually feel more like the real deal. 




If we had a dollar for every time we have heard i hate grout we would have a very good stash by now. Large format sheets are making people very happy, they are difficult to lay without the right equipment but get a good installer with the right tools and you will be amazed at how easy it can be. 


Printing technology and graphic design are making some really amazing tiles that almost resemble wall paper, with lets say four tiles in a series the patterns and options are almost endless giving each new bathroom design a almost unique bespoke feel.


Small is still big, these micro mosaics are awesome! but only when finished of with a epoxy grout. Tilers will hate you (they will get over it) when applying Epoxy but believe us when we say you will not regret this if you are using small tiles. See Epoxy grout once dry it is impervious to water, which means no mould. If the water can not penetrate the grout (like standard gout) Then mould will not form and it is very very easy to clean. 


We feel this is one area that we are going to see the biggest tech change to the bathroom in the coming years as touch screen technology makes more advancements. Don't be surprised if your vanity mirror has a little or big touch screen integrated into it so whilst you are getting ready you can stay in-touch with your world. 


Switchable glass means we can have larger windows facing views or space and then gain privacy when needed. 





VR - Virtual Reality is here and it is here to stay, this will change the industry and how we present and engage with our clients. We are already using this technology in our studio and it is unbelievable how quickly a client can understand our design once they have stepped inside the room and experienced the bathroom design in full colour, full texture with all of the lighting, 


Thanks for taking the time to read thru our thoughts, i hope you have taken something out of this, we would love to hear your thoughts - this was a lot of fun to put together and it was a blast presenting it live to the KBDI (Kitchen & Bathroom Designers Institute) In Adelaide in August. 


The Modern Bathroom is a changing place, Technology is playing it's part to shape our bathroom experience and the design and function of the bathroom. 

 

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