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Inside | Outside – Pop up my Bathroom defines three long-term trends for bathroom design for the ISH digital 2021

14 Dec 2020

Pop up my Bathroom, the information platform for creative bathroom planning, architecture and design, is kicking off the next bathroom season: for the ISH digital 2021, the communication campaign of the German Sanitary Industry Association (VDS) and Messe Frankfurt is shining a spotlight on the latest trends in bathroom design.

First and foremost, it will be the three trends .Smart Bathroom, .Green Bathroom and .Living Bathroom that will have a lasting impact on the design and implementation of bathrooms over the next few years. With the new motto Inside | Outside, the Pop up my Bathroom initiators are drawing attention to the increasing influence of the innovative technology “behind the wall” in their portrayal of the trends.

What exactly is it that constitutes a modern bathroom? Is it the look or the sanitaryware, the choice of materials or, ultimately, the technology? The truth is: in future, it will be almost impossible to distinguish between the various factors – they are merging into a homogeneous offering with different quality levels. Owners and bathroom designers can set themselves apart from the crowd by opting for professional planning with intelligent zoning, a lifestyle-oriented design, a convenience and comfort bonus or an overall concept geared towards above-average eco-friendliness. More and more, it’s becoming standard practice to equip the bathroom with sustainable and innovative products and technology enhanced with digital features. And over the next few years, it’s precisely concepts like this, which deliver added value via their technical equipment, that will reveal which features can convince customers when implemented on a needs basis.

“When it comes to setting a new quality standard, the new challenges aren’t so much associated with the individual products as with how to connect all the different products intelligently. For the future, we need a new understanding of integration, we need to adopt a holistic approach by trying out cross-system concepts,” explains Jens J. Wischmann, managing director of the German Sanitary Industry Association, summing up the motive behind the new Pop up my Bathroom motto Inside | Outside. As usual, the motto for the VDS trend platform’s presentation of the latest trends has been chosen with the intention of highlighting developments that affect all areas of the sector.

New Pop up my Bathroom motto Inside | Outside. (Source: Karsten Jipp; German Sanitary Industry Association (VDS))
New Pop up my Bathroom motto Inside | Outside. (Source: Karsten Jipp; German Sanitary Industry Association (VDS))

Demand for modernisation and refurbishment in private households, educational facilities and the hospitality sector

If market researchers are to be believed, the property market is facing a long wave of refurbishments over the next few years. The results of a survey conducted on behalf of the German Bathroom Sector Association (VDS) suggest that renewing the bathroom tops the list of planned refurbishments in Germany. According to the findings, 16.7 million Germans are planning to invest in their bathrooms in the near future, and 6.2 million are even planning a complete overhaul. Given this background, the sector’s leading international trade fair, the ISH digital 2021 in Frankfurt, takes on special significance. Product concepts that are specifically intended for refurbishment and modernisation projects could help the sector take full advantage of the dynamism to be found in this market and make more efficient use of it, even when staffing levels are low. “With our Inside | Outside motto, we want to draw attention to the heroes of professional bathroom planning: the invisible products and technologies behind the wall that make holistic bathroom design possible in the first place and are making installation increasingly simple for the tradespeople involved. A modern bathroom is the sum of the innovative products in front of the wall and the intelligent systems and technology behind the wall – and at the ISH digital 2021, we’ll be seeing an abundance of innovative solutions for the booming bathroom refurbishment market,” anticipates Jens J. Wischmann.

The symbiosis of “in front of and behind the wall”: installation systems for private bathroom refurbishment

The more technical and bigger the product, the greater the role specialist trades and wholesale play in the bathroom refurbishment. The various installation systems available from the bathroom industry aim to make refurbishment as simple as possible. Several manufacturers offer pre-wall installations that make new water-carrying products considerably easier to fit, including elements for wall-mounted toilets and shower toilets with optional odour extraction. In addition, pre-wall elements are also available for wall-mounted mixers and showers with a wall drain. There are also elements for washbasins, urinals and bidets, and the industry even offers mounting plates for grab rails and supports for (re-)designing an accessible bathroom.

For the ISH digital 2021, Pop up my Bathroom aims to shine a spotlight on the complexity of building projects that aim to create a lifestyle bathroom – projects that will only result in a harmonious whole when the various trades involved work hand in hand. This interdependency between sanitaryware on the one hand and installation systems for fitting and retrofitting them on the other is also the theme of the communication campaign’s new key visual: no trades, no private spa.

Over the next few months, three Pop up my Bathroom trends will be visualised like the inner workings of a transparent clock. The interlinking of design-oriented and technology-based elements promises to be an interesting approach for architects and bathroom planners alike. The Pop up my Bathroom 2021 campaign is specifically designed to appeal to both target groups – at emotional and professional level.

.Smart Bathroom: innovative technology optimises procedures and routines

Rather than showing the bathroom of a distant future, Pop up my Bathroom portrays the Smart Bathroom equipped with the technical possibilities of our time. Combining products that are already on the market can result in an exemplary .Smart Bathroom – with a mirror that doubles as an information centre, smart controls for water applications (shower etc), app-controlled shower toilets, UV-based hygiene functions, an intelligent lighting control system and touchless technologies.

.Green Bathroom: sustainable products, new designs and new material options combine resource conservation with a sense of being close to nature

The .Green Bathroom is an evergreen that’s playing an increasingly important role for the sector. But the way to a sustainable bathroom isn’t only paved with highly complex technical products and state-of-the-art technologies; products made of natural materials that can be used for many years to come also play a vital role. The .Green Bathroom is a future concept that strives for the optimal combination of smart, water-saving and energy-saving products, eco-friendly industrial production, sustainable materials and enduring design – while simultaneously conveying a sense of being in touch with nature.

.Living Bathroom: the bathroom is increasingly becoming a lifestyle space

The .Living Bathroom is a response to the still-growing demand for an individual, comfortable and cosy wellness retreat in one’s own four walls. The bathroom has undergone a continuous upgrade in recent years. Cosiness, zeitgeist, fashion and style are very much in demand as the cornerstones of a professionally planned bathroom, as are modern usage concepts that enhance the quality of the space and permit health-related activities. The .Living Bathroom features more furniture and more fabrics, is more flexible and more attractive – and there’s no shortage of old bathrooms that are waiting to be kissed awake.

The coolest bathroom showcase on the web: relaunch of the website and expansion of social media activities

Pop up my Bathroom aims to give bathroom planners, architects, interior designers and trend researchers, as well as industry, wholesale and the trades, new ideas and inspiration for modern bathroom design and the possibilities it holds for the bathroom culture of an individualistic society. After a comprehensive relaunch of the site, visitors will find a huge treasure trove of bathroom-related reference projects and an up-to-the-minute overview of trends, materials and new products. The expansion of the digital bathroom showcase to the social web is also meeting with a very positive response on Instagram: what is perhaps the coolest bathroom showcase on the net benefits greatly from the journalistic editing of the content and is growing continuously. “With 1 million views this year, our neutral and ad-free Pop up my Bathroom platform is heading for a new record. And about one-third of visitors to the site come from outside Germany,” says Jens J. Wischmann.

Cosiness, sustainability and smartness: Pop up my Bathroom becomes the information hub for The Bathroom Experience

The outlook for the future of the bathroom is a platform-based installation system for customisable design solutions with very different areas of focus – and the systemic approach of understanding the bathroom as a holistic planning project has a key role to play in that. As a shop window for products that are installed both in front of and behind the wall, the ISH digital 2021 will reflect this outlook. Besides expanding the website into a central information hub for bathroom planners and architects, the VDS also sees the publication of press releases via Pop up my Bathroom’s digital press centre as a supporting function for both the sector and the ISH. “Pop up my Bathroom will definitely take on a special role in the ISH digital 2021 because it already has a big community that we can build on, so to speak. For the ISH digital 2021 we’ll be focusing on three important trend topics in The Bathroom Experience. In the next few years, cosiness, sustainability and smartness will be the three themes that shape tomorrow’s bathroom – that’s why we want to point the way with our Pop up my Bathroom campaign,” says Jens J. Wischmann of the trend platform’s role in the ISH digital 2021.

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Background information on Messe Frankfurt

Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. The Messe Frankfurt Group employs around 2,500* people in a total of 30 subsidiaries. The company generated annual sales of approximately €250* million in 2020. Even in difficult times caused by the coronavirus pandemic, we are globally networked with our industry sectors. We have close ties with our industry sectors and serve our customers’ business interests efficiently within the framework of our Fairs & Events, Locations and Services business fields. One of the Group’s key USPs is its closely knit global sales network, which extends throughout the world. Our comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. We are expanding our digital expertise with new business models. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. Headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).

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* preliminary figures 2020