Uncovering Future Trends in Bathroom Spaces

Project Brief

With the times that are changing, spaces, and homes are evolving as well. Bathrooms have now become integral parts of homes — becoming spaces of recreation, as well as spheres in which time in a home is spent. For Kohler, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of home products, Quicksand investigated the bathroom of the future, specifically through research into middle and upper class homes in three Indian cities. We discovered that the new homeowner had specific, but simple demands for what they wanted from a bathroom. Once this new bathroom had been identified, Quicksand aimed to give Kohler a view of what opportunities they could foresee in them.

On our walks through homes, we found that wellness trends, changing family structures and the influx of global aesthetic all had an effect on evolved bathrooms. We studied these spaces with care, saw them as extensions of the personalities of their owners, and identified key behaviours and interests amongst our respondents. The bathroom in a home presented itself replete with stories and aesthetic cues, that we presented as a site for potential creativity and innovation.

While efficiency and minimalism was abound, the modern Indian bathroom did not dismiss a traditional aesthetic. The homes and hotels we witnessed did not dispose of Indianisms, but merged expressive colours with efficient and new uses of space. But most evident was a global awareness — a strong presence of other cultures, an evolution in the way bathrooms were treated in an overall space.

Through a co-creation workshop and numerous exchanges with the marketing, design and engineering teams we presented  learnings from our in-depth research to Kohler. With a design-led approach for thinking about what the future of Indian bathrooms could be, we seeked to instil a spirit of futures thinking and design fiction into various phases of the project. This allowed us to use speculative storytelling as a tool to bring alive some future scenarios rooted in real conversations with present homeowners. In this way, providing for Kohler a solid base with which to tackle future endeavours in the envisioning of products.

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