People are spending more time in the bathroom to relax, recreate and get a sense of well-being. Dr Nicholas Matten, Hansgrohe AG, in a tete' a tete' with Priya Rajendran about some hot new bathroom trends.
What is your (company) concept of sanitary ware about?
Hansgrohe is about design, innovation and sustainability for showers and mixers in the bathroom and kitchen. It strives to offer solutions that excite the consumers, offer unique benefits and give trade customers new opportunities to generate business.
Hansgrohe believes that the bathrooms are now undergoing a change, from a purely functional place for ablutions to a wellness space designed to take care of body, mind and soul. People are spending more time in the bathroom once again, not merely for reasons of hygiene, but to relax, recreate and get a sense of well-being. This makes the bathroom a fundamental part of individual living. Replacing conventional and rather banal interior design concepts with their standardized simple mindedness is the desire for more diverse yet harmonious space solutions that go beyond the individual product.
Does your brand marry new technology with water conservation?
Yes, since 1901! For Hansgrohe, water is the core matter. Hansgrohe strives to manufacture perfect mixers and showers which make people aware of the value of water and which remind people to have respect for this most primal of elements. The main question is how to improve the use of water in all our activities -from mixing and controlling to recycling water.
Therefore, all Hansgrohe mixers and showers are either equipped as a standard with water saving technology or are available as so-called eco versions with reduced flow. Since Hansgrohe is active in all parts of the World, including countries who have long ago adopted strictest standards for water saving, it is part of Hansgrohe's daily business to combine technology and water conservation. Hansgrohe's Air Power technology enables to make large showers that consume 30 per cent less water than competitive products of the same size.
Using Hansgrohe's EcoSmart Technology a little water can be transformed into a whole lot of water! Each wash basin mixer and tap from Hansgrohe is equipped as a standard with an EcoSmart aerator which automatically limits the maximum flow to 7.2 l/min, independent of water pressure and how far you open up the tap.
Who is your target audience?
Hansgrohe is targeting architects working on high end projects for super luxury market, hotels etc, interior designers who want to be exposed to the latest ideas of 5 of the 25 top designers in the World. Their ideas are implemented in the broadest collections of the industry under Hansgrohe's AXOR brand. Also, any consumer who wants the best value for money over the full lifecycle of a product is a potential customer for Hansgrohe.
Some new trends in sanitary ware that caught your eye...
After the bold designs and the minimalist designs, the trend shifted towards Classic style, the one which reminds us of our nostalgic past, gives us the feeling of belonging. The new trend emerging is what is called in design language as "eclectic", very beautifully depicted in the new Axor collection by a Spanish Designer Patricia Urquiola. She is inspired by people and their changing desires.
She believes that our private living space is the mirror of personality, a charming fusion of different styles objects, of memories and emotions. This fluidity & fusion of personal styles is the foundation of the new Axor Urquiola collection, a far cry from traditional norms, conventions & rigid structures. Her design is the celebration of detail, variety, sensuality and vibrant energy. With Axor Urquiola, the line between bathroom & living area, between today and tomorrow becomes fluid. This collection offers an invigorating freedom that awakens our senses - every day anew.
Another interesting trend was giving products a bimaterial look, a combination of traditional chrome with pure white. Poetic, pureness and clarity of design. This is where we experience water, the flowing source of relaxation and the color white, in all its beauty and brightness. White represents freshness and delightful purity - to be cherished everyday anew.
World's premier design studio, Phoenix Design collaborated with Hansgrohe on the development of a brand new, lively, flowing design language for the 'PuraVida' fittings and shower program. The products instead of geometric precision and pure shapes are notable for their soft, gently rounded lines and their quiet naturalness.
The PuraVida products are given a bimaterial look that adds a white-and-chrome contrast to the interplay between the contrasts. This dual-finish principle is expressed in the interplay between organically shaped lacquered undersides in a clear white, which then changes to generously dimensioned high gloss areas. The harmony of every element in this collection is obvious from the first glance. The distinctive PuraVida design is visible in every single detail - Serene, Harmonious, Pure.
What do you think is the future of the sanitaryware in India?
India is clearly following the main trends of the international markets and is very fast to adapt to the latest concepts. Due to the increasing spending power and the willingness to "pamper themselves", Indian consumers are more and more focusing on the bathroom as a living space. The importance of the bathroom will undoubtedly increase over the next years.
What is the global reach of Hansgrohe?
Hansgrohe is a global company with nine manufacturing locations on three continents and is globally present through sales and distribution partners and own subsidiaries. The company has been setting trends in the bathroom for over 100 years.
Hansgrohe AG with its four brands, that are active in all continents - a true global player. Hansgrohe serves customers in over 100 countries through over 30 subsidiaries and nine manufacturing facilities around the globe. It has been active in the Indian market since 1999 in cooperation with Jaquar Mercantile Ltd, a leading national manufacturer of bathroom fittings and one of the few super brands in India.