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Tap For More: Architects talk futuristic design with Andreas Diefenbach

Architects discuss challenges, solutions, and ideas on smart bath fittings with Andreas Diefenbach at Tap for More, curated by STIR in partnership with Intersekt and Hansgrohe.

by Zohra Khan Nov 19, 2019

Architects and designers are meant to create spaces that are efficient, experiential, and aesthetic. Yet they are restricted by what is on offer, what sits in a catalogue, and what the shelves hold.

Where bathroom spaces are concerned, there is often a dichotomy between the experience that the client wants, how the designer intends to achieve it, and what is feasible to be executed on ground.

02 min watch A glimpse from the stimulating session discussing the greatest challenges and design concerns pertaining to the current available selection of sanitary fittings | Tap for more | Intersekt| STIRworld
A peek into the stimulating session discussing the greatest challenges and design concerns pertaining to the current available selection of sanitary fittings Video Credit: Courtesy of STIR

STIR, in partnership with Intersekt and Hansgrohe, curated Tap for More – a stimulating session with award-winning design innovator Andreas Diefenbach – to address the greatest challenges pertaining to the current available selection of sanitary fittings and how these can be conquered by design interventions. Select Indian architects were invited to elaborate on concepts illustrating the design requirements they seek in these products, suggesting trends that they would like to see shaping up, and how they would like technology to frame the future for a more sustainable and smarter bath lifestyle. Five most pertinent entries were chosen by a panel comprising leadership from Hansgrohe, Intersekt and STIR, and discussed as key subjects during the event held at the Intersekt studio in New Delhi.

  • Andreas Diefenbach, Archana van Gils, Aanchal Chaudhary in a conversation during the event | Tap for more | Intersekt| STIRworld
    Andreas Diefenbach, Archana van Gils and Aanchal Chaudhary in a conversation during the event Image Credit: Courtesy of Intersekt
  • | Shruti Dimri (Principal, Anagram Architects) and Mrinalini Ghadiok  | Tap for more | Intersekt| STIRworld
    Shruti Dimri (Principal, Anagram Architects) and Mrinalini Ghadiok Image Credit: Courtesy of Intersekt

The highlight was that each of the five participants articulated their proposals with Diefenbach, the Managing Partner at Stuttgart-based Phoenix Design. The designer, who has created Hansgrohe’s expert range of sanitary fittings, discussed the many challenges and ideas at the session, moderated by Mrinalini Ghadiok (Editor, STIR) in the presence of Hansgrohe leadership Gregory Crouzeix (Managing Director, Hansgrohe Singapore and Head of Sales, Asia Pacific) and Gaurav Malhotra (Managing Director, Hansgrohe India), as well as Amit Gupta (Founder, Curator, Content Director, STIR) and Ridhi and Vidur Arora (Co-founders, Intersekt).

  • Designer Andreas Diefenbach | Tap for more | Intersekt| STIRworld
    Designer Andreas Diefenbach Image Credit: Courtesy of Intersekt
  • Andreas Diefenbach sketching the details of Hansgrohe fittings| Tap for more | Intersekt| STIRworld
    Andreas Diefenbach sketching the details of Hansgrohe fittings Image Credit: Courtesy of Intersekt
  • Raman Arora  (Managing Director, Intersekt) and Gaurav Malhotra (Managing Director, Hansgrohe India) | Tap for more | Intersekt| STIRworld
    Raman Arora (Managing Director, Intersekt) and Gaurav Malhotra (Managing Director, Hansgrohe India) Image Credit: Courtesy of Intersekt
  • Vidur Arora (Co-Founder, Intesekt) addressing the audience | Tap for more | Intersekt| STIRworld
    Vidur Arora (Co-Founder, Intesekt) addressing the audience Image Credit: Courtesy of Intersekt
  • Andreas Diefenbach, Gregory Crouzeix (Managing Director, Hansgrohe Singapore and Head of Sales, Asia Pacific) | Tap for more | Intersekt| STIRworld
    Andreas Diefenbach and Gregory Crouzeix (Managing Director, Hansgrohe Singapore and Head of Sales, Asia Pacific) Image Credit: Courtesy of Intersekt

The line-up of selected architects included Deepanjali Chawla (Visarg Design Studio), Aparna Kaushik, Aanchal Chaudhary (Ankay Design), Anil Singh (We Design) and Dinesh Panwar (Urbanscape Architects), each sharing a refreshing perspective on the limitations at hand and their vision for the future.

Tap for luxury without guilt

Chawla floated an idea titled Guilt! of a sustainable kind, connecting the common association of showers with luxurious long baths. "Maybe a fitting that allows separate settings for a short and crisp workday bath, or a lingering, luxurious weekend one,” she suggested.

Deepanjali Chawla (Visarg Design Studio) floated the idea Guilt! of a sustainable kind connecting the common idea of showers with luxurious long baths | Tap for more | Intersekt| STIRworld
Deepanjali Chawla (Visarg Design Studio) floated the idea Guilt! of a sustainable kind connecting the common idea of showers with luxurious long baths Image Credit: Courtesy of Intersekt

Tap for sustainability

Chaudhary said that users today are environmentally conscious and ask for facilities that go beyond the aesthetic and functional purpose of the bathroom fittings, from water saving and hard-water scaling prevention to built-in temperature control and many more. “It is a big challenge now that the fittings and the fixtures that we choose for the clients have to be environmentally conscious,” she pointed out.

Aanchal Chaudhary (Ankay Design) remarked that clients today are environmentally conscious and ask for facilities other than aesthetic and functionality| Tap for more | Intersekt| STIRworld
Aanchal Chaudhary (Ankay Design) remarked that clients today are environmentally conscious and ask for facilities that are more than aesthetic and functional Image Credit: Courtesy of Intersekt

Tap for localised solutions

Meanwhile, Kaushik highlighted the limitations of using these fittings, which are often designed as per the European market needs. “The total dissolved solids in Indian water are typically higher than the regulated standards in Europe and several other nations,” she said while proposing the need for these products to consider local factors.

Aparna Kaushik proposed the need for bath fittings to account local factors such as water hardness and humidity | Tap for more | Intersekt| STIRworld
Aparna Kaushik proposed the need for bath fittings to account local factors such as water hardness and humidity Image Credit: Courtesy of Intersekt

Tap for an exceptional experience

With experience being a critical aspect in informing the way bathrooms are designed across the world, Panwar mused about the childlike joy of being bathed and groomed. He proposed a facility where contemporary bath fittings could cater to a personalised moment for the user with a fully automated experience.

Dinesh Panwar (Urbanscape Architects) envisions a fully automated experience inspired by the child-like joy of being bathed and groomed  | Tap for more | Intersekt| STIRworld
Dinesh Panwar (Urbanscape Architects) envisioned a fully automated experience inspired by the child-like joy of being bathed and groomed Image Credit: Courtesy of Urbanscape Architects

Tap for a seamless design

Shefali Gupta, who represented We Design on behalf of Anil Singh, reflected on the norm that construction materials often dictate how a tap and basin end up looking in a bath space. Contrary to the individual aesthetics and functions of the two, she proposed to integrate them as a single element for a more refined experience.

Shefali Gupta of We Design talks about an integrated solution for the tap and basin as one element making for a much seamless design | Tap for more | Intersekt| STIRworld
Shefali Gupta of We Design talks about an integrated solution for the tap and basin as one element making for a much seamless design Image Credit: Courtesy of Intersekt

Tap for a better future

Considering the water scarcity in India, the audience participated whole-heartedly with their suggestions on exploring a system of bathing which could use part-mist part-spray, as well as thoughts on developing a local solution where water recycling could take place right after one stepped out of the shower.

  • An informal address by Amit Gupta (extreme right) during the event | Tap for more | Intersekt| STIRworld
    An informal address by Amit Gupta (extreme right) during the event Image Credit: Courtesy of Intersekt
  • Andreas Diefenbach sharing his thoughts during an intimate gathering | Tap for more | Intersekt| STIRworld
    Andreas Diefenbach (second from right) sharing his thoughts during an intimate gathering Image Credit: Courtesy of Intersekt

As the brainstorming session concluded with some fresh and fabulous ideas to define the changing bath design landscape, Diefenbach along with the leadership at Hansgrohe shed light on their approach to creating futuristic, eco-friendly technology that promises to change the game ahead.

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About Author

Zohra Khan

Zohra Khan

A formal education in architecture combined with an avid interest in architecture journalism and design criticism led Khan to professionally venture into writing and research. She has worked in design communication for more than two years, generating content for mondo*arc india journal. When not writing, she kicks back by dabbling on social media for STIR.

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