The Intimacy of a Shower
I think a shower is a beautiful thing. It's not just a place to get wet and clean yourself, it's a space where we relate to our bodies in an intimate way on a daily basis. Yes it's designed to be a place where we wash our selves, but it's also a space that we interact with in other and more subtle ways. It's a space where the primary goal is to have the successful entry and exiting of water; the water that temporarily consumes our bodies and carries away with it the daily film of our busy lives. Yet it can also be a place for meditation and reflection about events to come or a practice in the art of self love.
I think a lot of people take their showers for granted and may not have the type of experience with them that allows the ability to really take your time and relish the comforts and exploratory nature of the process. Maybe you never sing or whistle when you’re in the shower; you just get in, do your business and get on with the day. You may even have a shower that grosses you out every time you step into it, quickly getting the necessity over with as quickly as possible. Regardless of how you interpret your showering experience one thing is unavoidable: the intimate nature of touching, scrubbing and washing your body.
I can't help but think about these human elements and interactions when designing a new project. Not just how the person experiences the showers I build but how their body moves through them and in and out of them. How the nature of a particular tile selection and layout can invoke a certain mood of feeling when you're in that space. Where does the water come in, how does it hit the body and where does it finally exit that space? Things like drain placement can directly affect where a person stands in a shower or how they move around it. The size and height of a curb will directly affect how high someone needs to step or consider an obstacle they need to avoid. Curb-less applications need to be sensitive to the directional spray of water and the flow of water controlled more precisely. Tiled benches, knee walls, niches, ceilings and many other elements all come together to create a very personal and unique bodily experience for the user within that space; a unique and particular space they can call their own.
More importantly, the successful combination of all these design elements that make up a properly installed and functioning shower system create a unique space that people will want to be in and experience. being naked is a vulnerable thing and I think it's important we have the opportunity to be vulnerable and intimate with ourselves in space that we love. In a space that is designed well and speaks to us on an individual level. A space that leaves a smile on our faces each morning when we walk out that door and attack the day.