Building A Haven for Wellness at Home in the Wake of COVID-19
Water, the undisputed elixir of life, has been a central focus for designers when it comes to homes, recreational spaces, and especially health and well-being. It’s a privilege to own a clean and free-flowing supply, and undoubtedly a right to protect and preserve. American Standard, one of the most iconic brands in sanitary ware and part of LIXIL, maker of pioneering water and housing products, brought together the bright minds in the architecture and design industries around the Asia Pacific region to be catalysts for healthier lifestyles and sustainable spaces through conversations surrounding water. Aptly named the American Standard Design Catalyst L!VE (ASDC), this inaugural webinar series on March 23, 2022 saw nearly 1,500 attendees, including a strong attendance from the Philippines, Thailand, and India.
ASDC was the event where ideas and conversations on purposeful design and human experience flourished. Topics touched on three macro trends, which were the focus of the series: Health and Well-being, Sustainability, and Urbanization. These topics not only cover the challenges and solutions of today, but also inspire the design of future communities, cities, and global economies.
The new haven for wellness
The widespread importance of water use and sanitation, especially coming from a couple of years of enduring a global viral scare, has arguably changed our lifestyles forever. Washing hands has been ingrained in our routines at an unskippable necessity. Indeed, the COVID-19 pandemic has affected not just the utilities we use, but also how we interact with materials outside and even inside our homes.
One person who can attest to this shift is Ivy Almario, President and Co-founder of Atelier Almario. As one of the acclaimed speakers at ASDC, Almario noted that the pandemic has spiked the demand for touchless technology, rimless technology, and antibacterial technology in hotels and other hospitality facilities. These choice fittings, particularly found in bathrooms, are perceived to be more hygienic than conventional options. Even material choice has been vital, with cork, brass, bronze, and copper all innately bearing antimicrobial properties.
Industry experts and opinion leaders backed this observation. In a customer survey by European sanitary company Hansa, 50% of their respondents were interested in touchless faucets for their homes. The Home Trend report by US home remodeling platform Fixr saw similar results, as half of the design experts they polled expected to see touchless bathroom fixtures become more popular in 2021. James Walsh, Vice President of Product Marketing at American Standard, revealed to Forbes that they saw a 128% increase in search traffic for hands-free products.
These results only show how much these experiences that are already commonplace in high-end hotel bathrooms are now in-demand for personal use in homes. In fact, that is the true measure of a hotel bathroom’s wellness level—how much you can entice users to want to adapt these technologies for their own spaces.
Bringing the experience centers home
Major sanitary companies like LIXIL are already well-positioned to capitalize on this shift. Besides its award-winning touchless faucet Navish, the Japanese water and housing product experts also offer other types of innovative bathroom products through its portfolio of brands that include American Standard and GROHE.
Innovative bathroom technologies bring a sense of security in every home, and American Standard carries quite a number in their repertoire to set new standards for sanitation at home. Their HygieneClean System offers a host of flushing, rimless, anti-stain, and antibacterial technologies for toilets, such as Double Vortex for a thorough and efficient flushing with less water usage, Aqua Ceramic for dirt to effortlessly slide off the repellent surface, and ComfortClean for a zinc oxide coating that inhibits the growth of E.coli bacteria inside the toilet bowl for the long term and beyond.
These are just some of the innovations possible when product designers and tech innovators work to keep safety a number one priority. Satoshi Konagai, Leader of LIXIL Water Technology, Asia Pacific, pointed out in the ASDC webinar that these solutions can not just encourage the widespread use for sophisticated hygiene products, to but to instill the thought of the bathroom now being one of the most vital spaces in a home for intimacy, privacy, and utmost relaxation—both in mind and body.