We’ve become so accustomed to multifunctional gadgets that it’s become an expectation for most things to contain dual or more utilities. What’s the point of a home phone that can only make calls when you can buy one that also allows video chat? Why buy a camera these days if it doesn’t have Wi-Fi capabilities? The realm of gadgets is arguably easier for designers to tackle: Just make sure those device can do nearly everything you can on the computer. But when it comes to home furnishings and appliances? Those devices need more than the Web to stand out.
This sense of hybrid is exactly the inspiration behind the WaterDream shower lamp by Japanese firm Nendo. Designer Oki Sato saw an opportunity between a shower head and a light bulb, and combined them to create a floor lamp that can produce a cascade of water. The design was created for the Axor line of bathroom finishes, a subsidiary of German manufacturer Hansgrohe. Sato says he wanted the design to illustrate the future of what bathrooms could look like.
“My aim was to combine what is most archetypal about the living space, the lighting, with water, so as to give the shower an enhanced sensuous dimension in a way we have not yet seen before,” Sato tells Dezeen. “The result is something that is not just a shower, nor just a lamp, but a hybrid – a magic trick with light and water that is available day after day.”
Philippe Grohe, head of the Axor brand, is a little more abstract with his vision of the WaterDream hybrid shower light. “The natural coming-together of light and water is freed from spatial constraints,” Grohe describes. “What traditionally took place in separate rooms – reading under a lamp in the living room, taking a shower in the bathroom – can now be experienced free from spatial allocations or confinements.”
The idea of showering and reading in the same room, thus breaking behavioral patterns, is a bit too out there for us – but we have to admit, having a light above a shower head could prove useful for smaller bathrooms found in mini hotels or bathrooms inside train cabins (you know, the ones where you shower over the toilet seat). The design would also be stunning to use by the pool, illuminating the night while allowing swimmers to simultaneously rinse off the chlorine.