Good interior design allows the greatest possible freedom in creating one’s own four walls. We spoke to two companies that have designed products for a very individual living environment.
With the pandemic, our own living environment has become the centre of our lives in a completely new and stronger way. Consequently, interior design also plays a much stronger role and should fit our wishes and needs exactly. We spoke to two companies that make products possible for the greatest possible freedom in the design of one’s own living environment.
The guardian for all living situations: Gira Cube
Hans-Jörg Müller, Head of Product and Design at Gira, talked to us about the Gira Cube. The motion detector with a clear design and intelligent technology is suitable for walls and ceilings. With its elegant shape and the colour options of pure white glossy and anthracite, it fits into any architectural environment.
ndion: Please illustrate the Gira Cube.
Hans-Jörg Müller: As with all our product developments, the Gira Cube is part of a system – in this case an outdoor concept. What makes it special is its formal integration into outdoor themes such as light, door communication and mechanical building system technology in outdoor areas (e.g. water-protected socket outlets, switches, etc.).
In terms of design, the Gira Cube is thus based on the cube-like design of lights and the Gira System 106 (door communication). The formal correspondence to these themes in the outdoor area, often on the front side, was important to us. This resulted in a completely new formal approach that had not been seen before in motion detectors or presence detectors.
Another special feature is the technological design. The following aspects should be mentioned here: The detection angle (detection range) can be defined on the inside of the detector. The Gira Cube has under-run protection, i.e. it detects directly. Due to the intelligent design of the housing, it can be used both as a wall and as a ceiling observer. The settings can be made using remote control; a ladder is then no longer necessary. The Gira Cube thus has a well thought-out, very simple installation concept.
What did you place particular emphasis on in the design?
In order to make it as formally unobtrusive and integrative as possible, the smallest possible installation space was planned. Technically, of course, it was a challenge to accommodate all aspects here. The shape of the Gira Cube and the associated precision is always a great challenge for toolmaking.
The core of our product development is always a systemic approach. We create virtually no individual products, but are always on the lookout for a strong system for architects and building owners. Formally, we want to blend in or subordinate ourselves. The units should be as unobtrusive and restrained as possible. We don’t want to stand out, we want to integrate – both in the building and on the building.
What’s next for the Gira Cube in the future?
Next, there will be a few versions of the Gira Cube in the direction of detection (angle of detection), as well as integration into the Gira App and the conversion from KNX to KNX Secure.
A new era of showering: FinishPlus and RainButton
For many people, the bathroom is the heart of the living environment. With RainButton and FinishPlus, Hansgrohe has created two very different innovations for the bathroom. While RainButton enables a whole new dimension of individualisation in the shower, FinishPlus is a stylish colour and surface collection for a whole new living and showering experience in your own bathroom. We spoke to Franziska Haas, Junior Social Media Manager at Hansgrohe Group about the two innovative shower systems.
ndion: Please briefly illustrate what makes FinishPlus and RainButton special.
Franziska Haas: FinishPlus and RainButton are truly heartfelt projects. With the FinishPlus surface programme, hansgrohe offers a variety of design options for the entire bathroom and for a wide range of living styles and everyday realities. Especially now that we spend a lot of time in our own four walls, the bathroom has become an increasingly important place of retreat where we seek harmony and peace. Here, cold surfaces such as chrome often interfere with the homely look and atmosphere. FinishPlus offers perfect alternatives for the individual dream bathroom with new, metallic surfaces such as Brushed Black Chrome, Brushed Bronze and Polished Gold Optic. The noble metallic colours skilfully combine elegance and modernity and create attractive contrasts in combination with both dark and light bathroom furnishings. With the current trend colours Matt White and Matt Black, lovers of modern architecture and deliberate contrasts get their money’s worth.
With our RainTunes multi-sensory shower system, we are opening up a new era of showering. This includes not only the digital shower scenarios and the integration of fragrance, sound and moving images, but also the shower control via the RainButton. The user controls the spray types, water quantity, temperature and the start and end of the showering pleasure via these individually positionable control buttons. This gives users complete freedom in bathroom design. With their minimalist design language, the RainButtons fit perfectly into any type of bathroom ambience. They are connected to a central unit behind the wall via Bluetooth and can therefore be operated separately from the permanently installed fitting for the first time.
What did you pay particular attention to during the development process?
We place particularly high demands on the quality and durability of our surfaces. Guaranteeing this throughout, even with coloured fittings and showers in matt black or gold, was a challenge at the beginning. The exclusive surfaces from FinishPlus get their warm feel and scratch resistance from a high-tech process for high-quality coating (PVD). This also makes them easy to clean and defies attacks from aggressive cleaning agents. This is why the colours are also suitable for bathrooms where, for example, children and visitors or even your own dog like to create more hustle and bustle.
The topic of smart living is still quite new in the bathroom. With our RainTunes digital shower system and RainButton control unit, we are breaking new ground in technologies such as behind-the-wall control via wifi and Bluetooth and the connection to our hansgrohe home app. As far as installation by the plumber is concerned, there were of course also a few hurdles to overcome. We have teamed up with renowned partners in the smart living sector such as Home Connect and also benefit from their expertise.
What developments do you have planned next?
We continue to tinker with new surfaces and keep a close eye on interior design trends. We believe that the bathroom will play an increasingly important role in the house or flat. Therefore, the requirements of the users are also changing. For example, many people are replacing a corner bathtub with a large wellness shower. Naturally, we want to offer the best solutions in terms of surfaces, design and technologies in harmony with people and space. The topic of sustainability is also becoming increasingly important for us: careful use of water as a resource, but also sustainable materials that nevertheless meet our demands for longevity and quality, are right at the top of our agenda.
What are your most important impulses in product development?
As already mentioned, we are inspired by people’s changing demands on the bathroom. All our product developments start and end with people at the centre. Good impulses also come from our external design partners, changes in architecture, and new materials and technologies that we experiment with to make our products even more sustainable in use and production. But also observing digital trends and the manifestations of different living styles have shown us that we are right in tune with the spirit of the times with our designs.
Many thanks to our interviewees for their insights!
ICONIC AWARDS: Innovative Interior
The projects in this article were honoured with the “Best of Best” award at the ICONIC AWARDS 2021: Innovative Interior. With their well-thought-out and purposeful designs, they are examples of success for an unadorned design of one’s own living environment: the New Simplicity Interior trend.
The ICONIC AWARDS: Innovative Interior annually honour outstanding design achievements of the interior design industry and its partners – and make them visible throughout the industry: an award not only underlines your position as a trendsetter. It also gives you the chance to show your products at one of the most important international furniture fairs. Find out more about the ICONIC AWARDS 2022: Innovative Interior here.
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