In bed with a basin

In bed with a basin

Earlier this month in Frankfurt at the Architecture World conference, an annual event for architecture and interior design, we presented our vision for the hotel room of the future, “Organic Trace”: a guestroom prototype which addresses the yin-and-yang balance of travelers who mix their work with leisure. The sinuously shaped sculpture integrates a bed, desk and soaking tub into one, combining two comfort zones bridged by an arc that forms the work surface. In the mornings, you could literally climb out of your plush bed and roll onto the chair to check your email while reaching over with one hand to turn on the tap in the tub. Sliding into the whirlpool bath, the relaxation of the bubbling jets just about braces you to recover from the shock of finding 1,259 new emails in your inbox.

So much for the theory. 

We arrived at the event, unloaded the truck, painted the walls, made the bed and then stood back to watch the show. And people turned up.
What happened next could be called a good “learning experience” for both our visitors and us! 

The first few people who approached the stand were very polite, cautiously surrounding the sculpture, very careful not to leave any spots. However, once the first person dared to touch the cushions and sit on the chair, the hesitation dropped altogether. People felt it was alright to try everything out: touching the smooth surface, laying down on the bed and even tearing out the shower head. Had it been connected to the water supply, we surely would have been asked to draw a nice-smelling bubble bath! We watched babies crawling over our sculpture and couples getting “comfortable.” It was quite entertaining. 

Then three guys came up, all neatly dressed in their business suits and dragging what looked like three identical white suitcases. It seemed to be a typical “check-in” situation, and the three even started inspecting the room in the same way they probably would have done in an actual hotel. Nothing special, if it hadn’t been for those odd suitcases …

In a concierge-like manner we quietly approached and, to our surprise, discovered that the suitcases were actually cardboard boxes on wheels. Having become curious if not even a bit suspicious, we felt the need to slip into the role of the hotel detective. (After all, it was a matter of high security, as we had to protect our hotel room as well as the zillion visitors from potential parcel bombs or any other threats.) 

Getting closer we were able to make out a familiar-looking logo: Villeroy & Boch. 

At that point we were simply utterly confused: Since when was Villeroy & Boch doing suitcases, let alone cardboard suitcases? Eventually, we bluntly asked our visitors what they were carrying, and the answer was: basins! Oh, so that’s it ? basins! 

It turned out that the company had a stall at the bathroom design fair next door and was handing out free porcelain sinks. 

What we learned once again was: Never underestimate a hotel guest. Perhaps they’ll even bring their own basin in the future!