About Science Behind the Sensory Space
We live in a busy world. A non-stop, connected world that can be difficult to navigate and often seems impossible to switch off from.
Our senses have to battle with relentless stimulation, distraction and disruption – a constant ‘buzz’ of information vying for our attention everywhere we go. Without respite from this state of being ‘always on call’, our well-being and sense of maintaining control of our lives are in jeopardy. By understanding and taking into account the pressures created by the information overload of modern living, architects and designers can design bathroom solutions that provide something of an antidote to our ‘always-on’ world – even if only for a short while. By expanding their repertoire in the choice of materials and design expertise, it’s now possible to push the envelope further than ever.
The bathroom is much more than the functional space that the name implies. A well-designed bathroom should offer tranquility. It should be a place of respite from the world and its worries. An environment where the natural balance of our overworked senses can be restored. Gone are the days when consideration is solely given to features such as beautiful ceramics and stylish feature fittings. Equally important is the unseen functionality that takes place behind the wall – the piping, frames and drainage – operating with quiet efficiency, unseen and, as much as possible, unheard.
This sense is one that is constantly in operation. Even when we are asleep our ears and brain work collectively to process and detect sound. Although in many instances this can be highly beneficial, sometimes we also need to escape from noise. Managing the acoustic properties of a bathroom is essential with regards to creating an environment of tranquillity. There are many ways that acoustic isolation can be achieved in this environment such as decoupled pre-wall, acoustically optimised pipework as well as opting for wall hung ceramics.
Often lighting is an area that is neglected when considering the bathroom environment, however, this is truly an aspect that feeds into the functionality needs of the space. Exposure to harsh light sources, especially in the middle of the night can negatively impact our sleeping patterns making it difficult for some to fall back to sleep. A key solution is opting for automatic orientation lighting – a common feature on shower toilets and mirror fittings that cast a soft glow as opposed to glaring brightness.
A thorough understanding of this sense as a tool to navigate the way we interact with spaces has allowed bathroom designers to embrace and apply materials technology to this space. From specialist glazing on ceramics, heated toilet seats to touchless bathroom technologies such as infrared taps – through the thorough consideration of touch, the bathrooms of today have become more user-friendly than ever before.
The scents we encounter on a daily basis are often overlooked, however as they play a critical role in the memories we hold, its important that scent is given equal consideration in the bathroom environment. Generally, lavatory odours are dealt with by masking with harsh chemical sprays or perfumes. The latest in odour extraction innovations takes a more active approach to diminish unpleasant scents through filtering the surrounding air.