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DESIGN
A New Desire
Lixil pictures the future in foam
by Paolo Ferrarini
on 26 April 2012
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One of the fundamental components to various Asian ways of thinking is the idea of making opposites coexist in harmony. This philosophy has been applied for millennia and today is being reinvented in a new way by Lixil Corporation, a global leader in housing equipment and building materials. Based in Tokyo, Lixil presented a new bathtub concept during the recent Milan Design Week. The installation, A New Desire, showcased the innovative project—a synthesis of dry and wet areas in the home, blurring the lines between living room and bathroom and traditional bath and contemporary leisure activities at the same time.

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Lixil's new tub has a sinuous, clean and almost spatial shape. A unique water control technology combines water and air and creates a constant stream of creamy foam, that's at once incredibly soft and rich while retaining a somewhat firm consistency. The frothy water overflows over the sides of the tub and collects in a special attached drainage system that allows the tub to be installed virtually anywhere in the home.

Kenya Hara, Japanese designer and writer conceived the tub as part of a specialization in mixing object design with experiences. The art director at MUJI, Hara was also responsible for the opening and closing ceremonies of the Nagano Winter Olympic Games and Expo 2005 as a member of the advisory board.

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"Imagine time passing pleasantly," says Nara. "You are enveloped in warm foam; you're reading a book, watching a movie, feeling the air and the light on your skin. You're bathing in creamy foam. More than a new style of bathing, this is something that will liberate a new horizon of human desire." Though "A New Desire" was presented as a concept, Lilix envisions the foam technology as a new way of living and bathing the future. Keep an eye out for developments and future projects by visiting the website.

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