Once again, Jumpthegap® challenges both professionals and students to set their imagination free and break the boundaries. But what is it exactly about? Promoted by the bathroom-savvy company Roca, and in collaboration with BCD Barcelona Design Centre, the biennial design contest aims to find people from every corner of the world working on conceptual, sustainable and innovative solutions for the bathrooms of the future. On the 10th of October, the Museum of Architecture Schuseu State Moscow (Russia) was the place where this edition’s presentation took place, and we were there to see a glimpse of the future.
A historical and inspiring scenario in the heart of the Russian capital marked the official start of the enrolment period (which lasts until March 27) through different activities, like the itinerant exhibition Next Bath Experience, which showcased an imagined future where products, innovation, personal experiences and technology merged in a multi-screen installation to express how technical and economic feasibility should not be a pressure for the participants, but a challenge: “We’d like to promote talent and to create innovative design solutions for the bathroom space”, remarked Núria Vall-Llovera, curator of the contest.
So far, the competition has celebrated seven editions, with more than twenty thousand participants from one hundred and thirty-four countries, which consolidates it as a great initiative to support and promote the projects of architects, interior architects, industrial designers, interior designers, building engineers or any other related professionals (forty years or younger), with different categories and prizes.
During the event, Xavi Torras, director of the We Are Water Foundation, and Boris Voskoboynikov, head and chief architect of the studio Vox Architects and prize-winner of Russian and international competitions, participated in a Jumpthegap® talk where the architect explained to us his vision about “the dream of creating designs to make people happy”, inviting us to think that everything is possible.
Torras, on the other hand, explained us how sustainability, accessibility, adaptability and eco-friendly systems can minimize the user’s consumption and provoke a positive reaction on him/her. He also told us about We Are Water Foundation’s responsibility to invest in professionals for the future and how design can change people’s lives.
We also had a chance to talk to other guests like Natalia Sidorova, founder of the Dnk-Ag architectural group, who considered this initiative a really good opportunity since “ideas have no frame and young architects and designers can get great visibility and boost their careers”. Which is precisely what happened to Mohammadreza Shahmohammadi, the winner of last year’s edition in the Sustainability category. He achieved so with Panacea, a bath manufactured in an elastic material that allows its moulding to obtain the required shape and size so it can be adapted to any space and can store less amount of water, with a locking system to avoid the drowning of children when it is not in use.
It was Roca’s 100-anniversary celebration that reminded me to extend my vision beyond the product itself and focus on a way in which the object could exist. Dividing the product's shape into an active and innovative mode offers lots of solutions for today’s issues. It can help evolve the spatial features of objects to that future in which expansion and condensation make a type of frame for the bathtub, which reshapes properly [according to the space]. The concept of Panacea tries to show the benefits of an elastic, articulated base as a loom to represent any bathtub, not just another”, told us Mohammadreza.
And how to stand out from hundreds of proposals? In this edition, the president of the jury is the acclaimed Brazilian architect Ruy Ohtake. Other members of the jury are prestigious professionals from different countries like Emilio Cabrero (Mexico), director of the Mexico City World Design Capital 2018 and the Design Week in Mexico; Murat Tabanlıoğlu (Turkey), founder of Tabanlıoğlu Architects, professor, lecturer and curator; Dorota Koziara (Poland) designer, artist and curator or Boris Voskoboynikov (Russia), among other relevant profiles. Ready? Steady? Design!