Just learning to use a Smartphone is a piece of cake for kids and the more senior citizens, so too we’ll all swiftly and intuitively grasp the functions of the “Axor One”. Because the thermostat module for showers and bathtubs that Hansgrohe SE’s design brand Axor launched last September combines not only controls for several shower settings, water temperature and water flow in a single unit, it likewise revolutionizes how such controls are used. In fact all you have to do is depress the large-size select buttons (they boast symbols for added simplicity): Simply tap them with a finger or elbow and the water flows – and you can choose between a hand-held, side-spray, or a rainfall shower. There’s a central dial to adjust the temperature, and a lever to regulate the water volume. Martina Metzner talked to Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby, the two designers of the “Axor One”, about the innovative idea behind it all, what it was like working with the experts at Axor in Schiltach and their very personal feelings on water.
Martina Metzner: What is water to you?
Edward Barber: I loved water from a young age. Swimming in the sea, sailing, diving. I also find controlling water interesting. I could swim out in the sea and swim to an island, disappear over the horizon. It signifies freedom for me. A beautiful sea: nothing more enjoyable than that.
Jay Osgerby: I am very unlike Ed, one of the few things we do not have in common. I really don’t like water. Fine for making coffee or in different states like ice. I am not a water person. Going into the sea is my worst nightmare. Actually there is something quite mysterious about water. We are working on an exhibition about graphene – a new material made from graphite. Its molecular structure is incredibly dense, harder than diamonds – a barrier. But the weird thing is that water can go through it, although it shouldn’t. And so it sparks the question about the physics of water: what is water?