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The “His & Hers” bathroom concept – convergence or contrast? In conversation with designer Gesa Hansen

Press release   •   Mar 10, 2019 09:00 GMT

There are so many ideas and preferences regarding bathrooms. Obviously personal taste and interior style play a large role. But are there also gender-specific factors? What do men and women expect in a bathroom?

Against the backdrop of gender discussions and equality, the designer Gesa Hansen, who has been working with Villeroy & Boch for several years, has turned her attention to “men’s and women’s bathrooms”. This has resulted in the “His & Hers” bathroom concept that will be shown as an artistic installation at Villeroy & Boch’s booth at the ISH 2019 trade fair in Frankfurt .

Ms Hansen, what was the idea behind “His & Hers”?

“His & Hers” is all about differences and similarities, convergence and contrasts, men and women, masculinity and femininity – and if and how all that is reflected in the bathroom.

And how is that expressed?

“His & Hers” illustrates the small differences in men's and women’s bathroom rituals – without advocating a rigid separation. Because what at first may seem completely different, is often not that dissimilar. On the whole, I think that there are more similarities than differences.

So, in your opinion, there’s no such thing as men’s or women’s bathrooms?

Yes and no. I can’t give you a black-and-white answer. When it comes to colours, there are so many similarities that a woman can also feel at ease in “his” bathroom and vice versa. But when it comes to the atmosphere and furnishings, men and women do tend to have different priorities.

Then let’s talk about the colours first.

Gladly. For me, the colour concept is a manifestation of individuality. Ultimately, it’s not the colours themselves that differentiate between male and female, but rather their composition and dosage. I applied all the colours for “His & Hers” extensively and then let them interact with each other to create an effect.

Are there typical masculine and feminine colours for you?

There are, but very few. For instance, pink is a strong feminine colour, which I didn’t want to withhold from “Hers” and so added it as a colourful highlight. Bold greens, reds and blues feature in both “His” and “Hers”. However, I did vary the look of the colours: “His” darker, “Hers” warmer.

When you look at the functional features of “His & Hers”, you do notice differences.

Yes, that was also intentional. When it comes to functionality, “His & Hers” need to meet other demands, demands that tend to be more masculine or more feminine. Men like bathrooms to be practical and functional. Everything they use on a daily basis needs to be within easy reach. And because men prefer to take showers rather than baths, “His” has a more spacious shower area.

Mod cons are also indispensable in “Hers”. However, an atmosphere where she can relax and feel good is more important. The bathroom needs to be cosy, natural, comfortable, even a little secretive – yes, diva-like, like a boudoir. This is why the interior design here is a little more playful. And because women don’t necessarily want to have their bathroom paraphernalia and cosmetics on display, I focused more on furniture for “Hers”.

How would you sum up “His & Hers”?

“His & Hers” is an artistic projection, which combines colour concepts with interior design, while revealing male and female characteristics. The colour concepts work for both men and women, there are small differences when it comes to furnishings. Nonetheless, for me, “His & Hers” is a call for equality and similarity.

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Villeroy & Boch:

Villeroy & Boch is one of the world's leading premium brands for ceramic products. The family business, which was founded in 1748 and is headquartered in Mettlach/Germany, stands for innovation, tradition and exceptional style. As a renowned lifestyle brand, Villeroy & Boch offers products from the sectors Bathroom and Wellness and Tableware, and is active in 125 countries.

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