When design comes to age
The design of a just-introduced hand-held shower by Ludovica and Roberto Palomba, Italy’s leading designer duo, reflects minimalism with functional innovation and gets recognised for it.
Ever since the early nineteenth century when it is said a stove maker in London got the patent for what was probably the first shower for the washroom, the saga of showers has grown with advances in technology, crafting, material development and building design.
The washroom shower simply started as a contraption posted on a pole through the numerous holes of which water cascaded down on the bather’s bodies. That design has seen many variations and technologies over the years.
International designers have significantly contributed to major changes in normal conceptions of what the washroom can be, in the setting of a domestic dwelling. This change is certainly not limited to creating new physical forms and spaces but affects the way of life of each person who uses the products.
By tweaking the usual with a consciousness of what trends indicate, simple products can evolve into interesting design applications. For example, the hand shower is always understood as the regular shower head attached to flexible metal piping. Shorn of technical jargon, a handheld shower is after all just a handheld shower.
From being a stationary object, the shower soon evolved into its handheld variety over the years to ensure better ease of use. The role of direction, force and ease of water spray on the body with such handheld showers has defined relaxing bathing experiences for decades.
However, recently, a new, innovative hand shower, designed by Ludovica and Roberto Palomba, takes this feature to an interesting level as it aims to stimulate novel rituals that combine mind and body, and can be used for a hydrotherapy massage with variable intensity.
Much more than a traditional hand shower, WaterCandy, as it is called, can also be used for massaging the body as well as its normal showering function. Zucchetti Kos, the company that introduced this hand held shower that has handy strap on the back with which users can easily hold it and enjoy the benefits of a massage.
It gives complete freedom to the user to use the shower like an ideal extension of the hand so that the water is free to dance in space, to follow the body and choose its distance, or completely cancel it with nozzles directly on the skin.
Its small handy shape allows WaterCandy to exploit the hydrotherapeutic properties of water for anti-stress relaxation; at the same time stimulating an awakening of vital energies, thanks to jets of different intensity and flow that can be adjusted according to ones’ needs.
Ludovica and Roberto Palomba’s design
The design is simple but presents unexpected aesthetics that are minimalistic, yet appealing as an object that is amazingly easy to use and comfortable to hold.
The result of the constant research carried out by the company, is an attentive interpretation of contemporary living and numerous variations of the wellness sector. The designers, Ludovica and Roberto Palomba have blended common sense and attentive design which takes the conventional idea of a hand shower and expands it into a much wider vision of its use.
The design makes it extremely easy to install, as it can be added to any pre-existing system using its universal plug-and-play adaptor. The design emphasises the round, ergonomic and sensual feel of the product as its structural design becomes a natural continuation of the hand, thereby making it swivel, turn and adapt to the users’ desire.
Recognition in ADI Design Index 2018
The design of this product has been chosen by the Italian Permanent Design Observatory of the Association for Industrial Design – ADI, for inclusion in the ADI Design Index 2018, the first volume in a biennial cycle that brings together the best of Italian product design. The products enlisted in it ultimately compete for the prestigious Compasso d’Oro Award 2020.
Elena Zucchetti, CEO of the company says that WaterCandy’s inclusion in the ADI Design Index 2018 is a recognition of her company’s almost 90 years in business, and stems from its ongoing commitment to research and development and collaboration with the most famous contemporary designers.
The inclusion of the hand shower design and the product itself, according to her, reaffirms the openness to innovation and exploration of new languages in the washroom world that are Zucchetti’s focus.
The products that most stand out for their originality, innovation, materials used, environmental protection, usability and interactivity find a place in that list.
They are displayed in a just-launched touring exhibition, in the Sala delle Colonne at the Leonardo da Vinci National Museum of Science and Technology, before it moves on to the Casa dell’Architettura in Rome, located in the Acquario Romano.
The designers of WaterCandy
Ludovica and Roberto Palomba
“The designers of WaterCandy, Ludovica and Roberto Palomba are architects and designers who work and live in Milan. They founded Palomba Serafini Associati in 1994 and are no strangers to awards and recognition for exceptional design.
Since 2003, Roberto Palomba has also been a professor at the Polytechnic of Milan, industrial design department. In recent years he has participated in many design workshops as a visiting professor or senior tutor. Their company is developing several projects of interior design and architecture all over the world.
They have received numerous international awards such as Compasso D’Oro, Elle Decoration International Design Award, Red Dot, Design Plus, Good Design Award, and German Design Award.
They plan a wide range of architectural projects and design exhibitions worldwide and work with art directors for some of the most established brands.”
Creating such design is a natural extension of a philosophy that acts as an interpreter of the contemporary in dialogue with different cultures and which responds to the complexities of society, thus initiating trends.
Proud of the fact that more than eight decades of encouraging such creativity is the drive behind her company, Elena remarks that thanks to the strength of these strategies, her family has passed down an entrepreneurial outlook that has always been able to anticipate consumer needs, and modify the company structure in flexible ways, keeping it attuned to the company’s strategies.
“Such design comes from the sustained interest from the family since the company was launched in 1929. The core values passed on to the generations are reflected in our approach to the business which is to get the best out of our human capital, and to constantly innovate and upgrade our technologies,” she says.