Breathing Bathtub by the young Chinese designer Li Xi wins the 3rd edition of the jumpthegap® Roca International Design Contest

September 25, 2009

John Pawson, architect and president of the jury, announced the project winner yesterday, chosen among 11 finalists, in the 100% Design Exhibition in London.

The winning project is Breathing Bathtub, the bathtub that breathes and molds itself to the shape of the users. A proposal inspired by sustainability allowing users to save water.

Roca announced yesterday the name of the winning project of the 3rd edition of the International Contest jumpthegap®, chosen from 382 project presentations and coinciding with the opening of the 100% Design Exhibition in London.

The chosen project was Breathing Bathtub by the young Chinese designer Li Xi.

Breathing Bathtub is an innovative concept that turns bathing into a healthier experience for the users and is significantly more efficient in terms of energy and water consumption.

The bathtub is lined with a revolutionary material similar to a sponge. The material molds itself to the shape of the users, guaranteeing maximum comfort and as a consequence uses less than half the water used normally.  

As its name suggests, the Breathing Bathtub can breathe as the sponge material filters the water through a process similar to the osmosis of plants meaning that any impurity in the water becomes trapped in the lower layer of the lining, guaranteeing clean water and an important reduction in consumption. Another surprising characteristic of the bathtub’s lining is the product feature indicating when the water should be renewed.

The list of finalists included projects from seven different countries: Spain, with three finalists, followed by China and Russia, with two. The Czech Republic, France, Poland and Portugal were the other countries of origin of the finalist projects.

John Pawson, president of the contest’s jury, was in charge of announcing the name of the winning project in an excellent and enjoyable award ceremony attended by not only representatives from Roca but also members of the jury such as Chantal Hamaide, Director of the Intramuros magazineand Josep Congost, Director of the Roca Center Design.

All attending agreed that initiatives such as jumpthegap® help to raise the bar and see new proposals and working methods of the young emergent talent that’s defining the future.    

In the words of Pawson, “Architecture can be a very introspective process. When you are so intently focused on your own work, it is interesting to spend time looking at how other people are addressing some of the same questions. All of the projects which made the jumpthegap® shortlist had something, but, for me, the Breathing Bathtub stood out from the beginning, not least for the environmental intelligence of its design.” 

In addition to John Pawson, the jury was composed of prominent figures within the fields of architecture and design and included Héctor Serrano, Carlos Ferrater, Josep Congost, Alfredo Häberli, Carlos Lamela, Alberto Meda and Chantal Haimade.

From the 24th to the 27th of September, Roca will be present in the 100% Design Exhibition and its stand, whose theme this year is the interaction of people with water and bathroom spaces, will offer visitors the opportunity to enjoy and experience its different contents.

After last year’s success with Waterdrop, Roca, in conjunction with the designer Hector Serrano, has created a surprising space in this edition characterized by its ultra-modernity and innovation where the visitor can enjoy three clearly distinct areas: In the first area they will encounter a representation of the rituals that regularly take place in the bathroom. In the second space, the visitor can view the 11 finalist projects from the contest thanks to the use of a series of basins that use water, Roca’s key element, as a screen. Lastly, the third area will showcase their most spectacular design for 2009: W+W, an example of how Roca works towards the union of innovation, design and sustainability.

About Roca

Roca is a world leader in the definition of bathroom spaces and is a reference in the world of design. Currently, Roca is present in more than 135 markets and has 65 manufacturing plants in 17 countries.

Constantly evolving, Roca believes in the excellence of product design with the objective of offering spaces for users to live unique experiences with their five senses. As a global brand, Roca creates versatile products that can adapt to different consumer habits around the world, offering unique solutions for all needs, for both today and tomorrow.   

With the continual support of research, Roca is creating a future where design and innovation are united to achieve users’ well being.  Roca also works with prestigious designers, architects and interior designers such as Moneo, Chipperfield, Herzog & de Meuron, Benedito, Giugiaro or Schmidt & Lackner among others. All of this has made Roca the referential global brand it is today in the creation of bathroom spaces.

About jumpthegap®

Roca’s belief in new talent is behind the creation of initiatives such as the International Design Contest jumpthegap®, organized in cooperation with the BCD (Barcelona Centre de Disseny) and the support of ICSID (International Council of Societies of Industrial Design). The contest targets young architects and designers, 35 years old or younger, and offers the winning project and its author the opportunity of international exposure.