Sunday, October 12, 2008

A washstand and its surroundings

Once again history has been perfected. A simple washstand designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh has become a product we now know as the sink counter. Back around the 1900's a washstand was the place in which a simple bowl filled with water would sit so that guest could use it to wash their face or whatever else. The counter of the stand would be tile so that water wouldn't break down the surface as bad. This idea can still be seen on some counters in bathrooms today but so can granite, and larger tiles of ceramic.

We have always been told to look at an object, focus on its form and function and then the space that contains it. Then take that space and observe the context of its environment and how it relates to the universe as a whole. This idea is formed because of the notion that everyone and everything can have an effect on one another. This effect is the reason why some things function or look the way they do.

The washstand could have easily been found in a persons bedroom, hotel room (see black and white picture), or maybe even in the middle of a public space. The object had plenty of shelving with no doors, probably because it was used for display. However, in today’s society this object has become a private object closed off from the rest of the space and hid in bathrooms. Even though, the object has still become a very important design it has altered its shape and function. Just take a look at some of the designs by Kohler. The biggest change would have to be the evolution of plumbing so that the sink can be built into the counter.

Viewing the image above one can imagine what perhaps the washstand would look like in a modern bathroom. Here I have also added the Russian day bed to the bathroom just to show a lil comparison of how another artifact could possibly be used in the same environment. The washstand within today’s environment would most likely have a mirror and a sink attached to it. This is because of the outside environment of this space within which society's idea of beauty and sanitation are a greater factor.

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