It’s been said that wellness is the new “green” in the design industry. In other words, the sustainability movement that has dominated the A+D world over the past decade is expanding to incorporate the impact that interiors have on human health.
The shift is a logical one. As Kirstin Ritchie, PE, LEED AP O+M, principal/director at Gensler, noted in an IIDA Industry Roundtable report, “Social justice and well-being both fall under the mantle of sustainability. But sustainability 1.0 was approached purely from a resource-consumption perspective, instead of from a ‘people’ perspective. There was a disconnect in the marketplace, even though the notion of sustainability is holistic.”
◄ Fixtures like Nostromo are designed for simplicity, lending to a sleek aesthetic while delivering ease of use to occupants.
Today, that gap is getting smaller as wellness and sustainability are becoming increasingly more important social priorities—and their connection to the built environment can’t be ignored. “Evidence continues to mount demonstrating the connection between wellness and constructed environments,” an ASID summit report points out. “Good design of the spaces in which we live, work, play, learn, and heal can make an impact on our physical and mental health.”
Wellness Begins with Sustainability at Home
Recognizing the importance and impact of this trend, kitchen and bath fixture manufacturer Fantini USA has focused its efforts on wellness to bring it to the forefront of product design. Inspired by the notion that wellness begins at home—specifically, the bathroom—the company is leveraging its position to bring products to market that enable a greater sense of health and well-being.
“Wellness is a natural theme in our industry, tracing its history all the way back to ancient Roman spas,” said Riccardo Conti, managing director of Fantini USA. “Residential bathrooms aim to model themselves after the modern spa concept where well-being is a priority. There are many Fantini products which center on this idea to bring wellness to the next level through design and sustainability.”
Beginning in the bathroom makes sense because that is the place in the home intended for relaxation. While some shower systems incorporate rather complex technology, Conti notes that the design of faucets and fixtures should feature clean lines and streamlined functionality to encourage a mindset of simplicity that may also contribute to a sense of well-being.
“Our designs are never too loud,” he pointed out. “They are more quiet but very elegant with a good sense of proportion. They add to the overall calm that a bathroom should bring.”
Additionally, a number of Fantini’s products are designed with proper ergonomics in mind. From a collaboration with Belgian designer Vincent Van Duysen, the company’s Icona collection was recently introduced. The collection offers two distinct variations—Classic and Deco—but both of them feature flat tops with a rounded edge, “so when you grasp it, it feels very comfortable in your hand,” Conti said. The Icona collection is characterized by its functionality, durability, and comfort that are expressed with a calm aesthetic quality that is in line with Fantini’s approach to clean, refined design.
Using Color to Enhance Well-being
Beyond aesthetics and ergonomics, the company also utilizes chromatherapy in its offerings to help support wellness in bathroom environments. To the unfamiliar, chromatherapy refers to a practice of alternative medicine in which light in the form of color is used to balance energy lacking from a person’s body, whether it be on physical, emotional, spiritual, or mental levels.
One of Fantini’s designs offering chromatherapy, ACquadolce provides optimal multisensory and environmental comfort with rainwater, waterfall, or spray functions; white light and color therapy with four-color light; the “Feel” program to create an emotive atmosphere; and touch technology with touchscreen controls to activate the various functions. ►
“Through the combination of water, color, and light, our products that use chromatherapy are able to improve a sense of wellbeing,” Conti said. “There are multiple settings including rain, waterfall, or mist as well as white light, colors, and a ‘feel program’ to create a multi-sensory experience. Chromatherapy encourages a natural rejuvenation to balance a person’s body,” he noted.
Committed to enhancing a sense of well-being and sustainability, Fantini has introduced a number of products that support the concept in a number of ways:
- Designs offering chromatherapy. Acquadolce is a multi-purpose shower system starting with simple, linear components in multiple forms to give the finished product a sense of extreme lightness. It offers the maximum multisensory and environmental comfort with rainwater, waterfall or spray functions; white light and color therapy with four-color light; the “Feel” program to create an emotive atmosphere; and touch technology with touchscreen controls to activate the various functions.
Additionally, the ceiling shower heads in the Acqua Zone collection offer both rainwater and waterfall options. The Acqua Zone Dream uses electronic controls to activate the different light and water movements, enveloping the person in six different moods of water which creates a rainbow of changing colors.
- Designs with bursts of color. Created in 1978 and as one of Fantini’s flagship products, I Balocchi is the first series of colored fixtures to meet enormous success on the market. Re-issued in 2012 with the “100 Fontane: Fantini for Africa” project, some details have been updated for contemporary style while the iconic Pop shapes and bright colors remain the same.
Combining pops of color with translucent elements, the Nice collection creates surprising optical effects and a wonderful sensory experience. The product is an energetic exploration of color and material, exhibited through the sensual, elegant, and refined lines for which the designers Matteo Thun and Antonio Rodriguez are known.
The Nice line is an exploration of color and material, exhibited through the sensual, elegant, and refined lines for which the designers Matteo Thun and Antonio Rodriguez are known.
As the wellness and sustainability trends continue to impact the way products and interiors are designed—and how people feel—Fantini remains committed supporting well-being and sustainability through design with water.