New domestic spheres to live in: this series of interiors is an excerpt of Kristall — a thesis by Daryan Knoblauch concerned with the spatial implications of water. It investigates the emergence of the bathroom as a built repercussion of body culture through a series of case studies revealing the social implications of the bathroom that have shaped the contemporary idea of domesticity.
The central aim of the thesis is to conceptualise the bathroom as a built device that encompasses the production of desire, body culture and functionality through a close reading of fine arts, advertisements and the built environment.
Through historical and typological analysis, the bathroom’s cultural and architectural characteristics are uncovered so they may be instrumentalized as alternative domestic living models. Additionally, the thesis investigates the notion of the fetishisation of self-design, in which hygiene codes, cosmetics, fashion and body culture lead to domestic desires closely linked to the psychological rather than the physical. This phenomenon is further critically explored through the design.
The resulting spaces define planned architectures which re-center the body of the occupant within space. Not as a vector that undertakes functions assigned to rooms such as cooking, eating, shitting, showering, having sex and going to bed, but as a performative self that interacts with the other to feel alive today.
The project Kristall has been designed, researched and written by Daryan Knoblauch and is currently exhibited at the Melbourne Design Week as part of “Otherspaces” within the framework of the National Gallery of Victoria. The complete thesis will be published as a book soon.