Taps and tales— Frankfurt


From toilets and baths to energy-efficient heating systems, the world’s biggest sanitation trade fair is where you’ll first see the technology that eventually makes it into our bathrooms. *Monocle* pays a visit.

Bathroom, ISH, Technology, toilets

Every two years in mid-March, a cluster of well-heeled industry insiders, from bathroom designers and technology geeks to international sales experts and property management moguls, head to Frankfurt for International Sanitation and Heating (ISH), the industry’s largest trade fair. It’s where producers and buyers from all over the world come to observe the latest in the water and energy industry, from sustainable sanitation solutions and bathroom design to heating and renewable energies.

Over five days Frankfurt becomes the converging point of…

Q&A: Hiromichi Tabata - Director, senior managing executive officer, TOTO, Japan

Tell us more about TOTO’s latest washout.
It’s the next generation of our famous washlet. I call it “the king of toilets” as it is very hi-tech and energy efficient. It also cleans itself using a special highly hygienic mist. It has TOTO’s signature simple design and comes with a self-warming and sensor-activated toilet seat lid.

TOTO has been around for almost a century, launching its first washlet in 1980 in Japan. What’s your take on Europe’s bathroom market?
We introduced TOTO to Europe about four years ago, after selling over 30 million of our signature washlets. Back then, we were among few in Europe to offer this type of product. Now we notice that there are more companies investing in similar toilets. This is good for us. Good to see we inspired others, but it also keeps us active and at the top of our game.

Q&A: Paul Flowers - Senior vice president of design, GROHE, Germany

GROHE is renowned for its shower heads. What are the latest designs in this field?
We’ve always been driven by the belief that good design has to also assure high performance. The latest shower heads from the Power & Soul series offer a choice of 11 spray patterns. As we want to be as water efficient as possible we also work towards creating designs that would cover larger showering areas.

Speaking of water saving, what else is GROHE doing in this direction?
We’ve just introduced the new Blue Mono water filter system – filtering, chilling and providing sparkling and still water. We want to give consumers a viable alternative to drinking bottled water all the time, which is horrendous for the environment. Just one plastic bottle takes up to seven litres of water to make.


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