News & Stories

Design exploration for school washrooms

The new exhibit "NULL NULL” New Sanitary Spaces for Schools is now open at the LAUFEN Space Vienna, presenting the results of a program partnership between LAUFEN and the New Design University St. Pölten. As part of the general theme "Living Learning Space" of the Austrian Architecture Days, students have taken a holistic view of the washroom areas in educational environments examining their practical and social dynamic, and developed their research into innovative concepts embracing inclusion and design.

The collaboration with university design students has a long tradition at LAUFEN, dating back to the 1960s. Already in those years, innovative and revolutionary design approaches emerged at the LAUFEN production site in Gmunden, Austria in the form of international summer seminars for ceramics under the direction of Kurt Ohnsorg. The tradition of not only allowing but also encouraging creativity in relation to ceramics and the consideration of the bathroom at a conceptual level is something that LAUFEN continues to live by in the present day.

In this spirit, LAUFEN invited the Master’s program Interior Design & Visual Communication of the New Design University St. Pölten to a program partnership aligned with the general theme of the Austrian Architecture Days 21/22 “Living Learning Space”.

Architecture Days – Architecture and Education

Launched in June 2021, the Austrian Architecture Days will spend a year focusing on educational environments and are inviting people to rethink places of learning from different perspectives. As a partner of the Architecture Days, LAUFEN has responded to this call and, with the sponsored semester topic at the NDU, is not only supporting university research in the field of interior design, but also the discourse surrounding design issues in educational institutions.

“As a bathroom specialist and company that is intensively involved with the bathroom as a living space, Laufen would like to give new impetus to the previously rather neglected design of sanitary areas in schools. From the intensive engagement of the NDU students, it is evident how architecture and design can help to improve learning and teaching in the space.” Christian Schäfer, Managing Director LAUFEN Austria AG

“Sanitary spaces, it turns out, are also spaces of unguarded meetings, social exchange, and the definition of gender roles, which is why the integration of design, material, colour, and graphics is so important. The interaction of architecture and information creates identity and orientation.” Prof. Christine Schwaiger, New Design University St. Pölten.

The range of results, including sketches for spatial concepts, guidance systems, pictograms, colour suggestions as well as lighting moods, are presented in a conceptual exhibition at the LAUFEN Space Vienna.

The LAUFEN Space at Salzgries 21 in Vienna provides a fitting setting for ongoing exchange and dialogue in the fields of architecture, design and sustainability. It also displays a curated edition of the current design collections for the bathroom and invites visitors to be inspired by them.

“NULL NULL” New sanitary spaces for schools.
Salzgries 21, 1010 Vienna
Tue. to Fri. 13 – 18 h
By appointment
Please note the LAUFEN Space Vienna will be closed August 2nd to August 16th due to holidays. For visiting information and further details, click here.