Joel Urruty


This thesis is a response to a personal problem I have with modern day bathrooms. The bathroom is a room we frequent daily, yet it is often times the room with the least visual interest. The design of a bathroom is no small task; it has many parameters that need to be addressed. One must consider the functional aspects as well as the practicality of the bathroom. Yet its aesthetics must not be overlooked. As a furniture designer and a craftsman I decided to challenge myself with the task of designing a bathroom. The goal was to create a unique setting for a bathroom, that evoked a positive emotional response from the user The sterile environment often found in today's bathrooms is not welcoming. Most rooms in a home are decorated to express the inhabitant's personal style. When decorating a house, close attention is paid to rooms such as living rooms and dining rooms, yet the bathroom, which is frequented more often than either of these rooms, tends to have a generic look. In The Essential Home Book, Getting Back To Basics, Terence Conran states, "Until the move towards more hygienic surfaces at the turn of the century, people tended to furnish their bathrooms much like other rooms in the house, with bathroom fixtures treated like pieces of furniture, often encased in fine dark woods such as mahogany. With the drive against dirt, the bathroom became rather less hospitable, with hard tiled surfaces and free-standing white cast-iron bathtubs."1 Through my extensive research I've come across several designers and architects who would tend to agree with my thoughts on this matter. They have attempted, as I have with this thesis, to challenge the conventional concept of what a bathroom is suppose to look like. The designs I've come across through my research range from the exotic to the minimalist. It seems everybody has their own view on what the ideal bathroom should look like. My ideal bathroom would be one which I could spend time in, forgetting the everyday worries and pressures of the outside world. A place of contemplation and privacy, where one can collect one's thoughts before starting their day and recapitulate them at the end of the day. The visual statement I chose to communicate in my design is one of comfort, elegance and serenity. Before delving into the design of this bathroom, it is important to take a look at the history of the bathroom and its role in human history. In view of the fact that what we consider a bathroom has only been in existence since the early 19th century. This will help us understand why the bathroom came to be what it is today.

Library of Congress Subject Headings

Bathrooms--Design; Bathrooms--History

Publication Date


Document Type


Department, Program, or Center

School for American Crafts (CIAS)


Sigler, Doug

Advisor/Committee Member

Leverich, Robert

Advisor/Committee Member

Heischmann, Robert


Note: imported from RIT’s Digital Media Library running on DSpace to RIT Scholar Works. Physical copy available through RIT's The Wallace Library at: NK2117.B33 U77 1997


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