An interview with EOOS

Duravit and Vienna-based design group EOOS share a long-standing partnership, having created six product lines together since they first began their work together. EOOS has been responsible for some of Duravit’s most popular and innovative items, including the OpenSpace, a shower that opens and closes to create newly usable space in the bathroom, and the Sundeck, a sleek pool with a clean cover that works in both indoor and outdoor settings. In an exclusive interview with Duravit, EOOS talks design, sustainability, and the future of the bathroom:

EOOS is now 17 years young. As a designer trio, what kind of design do you stand for?
Hopefully for design in which the aspects transformation, poetry and sustainability all play a major role. And also tolerance, because we want to design objects with which users can enter into an open, playful relationship. The product should not give the user strict rules on how to use it “correctly” but, instead, give the user a sense of freedom. 

What is the philosophy behind your work?
We define our programmatic approach as Poetic Analysis – researching and finding out about rituals, myths and intuitive images provides the starting point for our design processes. For us, Poetic Analysis® is an approach for how we see design, how we work together and drive innovation in design. It is an intangible tool that breathes life into concealed images and histories, traditions and archaic rituals; Poetic Analysis® penetrates the surface to dig deep into the roots. In this way, we get to the heart of rituals, mythologies and histories in order to explore the past and to look far into the future.

When you look back, how did you evolve during this time?
The collaboration with Duravit shaped our perception of wellbeing. We understand wellness as a gesture. Over the years, the overlap between Duravit and EOOS has become more visible and succinct. This is also seen in the projects. 

You have been designing and developing bathroom and wellness products for Duravit for some years now. So far, you have created six product series for the bathroom outfitter. It sounds like a success story…
It’s true, EOOS and Duravit are united by a partnership of many years’ standing. For us, continuity with our partners means concentrating on developing and enhancing projects. New projects do not simply emerge out of nothing but are generated by the energy that comes from a development process that is in constant motion. 

Which of these products is your personal favourite?
At the moment, our favourite is OpenSpace, a shower enclosure that seemingly disappears when not in use, so creating additional space in the bathroom. That is a real innovation.

Have you actually tried out the Nahho flotation tub for yourselves?
Of course, and we like to float with our ears underwater!

How important do you think a product’s quality claim is?
For us, quality is the sum of the obvious and hidden properties of a product.

…and what about sustainability?
What is needed are products that go hand in hand with sustainable materials and lifecycle design. Simply improving a product is not enough. We also have to re-design systems. For example, in the bathroom, the wastewater system plays an important role. As does energy, and many other elements. 

What role does light play for you?
Light plays an important role. One of our most recent projects for Duravit, the Delos range of bathroom furniture, combines materiality with immateriality. The Delos console is a floating board that, in conjunction with light, becomes a magical unit.

How do you see the bathroom of the future?
We believe that the transitions between the bathroom and living areas will become more fluid – there could be a merging of functions. We are interested in this expansion of typologies. The aim remains to achieve a maximum feeling of wellbeing with minimum use of materials.