Equipped with sound effects, deodorizers, sanitizers, automatic lid-opening and -closing systems, as well as washlets and seat-heating mechanisms, Japanese toilets are striking in their modernity and comfort. Animated and interactive, and due to their digital technology reaching a new dimension of anthropomorphism, they surpass by far their Western, mostly mechanized equivalents. Yet as contemporary as all these effects might seem, more than anything they recall core features of the traditional Japanese house: the sound imitates the running water outside the home, the deodorizing smell is a reminder of the Kinmokusei flowers planted beside outhouse toilets, the pre-warmed seat is the counterpart to the absence of heating in the traditional toilet.
Ina StammbergerJin GuOleksandra Lebid
Thing of Modernity – Mapping the Micro-geography of Everyday Environments