minimal water

A revival of pioneering bathroom concepts using mist to address water stress in urban areas.
Even though the agricultural sector is generally the largest consumer of freshwater, this project focuses on household consumption as many European cities have to cope with increasing water stress.

Showers take up half of the daily water consumption. Additionally, the production of hot water is the second biggest use of energy in the home after heating. To put this into perspective: All wind power generated in 2017 could only provide one in ten people with a daily hot shower.

Alternative bathroom concepts were invented as early as 1936 with Richard Buckminster Fullers Dymaxion bathroom which intended to minimise resource use. Further developments followed in the 70s for instance by NASA for Skylab, their first space station. Whilst the achieved savings were impressive (the space shower needing 2 litres only), the focus on efficiency resulted in a less pleasant experience.

However, showers are popular not only because they practical, but also since they offer a sensual experience and stress relief. Therefore the aim of this project was to find a balance between efficiency and comfort.

The prototype effectively used 5 times less water than a normal shower head (2l compared to 10l per minute) and 10 times less than a rain shower (20l per minute). By using several nozzles placed strategically around the body, the comfort is improved significantly — offering an experience as invigorating as a regular shower.

The energy consumption of a mist shower is so low, it could function ‘off-the-grid’ even in an urban context.

Low-tech Magazine wrote a fantastic review ✎

other publications:

Graduation Project
Design Academy Eindhoven, department Man in Motion

water, energy, concept, prototype, future living, urban, environment


early sketch
possibilities of downsizing infrastructure
diagram of parts of a DIY mist shower
the first (satisfying) working prototype
Minimal Water at Dutch Design Week 2019