If the threat of high utility bills and impending drought isn’t enough to force you to take short showers, maybe Elisabeth Buecher’s “My Shower Curtain is a Green Warrior” can help. The Central Saint Martins College student designed the inflatable shower curtain for an assignment that asked, “How can your shower fight water overconsumption in either a disturbing
or a gorgeous way, using innovative materials, printing techniques, and
Buecher’s curtain is certainly disturbing, to say the least. The curtain slowly inflates around the person in the shower, leaving only a few minutes of washing time before suffocation occurs.
Elisabeth says: “My approach to design can sometimes appear shockingly radical but I
have got different reasons to legitimize that. An alarm clock is not
what we can call a pleasurable object. It is often even painful to be
awoken by it. However it is a necessary object, which regulates our
lives and the society. That’s what I call the “design for pain and for
our own good”. Some of my designs seem to constrain people, acting like
an alarm clock, awaking people to the consciousness of their behavior
and giving them limits… In France the government added thousands of new radars on the
roads to fight excessive speed. And it worked: there are far less
people killed on the roads of France today. I call it ‘design of threat
and punishment’ and I use it as an educational tool.”
I’m not sure that suffocating showers are the way to go–shower controls that automatically turn off after a certain time are more practical–but Buecher’s curtain is nothing if not effective.