Dezeen Magazine

FFQT Outdoor Shower by Formafantasma for Quadro

Formafantasma designs "nomadic" outdoor shower powered by garden hose

Design studio Formafantasma has used a shower head with three different aerators to turn a garden hose into an al fresco shower for Italian manufacturer Quadro.

The FFQT Outdoor Shower, which was recently shortlisted for a Dezeen Award, was designed to require no dedicated plumbing and instead can be hooked up to any garden hose.

As a result, the stainless steel shower column can be easily set up and moved around a garden or even placed on a balcony.

FFQT Outdoor Shower by Formafantasma for Quadro
Formafantasma has designed a mobile outdoor shower for Quadro

"We created a nomadic object that holds the flexibility of a movable lamp rather than something that provides water," Quadro told Dezeen.

"It can be installed anywhere and in any condition, as long as there is a water outlet of any kind."

The shower head measures only 6.3 centimetres in diameter. But thanks to three spray aerators, Quadro says it can deliver a performance comparable to that of a 20-centimetre head.

While guaranteeing a constant flow of water – regardless of water pressure – these aerators also reduce the flow of water by up to five litres per minute to conserve resources.

Close-up of shower head with three aerators
The shower has three separate aerators

The shower column itself consists of a curved metal pipe, onto which connectors of different sizes can be slipped to hold in place hoses of different diameters.

The entire contraption is made of surgical-grade stainless steel, which does not require a coating in order to be resistant to oxidation and water corrosion.

Although steel has a high carbon footprint, the final product is durable and can easily be repaired or recycled.

The stainless steel also replaces other, more polluting materials such as brass, which can leak trace amounts of lead into the water supply.

"One thing about the company that we appreciated is actually that they use stainless steel instead of for instance brass, which is very common for many, many taps," said Andrea Trimarchi, who runs Formafantasma together with Simone Farresin.

"Also, because they don't need to add any extra finishing," he continued. "There are also a lot of galvanic processes that are used to make some taps, which I think are quite polluting."

FFQT Outdoor Shower by Formafantasma for Quadro
It can be hooked up to any garden hose

The outdoor shower forms part of the larger FFQT collection of taps, designed by Formafantasma for Quadro, which includes various bathroom and kitchen mixers with integrated aerators to conserve water.

However, due to supplier troubles, Formafantasma fell short of its initial goal, which was to redesign taps so that they would open in two stages rather than going from zero to 100 in one motion – much like the dual flush option on a toilet.

"So basically, when you are opening the tab, if you need a little water maybe to brush your teeth, you would encounter a resistance," Farresin said. "And then if you were pulling over that, then you would have access to more water."

The studio began creating such a mechanism in collaboration with Quadro and a German manufacturer. But after a year of development, the third-party producer ended up pulling out a few months before the launch.

"The provider that we were in contact with decided to not provide any more of these components because nobody else was interested in the product they were providing," Farresin said.

"In this respect, for this component of the project, it is somehow a failure," he added. "It is a failure because we couldn't achieve what we wanted. But I don't want to say that it's a failure, per se."

The FFQT Outdoor Shower has been shortlisted in the kitchen and bathroom product design category of this year's Dezeen Awards, where it is facing off against four other projects including a collection of faucets with a hidden smiley face by Studio Inma Bermúdez.