From irritation to innovation... three years, two German engineers, and one million dollars transformed a frustrating problem for all parents into the award-winning Flexi Bath, a baby bath tub for Danish start-up A Real Cool World that resolves storage concerns. Against the wall, in a cabinet, under the bed... the Flexi Bath, in its folded state, can fit just about anywhere. Designer Niels Peter Estrup explains, "Our baby bath tub took up too much space - in what was a small bathroom too."
Flexi Bath. Designed by Niels Peter Estrup for A Real Cool World.
And so he embarked upon a journey to replace the bulky baby bath tub. The solution: a tub that folds flat for storage, similar to a collapsible shopping bag. Safety seems to be on everyone's minds when it comes to babies, hence the Flexi Bath's temperature-sensitive drain plug. The drain changes color from black to red when the water approaches the ideal bath temperature for a baby and if the drain becomes entirely red, which occurs at 37°C, a parent knows immediately that the water is too hot. For additional safety and comfort, the bottom of the bath has a non-slip surface.
The designer's material choice, rubber (PP and TPE), was likely inspired by Ole Jensen's rubber tub, a bathroom amenity designed for adults. Free of PVC and other hazardous materials, the Flexi-Bath is comfortable, healthy and environmentally responsible. Will the designer's heady investment pay off? On Friday, Flexi-Bath won the Spring 2009 Formland Design Award. The first (and currently only existing) product of A Real Cool World, the Flexi Bath had already earned itself the Kind + Jugend Innovation Award of 2008. And the tub has yet to hit the market.
Not surprisingly, interest is already high. Expect to see the Flexi Bath in the United States midway through 2009 at an affordable price of approximately $46 (recommended retail: DDK 269). The product will be available in seven color combinations ranging from black, blue and pink to completely transparent. New parents will appreciate its easy storage, safety features, and environmentally-sensitive design. If there's a baby shower in your future, the search for the perfect gift stops here.