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Inflatable shower curtain to cut your shower time?

Elisabeth Buecher, a student at Central Saint Martins College, has designed an inflatable shower curtain to help tackle water waste.

In a novel (if extreme) approach to water over-consumption following the recent spate of droughts, the shower curtain gradually inflates in the shower, leaving only a few minutes of washing time before suffocation occurs (he’s joking! – ED).

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.”

Not convinced? Unless your mother-in-law is visiting, we can think of better ways to save water, from our personal favourite the eco kettle to water butts.

  • Chris

    Fantastic. She’s created the number #1 suicide product of 2012!

  • Lynne West

    A shower should be a relaxing and refreshing experience, not a race to save water. We have enough pressure on us in everyday life – there are better ways to save water – it’s a silly idea.

  • Although as her website ( says, “These curtains are not products but art installations.” And they’re actually quite funny. Her one which has inflatable spikes (go look at the website!) actually looks quite good fun – I’d end up staying in the shower longer to play with it…

  • Macy Creg

    Lynne West, if you have better ideas to save water, so bring it on! so far USA people are whom waste more resources such as water or electricity in the whole word….. think about it….

  • There’s certainly a better way to force-save on water when absolutely necessary. For example, an automatic shutter would be a much better option than one that will eventually suffocates the user. Even from its aesthetic value as in art, still, it does not qualify to me as a noble invention. Technological inventions have been designed to make life a lot easier, not one that you put in your consciousness all the time, otherwise, your life is endangered. The inventor.designer can still go for something safer while it force-save on water.

  • Inspirational-I’m working up a concept that I am thinking of calling a “bath”

  • Harlowe Thrombey

    If each city and county cut the pressure to their water in half (unless the pressure is truly needed), then we’d save billions of gallons of water every year. In most cities the water pressure is set lazily high.

  • cindy

    One of the reasons I HATE a shower curtain is that it sometimes blows against me. Hate that plastic feeling against my wet body. Why would I want something that appears to be stuck to me the entire time?

  • James

    How do you get out?

  • laurel

    How about a 5 gallon solar shower in the forest?

  • Paull90

    Living in the UK we have so much rain, the only perk is not needing to worry about water usage 🙂

  • Susy

    If she wants to save on water perhaps she should contact Tesco’s Asda etc
    and ask them to stop selling Tap water and then she should contact the water
    authorities and ask them to stop selling OUR water to other countries.
    Problem solved!

  • Susy

    Cut water pressure? God some of you are really stupid! Tap water being sold as
    spring water by supermarkets, water authorities selling water abroad, Water
    leaks left for days before being repaired..How much water do you think we are
    losing with all these? If all these things were stopped and leaks repaired
    immediately then we would NOT have a water shortage! Wake up for Gods sake
    and stop believing everything the Government tell you.

  • Daniel Wells

    Until we can walk to the middle of the pacific ocean we should use as much water as we want

  • Alaska_Mike

    How about go back to well and septic… Water comes out of ground to faucet, goes down septic back into ground… Travels 150+feet and comes back up well.. clean… No waste, use all the water you want for as long as you want. I LOVE ALASKA!!!

  • Draxman

    Yeah, don’t give up the day job. Somehow I don’t think you’re going to make
    your fortune from this brainwave.

  • Rex Remes

    Doesn’t most water get processed/treated at waste treatment plants and then re-used?

  • Cristelstarr

    If the water companies actually worked on the leaks there would not be so much pressure on domestic users, they let millions of gallons a week go down the drain, so let us bathe in peace, and turn the hose on the water companies.

  • kriss b

    I don’t want the shower curtain touching me when I’m in there!!!!

  • dafuq did I just read

  • dodgy

    “…I call it ‘design of threat and punishment’ and I use it as an educational tool.”

    Giving them centrally proscribed limits ‘for their own good’? And you can’t see a problem with that? What kind of an education did you receive? There a a lot of dictators who would be proud of you…

    There is actually NO water shortage in the world at all. When you use water you DON’T destroy it. It is simply part of the water cycle – it can never be ‘lost’ as it always comes round again. When people talk about ‘water shortages’ what they really mean is ‘water infrastructure shortage’ – that is, the storage and distribution of water in an area is not enough to adequately supply the people living there.

    And the answer is to improve that infrastructure. NOT to allow companies to cut their investment to zero and make huge profits by selling a free and infinitely renewable material at inflated prices on the grounds that ‘it’s scarce’….

  • JohnDevries

    If the idea is to focus attention and increase awareness there are far better ways to achiever this without the expense of having to design, install and operate an inflatable shower curtain.

    Simply connect a wire from the live side of the mains via a time clock to the shower head. This will allow you a preset time under the water before delivering lethal voltage.

    Dyson eat your heart out!

  • Dani

    Only thing they don’t think about is that just like your alarm clock, you can turn it off and then go back to sleep. With this shower, all you have to do is get out, reset the time and then go back in.

  • Daphne Davis

    If you were claustrophobic that would scare the s**t out of you!

  • dubious

    I don’t think it will catch on

  • asiaman496


  • seems to me that the shower curtain would become moldy and mildewed rather quickly which is just nasty… how the hell do you dry that thing out completely? even a regular shower curtain does that if not dried properly after each use. i think i’ll stick to my regular routine, thanx

    • aardvaark2

      How long does anyone spend in the shower anyhow? Lifes too short

  • aardvaark2

    Yeh! But I can pitch the alarm clock across the room.