DRY SPA (Casa Activa_atopia future home), 2019

How will the concept and method of bathing change in the upcoming era of water scarcity? Can the sensual stimulation of bathing be preserved without wasting water? The futuristic dry spa of casa activa is a solution for this. This sanitary ware is a specially adapted version of the Japanese Ofuro soaking tub. The vital energy of millions of dried cherry seeds stimulates the user while moving in the special, wooden tub, thus creating a perfect dry– hydrotherapy experience.


“If you reconstruct a given space, its operation will change, and this diverted space will put the entrenched experiences of participating users out of joint, and thus affect their attitudes.” (A. L.)

Antal Lakner has been creating his mechanical devices called INERS since 1998, which focus on the relationship between man and his material and spatial surroundings, to be precise, re-contextualize them. Of the latest developments in the range of dynamic furniture for smart homes, two pieces: Dry Spa and REM will be displayed at the exhibition (which were previously on display at Art Encounters’s exhibition space in Timișoara, Rumania and Glassyard Gallery in Budapest).

Casa activa, the utopic model home, suggests a comfortable, effortless lifestyle that is in stark contrast to the atopic objects diverted from their original function. Roland Barthes’s concept of atopy (a topos) emphasizes the lack of a given place, the neglect of the place, and distance from the place. “Drifting habitation” is closely related to the non-places of the era of supermodernity (Marc Augé), but here the idea is interwoven with humour and irony. The artist’s activity is closely related to the afunctional irony of INERS passive devices (fitness machines imitating wall painting and wheelbarrowing, etc.) as well as to the previous work and interventions of Téreltérítés Munkacsoport (Space diverting work team), Lakner’s formal research group exploring the use of public space.

The work team was founded by the students of Budapest Technical University (BME) and Moholy-Nagy University of Art and Design Budapest (MOME) who attended Antal Lakner’s Space diverting course at BME in 2008, and its activities evolved from its practical tasks. Its members – besides the founder – are young people engaged with the practical and theoretical aspects of architecture, design and art. The Space diverting work team deals primarily with projects in public spaces involving professionals and local space users aimed at diverting urban and institutional spaces with the purpose of awakening civilians, reinterpreting the use of public spaces for therapeutic purposes (see Mátyás-szellőző, Ernstmászás, Sick Museum Syndrome/SMS, etc.)

Through Lakner’s works presented here visitors can live the daily practice of a changed attitude to objects and our environment on the level of sensory experience. He speaks of a present and a post-human near future, where “the lack of place” transforms the use of space, reinterprets natural resources, and rewrites possible perspectives of human presence.