The Spa of Unconscious Desires
Touched by Design, Mondrian Hotel, 19 September 2017
The Spa of Unconscious Desires - Touched by Design,
Mondrian Hotel, 19 September 2017
This London Design Festival 2017 saw an exciting collaboration between Bompas & Parr and Mondrian London, the launch a one-off, late-night spa experience that showcased emerging design talent and explored an antithesis to the conventional world of wellness.
The fully curated spa evening at agua Bathhouse & Spa – Mondrian London’s much celebrated Spa Playground – pushed the boundaries between comfort, fear and disgust, submerging guests into a new interpretation of beauty and relaxation by playing with the predictable norms of spa treatments.
The selection of treatments were centred around a collection of bespoke spa-inspired design objects that were specially produced by emerging design talent Lucy Hardcastle, Method Studio, Edible Stories and Lyon & Lyon to amplify feelings of discomfort and encourage guests to indulge in their alter ego shadow selves.
The Spa of Unconscious Desires began with a guided meditation session accompanied by a curated selection of food and drink - also inspired by unconscious desires - designed by Mondrian London’s award-winning cocktail consultant, Ryan Chetiyawardana.
By choosing an object, a number was revealed, leading guests to a treatment room. Treatments on offer included:
Guests experienced total darkness as they were cocooned in a whole body wrap, coupled with an immersive monologue by Lucy Hardcastle and accompanied by a design object that encapsulated the sensory deprivation that was felt during the treatment. The Shadow Wrap was combined with a muscle-melting scalp treatment for total relaxation. Additionally, guests were also be able to consume their before and after treatment ‘self’ through an edible object created by Edible Stories.
VEIL OF TERRA
Visitors self-applied mud masks using a textured mirror designed by Edible Stories and manufactured from ‘melting metal’. Guests left the mask on for 15 minutes in the steam room, then in the shower used a specially designed ‘dirt soap’, conceptualised by Lyon & Lyon, on their body in a move that blurred the lines between beauty and grotesque.
SHAMANIC EGG HEALING
A group activity where rituals developed by Mesoamerican shamans were practised to rid the body of toxins. Guests then got to break their toxin-filled egg to symbolically crush the negativity out of their lives.
Volcanic stones were used to create an individual seismic sound bath, during which Lyon & Lyon conceptualised a stone object designed to be placed over the ears during the massage: the grating of the material impacted on the senses and amplified sound, creating an intense and claustrophobic world of sound.
CHROMATIC NAIL BAR
Guests received manicures colour-matched to their mood and their choice of cocktail, to induce a heightened emotional state where more was more.