Inspired by traditional Asian boat building techniques, Otaku, by Israeli designer Tal Engel, is a bathtub woven from strips of wood.
Yes, white ash and maple veneer have created a pliable sheet to be placed within a steel frame; evoking a centuries-old tradition of bamboo baskets, produced by Asian craftspeople for travelling on water. Ensuring the bathtub remains watertight, layers of resin were added to the pressed surface and, despite Engel telling us that the bowl weighs ‘less than 15 kilograms’, the final outcome is a strong and durable product.
The project, which emphasises a unique relationship between sailing and bathing as states of mind, and between the boat and the bathtub as functional entities, was realised by the designer as his final Bachelor project at Berlin’s University of The Arts. If you’re an old romantic who has reveries of floating out to sea while in the tub, Engel’s inspired project is a-callin’.