• Credit: Raftermen Photography

Ancient Egyptians constructed indoor latrines using sand, bricks, and wood. The ancient Romans and Greeks built elaborate, public spaces designated for communal bathing. From alabaster jars to chamber pots to outhouses, the “bathroom” was a designated space long before we became privy to indoor plumbing. Today, the space continues to reflect society’s design sense and hygienic capacity. WaterDream: The Art of Bathroom Design at the Museum of Design Atlanta uses images, bathroom fixtures, and installations to showcase the evolution of the space from the mid-19th century to the present. The exhibit centers on a 2005 contest launched by manufacturer Axor, which challenged European designers Patricia Urquiola, Jean-Marie Massaud, and Ronan and Erwan Bouroullec to create conceptual bathrooms that would emphasize water and where it comes from. The exhibit also features Philippe Starck’s minimalist late-20th-century bathroom design, a precursor to Axor’s challenge, as well as the bathrooms of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Barcelona, Spain, and the Queen Mary ocean liner—all to prove that good design is just as important as good hygiene. Through Sept. 17 • museumofdesign.org