Bathroom-space designer Roca is celebrating its centenary this year. To comemorrate it, the company is organising various events that will take us through its history and gives us a glimps to what might come in the future.

The origins of this Spanish company date to 1917, at a family workshop in Barcelona. Today Roca employs over 22,600 workers and has 78 production plants, with presence in more than 170 markets in the five continents.

Although Roca is best known for its bathroom designs, the company started as a manufacturer of radiators for domestic heating.The introdiution of domestic heating systems in people’s homes represented a major step forward for health and welbeing.

The company then expanded into the bathroom arena, providing innovative, and sometimes luxurious products, for the emerging middle class.

We visited the first exhibition of this year at the Roca London Gallery in Chelsea, which explores the dynamic connection between marketing communications and the evolution of Roca.

Featuring posters and memorabilia through out the past decades, the exhibition offers a unique insight into how the brand has not only captured the mood of the times, but has also progressed and adapted over the past 100 years in line with changing attitudes, lifestyles and needs.

Visitors can follow an informed and insightful path through the extensive Roca archive, curated and displayed here for the first time, depicting a rich panorama of historic advertising, publications, photography and design material. These reflect the emergence of Roca as a global brand and also mark the bathroom transformations that took place in this era as a result of functional and spatial trends, hygiene habits, new materials, technologies and the major social, economic and political moments of the last century.

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The four values that define Roca map the brand communications journey through the exhibition: wellbeing, innovation, design and sustainability.

Wellbeing: Going back to Roca’s origins as a radiator manufacturer, the introduction of central heating marked a major step forward in providing comfort, health and wellbeing in the home. During this time, Roca’s communications embodied this transformation whilst keeping a strong focus on family and the moral values of the period.

Innovation: Roca has always recognised the value of innovative communications, both to be effective and also to echo its own innovation in materials, manufacturing processes, technology and products. Its imaginative advertising campaigns, ground-breaking products and Roca Galleries reflect this concept.

Design: Design is not just about aesthetics for Roca, it is the cornerstone of its philosophy. Roca’s commitment to design is reflected in its products, from collaborating with renowned architects and designers through to the presentation of its imagery, style and positioning.

Sustainability: It is often thought that sustainability is a recent message but looking back over Roca’s communications during its 100 year history, visitors can see how it emerged more than 50 years ago.

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A second centenary exhibition opening later in 2017 will focus on Roca’s product design history.

The exhibitions are also accompaniesd by very interesting talks. The next free evening events at Roca London Gallery is on May 6th at 6:30pm, entiteled: ‘Emotional Branding in a Digital Age.’

This practical seminar will look at the latest trends in emotional branding within the architecture and interior design sector. From virtual, physical and spiritual customer engagement.


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