For nearly 100 years, TOTO has been the recognized leader in performance innovation and design products that enhance the luxury bathroom experience. Concept 190, A WASHLET Studio located in the SoMa neighborhood of San Francisco, is TOTO’s first experiential showroom. Through Concept 190, TOTO hopes to provide a truly unique experience unlike any other, and to show the public what a bathroom experience should be—a moment to relax, refresh, and regain emotional and physical well-being. Read more in this Partner Spotlight with Amy Rubinger.
How did TOTO get its start?
At TOTO, we’ve always been inspired by a desire to improve everyone’s quality of life. Through a century rich with innovation, TOTO has changed the perception of what a bathroom can be — and how it can be used.
Our founder, Kazuchika Okura, had a vision more than one hundred years ago in 1912, before the concept of public sewage systems was widespread in Japan. After seeing more advanced systems overseas, he was moved to establish a ceramic sanitary ware laboratory to develop healthier and cleaner living spaces.
In 1917, Okura founded Toyo Toki K.K. (which became known as TOTO LTD.) to supply the market with these products. TOTO was founded on a commitment to provide a comfortable living space for people, while always protecting the planet and its water.
What is the story behind creating TOTO’s Concept 190 showroom?
Initially conceived to be a traditional showroom with products on display, the idea behind Concept 190 evolved considerably to better capture the attention of early adopters and influencers who make up the city San Francisco. The result was a multi-platform space for events with four experiential bathrooms for visitors to test drive the WASHLET and grasp its benefits first-hand.
As a departure from traditional showrooms, Concept 190 houses four private experiential concept bathrooms where visitors can test drive TOTO’s NEOREST, TOTO’s suite of intuitive bathroom products and WASHLET, a multifunctional seat with state of the art features like a heated seat, personal cleansing system, and eco-friendly electrolyzed water spray.
Why it is important to be in San Francisco?
Many trends and technologies that make up an integral part of our lives today were initially conceived in the Bay Area. The Bay Area has become the center for new technology that is continually shaping the future. TOTO has long been on the front lines of industry innovations, and San Francisco is a city that complements that core spirit of forward thinking. It only made sense to have San Francisco become the strategic base to show the world what the future of toilets looks like, as well as showcase industry leading standards for hygiene and personal wellbeing.
How can Concept 190 help other businesses and improve daily life?
Concept 190 holds several regularly scheduled public events each month in collaboration with other businesses involved in community, lifestyle, fitness and culture. In addition to events, Concept 190 acts as an outlet to explore new avenues for developing TOTO’s bathroom of the future. TOTO has always embraced technology, pursued the highest levels of cleanliness, incorporated high aesthetic standards, protected the environment, and worked to improve people’s lifestyles. Product research will be continually underway in the space to push innovation toward this goal.
What are some projects TOTO has been a part of here in San Francisco?
The TOTO WASHLET Team and Concept 190 are eager to be an active part of the local community, and have contributed to several charities and organizations. We have donated prizes for raffles hosted by HepBFree, Cancer Sucks, and the Cherry Blossom Festival in Japantown, among others. In our mission to spread word of the wonders of WASHLET, TOTO has collaborated with local organizations and influencers to share our mission on transforming the bathroom experience.