The Battle for the Affluent Bottom

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The sponsor for the "Future City" Pecha Kucha was the Japanese bath manufacturer TOTO, who displayed its new Neorest 550, a high-tech luxury toilet which includes features like an automatic lid, remote control, duel flush, and bidet. Frances hears from TOTO's Allan Dallatore on the company's strategy, then visits with Little Tokyo Design Week co-creator Hitoshi Abe on why the fancy toilet is so prized in Japanese culture. 

Neorest 550

The Neorest 550 by TOTO with its nightlight to welcome evening visitors

Neorest room

The Neorest's sculptural profile

Meanwhile, the Wisconsin-based company Kohler has created its own luxury toilet, the NUMI, which debuted last month at a party in West Hollywood. Kohler product manager Michael Marbach and executive creative director Tristan Butterfield explain the NUMI's features, while Frances hears some first reactions from party guests Cameron Silver, the owner of the vintage shop Decades, and Frances's daughter, Summer.

NUMI house

The NUMI by Kohler features square, untoilet-like edges 

NUMI pool

Ads for the NUMI were photographed at the iconic Pierre Koenig-designed Stahl House