Social Sauna: Bathing and Wellbeing edited by Jane Withers Studio

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Edited by Jane Withers Studio and published by Therme Group, Social Sauna – Bathing and Wellbeing presents a new perspective on global sauna culture, ritual and design.

In recent years, sauna culture and urban bathing has undertaken a global resurgence, becoming a platform for cultural and design experimentation. The aim of Social Sauna is to illuminate one of the most venerated communal bathing traditions and analyse why and how it is gaining new relevance in our modern world.

With an increased attention on the importance of wellbeing, there is a growing momentum among younger generations in practising breathwork, cold water immersion, yoga, meditation, and urban bathing. Societally, mental and physical health is a higher priority than ever before.
Social Sauna explores sauna culture from ancient traditions of steam bathing through to modern experimental sauna practices. In doing so, the authors uncover the potential for sauna to positively impact wellbeing through its scientifically proven benefits to health, as well as its ability to cultivate a deep connection to nature and a sense of community.
As detailed in the publication, experimental sauna culture builds on traditional sauna practices, unifying scientific understanding and ancient knowledge with experimental forms of cultural expression, branching out into related areas such as ritual, performance, exercise and food. 

By defining the sauna’s essence and exploring how this practice is evolving for the 21st century, the authors reveal how sauna is a deeply social practice that can offer renewed benefits for health, wellbeing, and community. 

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