A recent discussion with Josep Congost, Roca Bathroom’s design manager, explored the idea of innovation in bathroom design.
As Congost notes, "Good design should meet the functional requirements and have good ergonomics and user comfort. It must be aesthetic and thorough down to the last detail, and have a simple interface. A good design should be environmentally friendly and never seem antiquated, avoiding being fashionable."
Inspired by the interview, we have created a shortlist of taps that could enhance Australian homes in the future.
From Cognost's guidance we created five for Function, the Family, the Future, Now and Sustainability:
Dyson Airblade Tap faucet by Dyson
The Dyson Airblade Tap combines hand washing and drying technology in one unit. A winner of a 2013 Good Design Award, the Dyson system features integrated circuitry that computes when hands need washing or drying, and adjusts accordingly.
Infrared sensors pinpoint hand positions and release water from the tap stem. The integrated circuitry then computes when hands are wet and drying is being requested before activating the digital airblade motor, creating two high velocity filtered sheets of air from the tap’s branches to dry hands in 12 seconds.
The unit is fast, cost efficient, environmentally friendly and meets high hygiene standards.
Scald Guard™ by LINDONI®
The Lindoni Scald Guard utilises a unique inbuilt cartridge that automatically returns to the cold position as soon as the user has turned off the tap. The 2014 Good Design Award winning tap was designed as an economical solution to the issue of hot water scalding among toddlers and young children. Unlike most thermostatic mixer taps designed for scald reduction, Scald Guard is priced below $100 and enables Australian families to provide a safer environment for their loved ones.
The Koeda Intuitive tap mixer by ShanShan Wang
Designed by 2012 Reece Bathroom Innovation Award - Student category, winner ShanShan Wang, the Koeda intuitive mixer tap subverts the traditional mixer tap controls. The dial control mixer tap has been picked up for production since its award and will be manufactured in two versions; a non-electrical and electrical version.
The Koeda utilises a modified progressive cartridge that provides an innate dial control. By rotating the dial in a clockwise motion, water temperature gradually changes from cold to hot. Water pressure flow will progressively increase as the dial is rotated further - ensuring users are less likely to accidentally turn up water flow and waste excess water.
Koeda is handcrafted in porcelain and features an aerator that manages the directional flow of the water and softens the water’s texture. A slight bump angled at a 15 degrees incline in the faucet also minimises excess splashing.
A series of six LED lights, efficiently powered by two lithium cells, change from a light sky blue to a warm orange and finally to a dark searing red, indicating the mix of cold and hot water.
Milli Axon Tap by Phoenix Tapware
Image: Phoenix Tapware
The Million Axon basin mixer was an IF Product Design award winner for 2014 and is available now for purchase at Reece stores. The basin mixers have a modern appearance and cylindrical profile. They come in contrasting finishes of matte black and chrome and feature a slimline 27mm cartridge and solid brass construction. The taps have a six star water consumption rating and average four litres per minute.
Handmade, recycled timber bath spout from Wood Melbourne
Image: Wood Melbourne
The Kiri bath spout is hand made by Wood Melbourne designer/manufacturer Oliver MacLatchyfrom reclaimed 80 year old blackbutt timber.
Each piece of timber is put through a 12 step process including de-nailing, sanding and waxing to produce an individual timber spout.
Each finished timber spout is unique in aesthetic and character but uniform in function levels.