iSave helps you save water

Water preservation is a hot-button topic right now as water restrictions kick in around the world, from the US to Brazil and India. Saving water starts with awareness – of how much is being used and how much is being wasted. Conserving our most precious resource can become par for the course by simply installing the right products and technology in homes and businesses.

Read more: iSave helps you save water

And then the water flowed

The number of innovations in bathroom fixtures these past few years have been staggering. Temperature adjustment, filtration, and new materials are just a few that come to mind.

Singaporean designer, Kai Tan, designed a tap fixture that would complement the minimalist design she calls Tapware. The design calls for an inverted cone that compactly folds up nearly flat to wall. Tapware unfolds the cone to a 135° angle when tapped. The inverted shape forms the spout and reveals a knob, which allows for temperature adjustment.

tapware2 Tapware

This tap’s design is chic, modern, minimalist and, let’s be honest, downright cool.

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The future of plumbing design

By: Winston Huff, in association with Smith Seckman and Reid Engineers, and the American Society of Plumbing Engineers (ASPE)

We take a look at how members of the plumbing industry are beginning to look at the plumbing systems in relation to the other design disciplines

Read more: The future of plumbing design

Feline precision, plumbing perfection

By: Kelly-Ann Prinsloo – writer

twittericon #CobraDesigncompetition

Murray Sharp is this month’s featured Cobra Design competition winner, who took first place with the Lynx, a high-end tap designed for functionality and purpose

In the 2013 Cobra Design competition, Murray Sharp’s Aloe Correct design took home the silver in the Best Tap/Mixer Design (Individuals/Professionals) category. But that wasn’t good enough for the 25 year old Durbanite, who returned to the competition in 2014 and won in the same category with his sleek and sophisticated Lynx mixer.

Sharp grew up in Port Shepstone, a small town on South Africa’s south coast. He left the coast to study industrial design at the University of Johannesburg, but later returned after receiving his BTech degree. He now lives and works in Durban.

“Industrial design covers a very broad field of design,” Sharp said, when asked how he got involved with the Cobra Design competition. “Essentially, we could design any product for any field with the right research. I was contacted by Ronelle Badenhorst (Cobra’s business unit manager). She asked me if I would be interested in entering the competition. I was immediately interested. A tap is a product that lends itself well to design. Clever functional tweaks, unique material choices, human/product interaction and beautiful form design all form part of a perfect product design challenge.”

Feline precision
Sharp’s design is named after the lynx, a wild cat that possesses incredible agility and flexibility. “The design thinking behind the Lynx concept was: How to take the induction heating technology and harness it to its full potential. It’s a design philosophy that asks why not; instead of why. If induction heating technology was to be incorporated in this tap, why not include electronics elsewhere on the tap? If this induction technology is expensive, why not design a luxury, top of the range tap that justifies its price tag? If this tap is top of the range, why not have it perform multiple functions that make your life simpler?”

A prototype of Sharp’s first foray into plumbing design, the Aloe tap, was unveiled at the 2014 prize giving and Sharp said he was blown away by the amazing job Cobra did in translating his design into an actual prototype. “Being the designer, I know where I pushed the boundaries and cut corners to produce a good picture. The amount of work and engineering that goes into actually developing a product as unique as mine is unprecedented. So, my hat goes off to the team at Cobra for managing to do this. That being said, the prototype is not exactly the same as my design – especially the handle, which has become a lot more elaborate.” Sharp added, however, that his design was not totally realistic and he understood that changes had to be made in order to create a practical product. “I am thrilled with the way the prototype came out, and am proud to put my name to it.”

One of the benefits of winning was that the prize money helped Sharp pay for his honeymoon. But more importantly, the exposure he has received via traditional and social media has added value to his portfolio. “Many people have heard about my work because of Cobra, and it has opened the door for new opportunities,” said Sharp.

Ease of installation
Sharp explained that, while the Aloe tap is straight forward and easy to install, the Lynx is slightly more complicated. “Over and above the standard tap body installation and plumbing, an induction heating box would have to be mounted to the wall under the cupboard, and possibly some basic wiring would have to be installed in order to allow the tap interface to communicate with the induction heating device and solenoid valves. But, Sharp adds, It’s nothing a plumber couldn't handle.”

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