Usually when we see shaped water it takes the form of ice or ice sculptures, but a student from the London Royal College of Art has challenged that notion and designed an environmentally friendly tap (or faucet) that dispenses tap water in elegant, swirling patterns. Simin Qiu’s clever design works by sending water through a double turbine causing it to spiral as water moves through it. It is operated by a simple push button on top of the tap that again complements the stream-lined, ergonomic design. The taps inner-workings are a combination of ratchet wheels, turbines and springs put together specifically to shape the water flow, along with holes cut into the nozzle of the tap to create patterns in the water. The unique design made waves and impressed judges enough to award it a Concept Award from reputable and internationally renowned IF Design in 2014. The prestigious award is recognised the world over and will give Qiu’s career a significant boost, not to mention a prize including a unique service package to assist in marketing and implementing his design.

A first reaction might be that this elegant looking piece of modern technology has been designed for the person with everything in mind and is somewhat a ‘show piece’ but in fact, the fancy tap limits water flow by 15%. This means that you waste less water whilst creating an aesthetic lattice-work design of H2O. Of course, some people have suggested that such a unique and visually appealing feature will only cause more water wastage as people are drawn to stare at it, but once the curiosity factor is taken out of the equation, it remains a clever water-saving device, albeit a very pretty one. Another innovative touch and cause for concern was how the water temperature is controlled as there is just one push button suggesting a preset temperature. This seems more likely in a public bathroom rather than a personal home that requires varying temperatures, but there is no doubt ways around this that student Qiu has probably thought of and for now the design is a mere prototype with three choices of swirling water patterns.

All known forms of life depend on water; we humans use it every day. This is one way of using water that encompasses convenience, comfort, energy saving, water saving and of course, pure enjoyment.

You can look at more of Qiu’s remarkable design on his Behance page

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