Sculpture, sustainability and function, the Reece Bathroom Innovation Awards

Sculpture, sustainability and function prevailed in this year’s BIA bathroom design challenge which called on professional and student designers to conceive an innovative tapware concept for the contemporary bathroom environment.

The two winning tapware designs were selected for their innovative approach to water use and unique aesthetic that incorporates technologically advanced features while also addressing users’ modern lifestyle habits.

Industrial designer Michael Wilds has been named winner of the professional category, receiving a $10,000 cash reward and the opportunity to have his tap design prototyped by Italy’s largest tapware manufacturer, Nobilli. His winning design, Incline, combines sustainable water use features and a refined sculptural form to create a functional tap.

Judges admired the original thinking and space-saving minimalism of the design, which features a timed tap feature and visual countdown element that allows the user to monitor their water use through time. The tap’s striking design attracted the judges’ attention for its sculptural simplicity and architectural form.

University of New South Wales fourth-year industrial design student, Bryce Beard, is winner of the student category. Bryce’s winning tap design, Totus, will see him receive a $5,000 cash prize and a two-week internship with the design team of world-leading bathroom manufacturer, Roca. The internship will take place in Barcelona, Spain, where Roca is headquartered and promises to be a career-defining experience for Bryce.

His winning design takes inspiration from old thermostats, combining the function of adjusting water temperature and flow in a single conceptual mixer design. A special LED light feature provides a visual gauge for the user, with changing colour intensity representing different temperature levels.

Now in its tenth year, the BIA is one of Australia’s most respected product design competitions, encouraging and celebrating innovative bathroom design by providing a platform for entrants to share their talent and gain local and international exposure.

Reece Bathroom Business Manager Daniela Santilli said the 2015 BIA marked a long and proud history of pushing the boundaries in bathroom design.

“An essential part of the bathroom, tapware represents innovation in function and usability, as well as aesthetic and form. Most importantly, it is where environmentally conscious water use begins, and there is great opportunity to influence sustainable living habits through intelligent tapware design.”

In 2015, both professional and student winners were selected by BIA’s panel of nationally and internationally renowned judges including Amanda Stanaway, James Harper, Justin Wagemakers, Josep Congost, Shaynna Blaze, Roberto Palomba, Lorenzo Logi and Daniel Dalla Riva.

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