Focus: Water Resources
Location: London, United Kingdom
All life is dependent on water to survive. Yet, today, we stand on the verge of a global water crisis. Approximately 783 million people (one in nine), do not have access to clean and safe water. By 2050, the number of people on the planet is projected to exceed 9 billion, and if current water use trends continue, the world will be vulnerable to water shortages. Modern technology has often been used to satisfy the world’s water needs without considering social and environmental consequences. However, technology can also be leveraged to save water and build a sustainable society. While difficult, a product designer in London has shown the world how to do so in style.
In 2014, Simin Qiu, a design student at London’s Royal College of Art, came up with a luxurious-looking Swirl Faucet that saves water by whirling it into a beautiful, well-designed spiral. Qiu says the swirl symbolizes “nature and life.” The design works by sending water through a double turbine, giving an “authentic form back to water.” This turbine is created using two separate flow elements of varying diameters, one rotating clockwise, the other counter-clockwise, generating a sophisticated and beautiful pattern of water streams. The faucet is operated by a one-touch button that lets users select from three different effects. Holes cut into the nozzle filtering water in diverse shapes. The hollow jet is also gentler to use on the hands than conventional taps. Qiu maintains an environmental angle in each constituent of his design; all three patterns flow 0.4 seconds faster than a traditional faucet, requiring less time for the faucet to be turned on. Furthermore, since the turbine confines the flow of water by 15% at a pre-set temperature, more water is conserved and unnecessary heating is avoided.
In 2014, the Swirl Faucet won an iF Design concept award. Qiu was one of the 24 winners in the student design category, earning a prize of about 320 USD. Currently, Qui is searching for funding and hopes to distribute the Swirl at a large scale. The scope of this project is great: saving water in style and providing it in its most natural form.
Environmental Impact: Reduced water use and avoided heating
Measurement: Swirl Faucet
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