Runtime: 1 semester
Completed in: January 2014
Individual project
Client: IKEA of Sweden
http://www.conceptkitchen2025.com/student-projects/mindful.html

This tap is designed to invite users to interact mindfully with water. The concept engages the user to interact directly with the water, from the moment of retrieving it from the tap to draining it through the sink. The designed interaction allowed for a direct connection between a person and the water, instead of being mediated by turning a knob.

Background
In a world full of stimuli it is hard to keep your attention directed to the activity at hand. During my thesis project I explored how to design for interactions that invite people to pay more attention and care for that what they do: being mindful throughout the interaction.

Water Flow Interaction
Similar to a conventional automated faucet, this faucet will switch on when it detects a hand. The water flow intensity can be adjusted by moving your hand up or down. When moving up, towards the faucet head, the flow intensity decreases. When moving downwards, into the basin the flow intensity increases.

Temperature Interaction
In normal condition, the faucet points straightforward and the water flowing from the faucet is cold. It can rotate approximately a quarter circle to the right. By moving your hand counter-clockwise away from your body, the faucet will follow your hand movement. The more the faucet is rotated to the right, the hotter the water will be.

Due to a sensor in the faucet head, not only the temperature can be influenced by the degree to which the faucet is turned, also the temperature can be read from this angle, leaving users never surprising users with some excessive hot water. If the water in the faucet head cools down, the faucet will automatically update the degree to which it is turned.

Sink Interaction
The draining system works somewhat differently from a conventional one. Firstly, it contains two sinks. The one at the right side leads to the sewer system. The sink at the left is for reusable water, and can e.g. be used to water your plants or flushing the toilet.
The second unconventional aspect of the draining system is that sinks are closed during the faucet interaction, filling the basin with water. When finished with the faucet interaction, you can either tilt the basin to the right. The water will flow to the far right sink, releasing the water towards the sewers. Tilt the basin to the left and the water will flow towards you in the left sink, indicating you want to keep the water. As the basin fills up you will automatically have an idea how much water you have been using.

Quick Water Interaction
For the moments you need to fill up a pan there is the toggle interaction. By tapping the head or neck of the faucet, a firm water flow will burst from the faucet on your release. Tap again and the water flow stops immediately.
Still you can set the water temperature by grabbing the faucet and rotating it to the desired temperature.