On The Hunt for Timeless Design
Design a cutting edge tap for Cobra Watertech, Cobra searching for South Africa’s top tap designer in 2013 Cobra Design Competition. Cutting-edge and functional designs are what Cobra seeks for their consumers. Great minds to create great things! Will you create the ‘next big thing’? The competition is open to students, plumbers, designers, architects, specifiers and everyone with a penchant for design and calls on entrants to design a high quality tap or mixer worthy of bearing the Cobra brand name. “Design is very important to us,” says Ramielle De Jager, Cobra Product Manager. “We’ve always paid careful attention to every detail in the design of our products and this focus has set us apart from our competitors. It’s because of this that the competition concentrates specifically on product design.” The Cobra Star range of taps and mixers is a stalwart of Cobra design and a South African favourite, having been successfully manufactured and specified in local homes and offices for the past 50 years. The Cobra Design Competition aims to unearth tap and mixer designs with similar appeal and permanency. Aside from form and function, the competition also focuses on new technologies, such as alternative materials and efficient manufacturing processes. While Cobra manufactures all its fittings from DZR brass – the highest specification of brass that offers exceptional resistance to dezincification corrosion – it is exploring alternative materials that are in line with this high specification brass material requirement. It also uses polymers in its products and its research and development department is constantly looking for alternatives to these components, particularly eco-friendly substitutes. Cobra has made large investments into eco-friendly manufacturing processes and entrants are urged to bear this in mind when considering the materials and manufacturability of their taps and mixers. High quality designs expected Energy efficient design features are high on the judges’ list, along with increased functionality and organic design – the new buzzword in contemporary design. The expectations of entries in this regard are exceptionally high. “We’re expecting a high calibre of entries into the competition and, in particular, many inspiring concepts. Design in South Africa has come on in leaps and bounds and we’re right up there with the best designers in the world. We hope to see designs on a par with those showcased at Design Indaba recently. Essentially, we’re looking for the Heath Nash of the tap world!” says De Jager. The competition also adds great value to the local design fraternity, an aspect furthered through its incorporation in the curricula at the three universities in South Africa that offer industrial design as a course. “We want to add value to the industry in the sense that we open people’s minds to all the different types of products that need to be designed. It’s not only furniture and inspiring decor pieces that have a design element, but also something as basic as a tap that can be tweaked and spiced up with a good design style,” she adds.
Copper Image Dirk Lindner