Aquor Water Systems is reinventing the way people access water outdoors, with a mission to design and manufacture the world's most innovative, efficient, and well-engineered water valves. Aquor partnered with industrial designers to create the next generation design vision appropriate for their target market; modern domestic constructions.
Aquor's product line does not have a spigot and valve handle exposed on the outside of the house. Instead, the traditional fixture is replaced with Aquor's Hydrant, a valve system embedded inside the wall and protected from freezing. The inner valve opens by locking a handle into the Hydrant via an exterior flush-mounted plate which has a spring-loaded hose connector with a 1/3-turn bayonet-style thread. The first handle product introducing Aquor's new design language is the Comfort Grip Hose Connector which connects standard 3/4" garden hoses to the Aquor Hydrant.
The high-level objective was to create a new design language focused on elevating the look and feel of Aquor's product line and brand. Hard constraints include improving the usability and comfort, improving the perception of durability, and maintaining cost-effective manufacturing. Aquor's existing products are well engineered, but lacked the visual appeal that connotes the sophistication and premium quality perception that their innovation deserves.
The design team was tasked with designing the new handle product that addressed a myriad of issues; grip diameters that were too small for comfort, knobs that were cumbersome to activate, ill-fitted vacuum caps that were susceptible to breaking, and overall aesthetics that did not convey the products' sophisticated level of innovation. Ergonomics, modularity (for expanding the product ecosystem), and durability (for both quality and longevity) were key elements the design team focused on solving during the design development process.
The Comfort Grip Hose Connector is the first product introducing Aquor's new design vision. This handle product connects standard 3/4" garden hoses to the Aquor Hydrant and combines two previous product functionalities into one SKU. A vacuum breaker, which prevents back flow, is paired with an angled faucet hose connector, which provides comfort and ease of use. The designers sculpted this union of elements to create a natural-inspired three-pointed "branching" form. This modern, dynamic design was then used to define the overall fluid design language.
This sophisticated design intent provides a smooth and comfortable form that highlights the individual functionality of each element. Each "branch" is intentionally surfaced to flow gracefully into one another. The vacuum cap is integrated into the body's geometry to better prevent accidental breakage. The over-mold material is used only where it is needed; on the main grip surfaces. Lastly, color creates a branded moment and indicates a call to action; on this product the knob is accented in Aquor's bold blue color. This bold color application also helps to easily find it within the greens/browns of the natural environment.
The result is a beautifully modern design that looks appropriate amongst modern domestic architecture, its main market.