New “LK01” electronic taps for kitchen

The design that puts technology at the service of the environment. Interview with Luca Papini.

Saving water is an increasingly popular trend in design, and residential and professional kitchens are no exception. For this reason, we want to present a preview of our new electronic tap for the kitchen, which is able of reducing water waste, and will be launched at the ISH fair in Frankfurt this March. The best way to do so, it is through the words of Luca Papini, the designer who created this beautiful solution, that puts design and technology at the service of the environment. Here is the interview.

How did your idea of ​​this new electronic tap for kitchens come about?

The source of my inspiration was to solve and improve the experience in the kitchen, which translates into efficiency, hygiene and, in general, saving water to promote a much more rational use of it, simplifying life for the user. In fact, with this tap water consumption is optimized, given that it is used only when needed, with a simple gesture in front of the sensor.

When I started thinking about this electronic tap, I looked for inspiration on the market, reading articles and getting to know the end user. I realized that the problem in the kitchen is primarily water consumption. I think that raising people’s water saving awareness is one of the main arguments that prompted me to conceive this new electronic tap. I know that Idral has been addressing this issue in professional kitchens for years, thanks to pedal taps that lead to reduced consumption, and I wanted to continue in this direction: existing technology allows us to give innovative responses to the needs of the new generations, who are more concerned with environmental issues.

Another very important aspect, which I took into consideration to develop this solution, is the need to be able to control the water flow easily, given that we often have busy or dirty hands in the kitchen. The fact of controlling the water flow with a simple gesture simplifies the activities we carry out in the kitchen and improves the user experience.

Finally, I thought about hygiene: in fact, touchless technology does not require you to come into contact with any surface with your hands, avoiding contaminating the tap with dirty hands.

This new electronic tap combines the performance of a professional tap with the design of a residential space. What are the main benefits of this touchless solution for a residential rather than a professional kitchen?

In a professional kitchen (HoReCa) it is essential to have specific taps, because traditional taps do not guarantee the performance needed to deal with the intensive use required. It is comparable to a company with a production chain, where maybe you spend 8-10 hours with the kitchen running and the water is turned on and off continuously. So you need to interact with the taps all the time, for example to clean fish or fill pots.

In a private kitchen, however, the frequency of use of the tap is not as much, but the residential market is increasingly sensitive to the issue of saving water and energy and, therefore, this electronic tap becomes a very interesting solution.

In fact, this tap has a progressive cartridge. When you turn on the tap, you only start cold water, and by moving the lever from the neutral position, hot water is gradually drawn. This optimizes the functioning of the boiler and consequently minimizes the energy consumption.

What are the distinctive features of this new electronic tap? What options and finishes are available?

miscelatori elettronici per cucina risparmio idrico

I thought of two versions of this tap: the classic version, with the traditional swivel spout, and the one with the pull-out spray at the end of the swivel spout.

For the design, I have taken into account not only the aesthetic aspect, but also the functional one: the ergonomics of the tap facilitate the movements and allow an easy use. Furthermore, the extractable hand shower is easy to grip. Indeed, in the kitchen, we often need to move the water jet to perform multiple tasks, such as filling pots, washing fruit or salad,… We often have dirty or busy hands, so controlling the water flow without touching the lever, it further simplifies the cooking experience.

From an aesthetic point of view, I did a market research to understand existing trends and integrate them into my vision, which always starts from clean and minimalist lines, as my hallmark. The result is a simple design, which can be traced back to a sort of upside-down “L” for the classic version and an “L” with an extractable hand shower at the end for the second version. A peculiarity of both versions is that the barrel rotates allowing you to manage double bowls and all the required activities in complete freedom.

Another very interesting aspect from an aesthetic point of view is that we provide a wide range of colors with particular metallic finishes, in addition to the classic chrome, for example metallic gray and other colors on request such as mate black, white, graphite, gold or brushed copper or nickel.

Finally, this tap is also suitable for outdoor environments, for example you can install it on a small kitchen on the terrace or in the garden. In fact, it is available both with mains connection and with battery (with a very long duration), so it can also be installed where there is no electricity system. It is important to remember that the tap always signals when the battery is running low and has a mechanism that allows you to turn on the water manually, so you never run out of water.

What does the name “LK01” mean?

I wanted to give this tap my name, because I feel that reflects very much my vision. So I called it Luca Kitchen and gave it the number “1” because I imagine that it is the first of a collection that will evolve over time. It was a project that also involved my team and that lasted almost 8 months, during which we thought about it a lot: we studied it, we made tests, renderings,…, a lot of work by me and my team to find a solution which makes us proud. In fact, I find this new product very interesting, since it gives a nod to interior design, combining it with technology and sustainability. We have designed it for a customer who is attentive to the environment, a lover of cooking and beauty and connoisseur of technology. I imagine this tap in an open kitchen with peninsula, where you can share the pleasure of good food with your guests. That’s why, I emphasize the importance of finishes so that they can be easily part of the aesthetics of modern projects. Furthermore, “LK01” was created for the needs of a user who considers sustainability a priority and does not want to waste water.  We believe that design can put technology at the service of the environment.