We thought the PermaFLOW transparent sink trap was a pretty brilliant innovation, allowing you to see and clear those pesky under-basin clogs. But from Philippe Starck by way of Hansgrohe comes the Axor Starck V, which brings transparency up where we can see it. Starck calls it "a mixer that represents the absolute minimum: totally transparent, almost invisible, and enclosing a miracle that is the vortex."
While the impetus for the design—reportedly five years in the making—is poetic...
With the beauty and dynamism of its vortex, the mixer bridges the gap between the functional and emotional aspects of water at the washbasin, transforming it from a basic commodity to a valuable resource.
...Besides serving the technical function of making water visible, transparency aesthetically fuses the mixer body with its surroundings, thus, in essence de- materializing it. The openly designed spout contributes to the natural water experience: before the eyes of the user, the upward, swirling motion of water through the mixer's body and its "free-fall" into the washbasin trigger a feeling of joy and happiness.
...it is not without function and practicality:
The mixer is produced out of the organic material crystal glass, which is sustainable and durable. With a flow rate of 4 l/min, Axor Starck saves water without compromising the user experience. The open, rotatable, and detachable spout offers additional comfort: flexible installation of the mixer body in combination with the washbasin and easy cleaning in the dishwasher.
While the notion of washing your faucet in the dishwasher seems a bit strange, the detachability seems interesting; and as someone who has recently wrestled with a disassembled kitchen faucet, I'm very curious to see how this is installed.
The Axor Starck V just launched in Milan, and at press time was not yet up on Axor's website.