With the move to encourage drinking tap water, the ritual of how we present it deserves rethinking. So it’s good to see one of the first projects by Recentre, an organisation promoting sustainable design in the Eureregion, is a competition to design a water carafe. Six Belgian and Dutch designers were selected, and the idea is to boost Limburg’s drinKraantjeswater campaign by producing an iconic water carafe that can be used by local authorities and hopefully also adopted by cafés, hotel and restaurants as well as local people in the Limburg region. As one of the judges (the jury included Jan Boelen, Director of art centre Z33, Natasha Rommens, Director of Recentre, and members of Limburg’s drinKraantjeswater campaign), it was good to see that most of the designers had really thought about the pouring, storing and drinking of water and materials and forms that suit these actions. The winner was ‘Water Tower’ by Hegge ID, based on the water towers that loom over the fields of Flanders. There are three pieces that can be used in various combinations: you could keep the larger one in the fridge or use it at meals, while the smaller carafe and cup make sense at your desk or by the bed. The bulbous-waisted forms are friendly and satisfying to hold and drink from, and ceramic is of course traditional for drinking water.
Although consciousness is slowly changing, there have been some notable misfires in the campaign to encourage drinking tap water. Does anyone remember Boris’ ‘London Tap’ carafes, touted as an accessory on every café table? It was ugly, plastic (why?) and now presumably the tens of thousands handed out in the capital have long since gone to landfill. I look forward to seeing the ‘Water Tower’ carafe in more permanent use, and also Recentre’s future initiatives including a project based around the imaginative reuse of water from disused mines.
Posted by JW