A fourth-year industrial design student at the University of New South Wales, Bryce Beard is a self-professed foodie, keen guitarist and creative for life.  From a young age, he loved to draw and took this into his blossoming career as an industrial designer.

Bryce gains inspiration from nature, and our interaction with it, by bringing the outside into everyday lives. “I love exploring the way form influences certain interactions and experiences,” he said. “It was this thinking that influenced my design for the BIA.”

He feels the role of the bathroom in everyday life comes down to relaxation. “I believe bathrooms shouldn’t be overcomplicated, otherwise they take away from that experience of relaxation. In designing for the bathroom I wanted to create a minimalistic open space and look. I wanted to create a sense of unity by combining all the functions of a tap in one form.”

Bryce’s BIA-winning tap design, Totus, takes its cues from traditional thermostats, with all the temperature adjustment functions combined into one convenient form. “It was quite interesting appropriating that function and combining it with technology in a simple, hidden way,” he said.

The idea, he said, is to turn the dial left for hot water, increasing the temperature as you turn. Turning   right increases the cold water temperature. Once the temperature is selected, the user can lower the dial to increase water flow. So, small adjustments left, right, up and down allow you to achieve the perfect water temperature. The added function of an LED light allows the user to visually monitor the temperature level according to colour intensity.

Totus also explores customisation in tapware, allowing the user to mix and match material and finish options to change the look and feel of their bathroom space.

Bryce’s working process began withdrawing and sketching of forms and details, before moving into interactive three-dimensional modelling. This was vital in testing the schematics of Bryce’s concept design.

“It involved constant collaboration with users, exploring the schematics of how people use and turn a tap mixer. Asking, is it comfortable to use? Is the function and form intuitive to use?”

“For me, the most challenging part was to combine all the schematics of different users into a single product.”

As the student winner of the 2015 BIA, Bryce will receive a $5,000 cash prize, and a career-defining internship with the design team at Roca. This will take place over a two week period at the Roca headquarters in Barcelona, Spain.

“Winning this award really acknowledged that I’m doing something right,” said Bryce. “It encourages me to create better products and to continue to innovate.”

N.B. The above images and copy are an editted extract from a Reece press release.