All that sophisticated faucet technology I shared in yesterday’s post (Part I) about my visit to Delta Faucet Company needs an equally sophisticated aesthetic design. That’s where Director of Industrial Design Judd Lord comes in! During a tour of Delta’s on-site design studio, Lord and his team shared the inspirations behind their luxury Brizo collections.

While some of their design direction comes from professional trend forecasters (who chart even the slightest trend changes on a quarterly basis), some of the most inventive insights happen when Lord is out and about on cool-hunting expeditions.

For example, wrought iron scrollwork with a unique 1/4” twist discovered while walking the streets of Paris became the impetus for the groundbreaking Virage lav faucet. The Beliza kitchen and bath suite was inspired by a stunning beacon of light he witnessed emanating from a lighthouse, while the Venuto‘s handle is an exact replica of the delicate hair sticks worn by waitresses in a sake bar in Italy.

With that out-of-the-box maker mindset, Lord and his crew prefer to attend conferences and events completely unrelated to the plumbing fixture world to keep ahead of design trends. In addition to auto shows, gift fairs, and interior design expos like ICFF, Fashion Week is an important early indicator of what might be trending in the faucet design world over the next couple of years.

Says Lord, “When a model walks down the runway, I’m observing the form, material, and movement of the clothing — then thinking of how I can translate what I see into a faucet design.”

With Lord’s keen eye for trend-spotting and a talent for reinterpreting that into what he calls “functional sculpture,” Brizo has been rapidly gaining the loyalty of interior designers and architects with fashion-forward clientele. But I would be remiss if I didn’t also credit the talented young designers he collaborates with, which Lord was sure to do often. As a guest industrial design professor at Purdue and other local universities, Lord has his pick of promising designers. One such young protege is Lead Designer Seth Fritz, who co-created the stunning bath collection with fashion designer Jason Wu due out this fall.

So what’s going to be hot in the faucet world? Mixed materials, including the innovative use of unexpected materials as seen in the interchangeable handles of their Siderna suite. Color blocks are very with it, as well.

The Delta kitchen faucet Fuse has been selling like hotcakes, especially the Chili Pepper red! In a completely different direction, Lord predicts Asian Fusion to be coming back around, as it always does every 3-5 years. As he told us, there are usually 4-6 trends that emerge each season as important — which means there will always be a look for everyone’s taste!

Has all this talk about cool technology and stellar design got you hunkering for a new faucet? Well, this just might be your lucky day — Delta has surprised us with an awesome giveaway! Stay tuned for my last installment of “Delta Taps the Maker Movement” for all the juicy details!

Disclosure: Delta Faucets invited Jetson Green to Indianapolis and covered expenses during the conference.  All opinions are our own.  Photo credits: Lisa Vail.