Kohler’s Karbon Faucet Points in All the Right Directions

I commented in my last post—on Ross Lovegrove’s Orbit Chair—that a recent visit to Los Angeles allowed a fortuitous re-familiarization with a much-loved iconic piece, the Eames classic Bentwood Lounger (LCW). Well after I’d sufficiently lounged in the lounger, a quick sally to the shower forged another real-world design encounter: with none other than the Grohe line of smart faucets and personalized bathroom interfaces—custom-set temperature and spray strength? Refreshing indeed.

Karbon Faucet. Manufactured by Kohler.

But while Grohe may be busy innovating water delivery in the bathroom, Kohler’s Karbon line of articulated faucets is doing the same for the kitchen. The multi-jointed (five “elbows” to be precise) fixture presents the excellent prospect of an exponentially expansive range of motion, thus “putting water exactly where it needs to be.”



As I mentioned in my look at Duravit’s Starck K, any chef worth his salt knows that cleanliness and organization is king. Thus, the roster of Karbon’s functional features reads like a Master Chef’s wish list for the ideal kitchen sink: 1. Clearance—with the articulations arranged linearly, Karbon offers a spectacular 18” of above-countertop clearance, thus allowing ample room for the roomiest of pots. 2. Angled Delivery—Karbon’s many bends creates infinite placement options, so no more fudging and nudging around the sink; wherever said receptacle happens to be, Karbon’s precision delivery let’s you find it without spilling a drop. 3. Expansive Reach—Like a robotic assembly arm, Karbon extends 13” beyond the sink, facilitating fill-ups of dog bowls, vases, and the like, without having to plunge the bowl all the way into the basin. 4. Flexible Delivery—Karbon can easily delve deep into the corners of the sink for precision rinsing and washing; no annoying splash-back, no unsightly spray spots. 5. Enhanced Compaction—at ultimate articulation Karbon folds in on itself like the proverbial turtle in its shell; ideal for unrestricted views and a clean-lined countertop.

As you might have sensed by now, I could go on and on as to Karbon’s extraordinary functionality (multiple spray options, recessed valves for cleanliness, and carbon technology for long-life, strength, and reduced weight round out the list), but it’s incumbent on me to save some space for Karbon’s aesthetic. Perhaps the first point to raise on this score is what the manufacturer calls “Sculpture”: “articulate the faucet into forms that truly express your individual style and taste,” Kohler says, referring to the ability to manipulate Karbon into the shapes that catch your eye and complement proximal elements. The feature allows proud displays or subdued configurations that can be changed at the touch of a finger. And the website offers some inspired shapely samples--the interactive interface allows multiple manipulations.

Kohler offers Karbon in an expansive range of colors and finishes: polished gold, bronze, black, silver, and chrome with joints in polished or brushed chrome, stainless, black, or gold. Mix and match to your heart’s content; choose wall or basin-mounted models; and revel in Karbon’s precision delivery. Its plethora of functional features is sure to help make your kitchen a spot-free bastion of enviable efficiency. It’s a fixture to make even Gordon Ramsay proud!

Posted May 28, 2009 by Joseph Starr

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