Exhibitor interview with product designer: Willi Bruckbauer, founder and head of design for Bora
Q: Where do you get your inspiration for new products?
A: I was a master carpenter for over 20 years, designing and making kitchens. This is where I learned and experienced first-hand the physical and visual obstructions often caused by huge extractor hoods.
Not only did these obstruct views, but people knocked into the corners making them something of a hazard, particularly in a busy family kitchen.
My vision was to follow the needs of the customers, so I invented my very own extractor that met the highest standards of function and aesthetics. The result is the Bora cooktop extractor system, with the extractor integrated directly into the cooktop to draw the cooking vapours downwards.
The original patent has multiple advantages: the premium-quality systems are more effective than conventional hoods, extremely quiet, energy efficient and easy to clean. They enable maximum design freedom and a clear view.
Q: How is technology changing the way you approach design?
A: Technology is, quite simply, revolutionising kitchen extraction design as we have always known it. As our kitchen and living spaces become open-plan, inventiveness is required. Who wants to visually overload a kitchen with a bulky hood that obstructs the free flow of an open-plan space?
The solution is the downdraft extraction hob, signalling an end to the extractor hood in the conventional sense. A downdraft extractor quite literally removes the steam and odours away from pots and pans exactly as they arise, drawing them downwards before they have the chance to permeate the air.
Grease particles released during cooking are trapped in the filter, so that it feels like cooking and living in fresh air. With odours being released at source, the cook themselves is not part of the cooking process.
Q: There has been a focus recently on sustainability and ‘eco-friendly’ design. Do you think it’s necessary? Are consumers really bothered?
A: There is a need for sustainability and consumers are eco conscious to a certain extent but what they really want to know is how can they cook like a professional in a sustainable manner? What does an A+ energy rating on a cooktop mean in real terms and how can it help them keep energy bills in check?