By Vicki Matranga, Design Programs Coordinator
Get to know the people behind the stylish, thought-provoking designs that will be exhibited in Discover Design. This series of conversations will give you a glimpse of the inspirations, influences and ideas that go into creating the exciting products that you’ll see there at the 2013 Show.
We’re speaking with Stephen Bruner, Partner, one of the founders of Corkcicle, based in Orlando, Florida. One look at their clever icicle-shaped wine chiller and one’s immediate response is a smile and “Of course! What a cool idea!” Many trend spotters and trend setters have agreed.
Where do you find inspiration when designing new products?
We love designing new products. Our goal is to look at the wine/spirits industry, its history, its products and how consumers are enjoying them. Can they enjoy a better wine or liquor in a way that delivers the true essence of the product? We identify an area with a problem or need. We then create a beautiful, functional solution that is affordable and useable by the masses to help fill the gap – delivering products that enhance wine/spirit consumption and bring out the very best in each drinking experience.
Are there any specific designers, places or eras that influence you?
We are certainly influenced by the minimalist movement. We look to design products that are simple and sleek, yet incredibly effective. Designers and Brands we admire are Apple, Karim Rashid and the products featured in the Museum of Modern Art. Their products inspire simplicity from product to packaging. We want to create products that are simple to use, do not change everyday behavior and don’t require major bells and whistles to operate but bring a sense of beauty and tranquility to life. We think we’ve been successful in doing this with the Corkcicle.
How do you choose which idea to take to the next step — to product development?
It’s always hard to determine what products will make it off the white board – and our white board has many, many product ideas on it. To help us focus, we have a simple set of questions we ask ourselves; they are what we call our knock-out questions. Does this product make sense for our brand? Does it solve problem that fits into our brand? etc. If they pass round one, we turn to a small, select group of influencers to help us in defining the need and solution, then we move into prototyping.
Is there an approach or look that joins the functionality, form or emotional appeal of your product line?
We are minimalists at heart. We buy into the Less is More concept. In the digital age, consumers are hit with so much information and visual stimulation, it is overload. People are looking for ways to simplify life – and this includes making life easier in things they like to do the most. We believe that to stand out you do not need more functionality or more buttons/features, you need less. Do less, create a simple product that stands on its own and is beautiful in and of itself. We oversimplified the design of the Corkcicle and its packaging to adhere to this motto.
Where are your products manufactured?
Our products are manufactured in China.
How does Discover Design help to expand your brand?
Discover Design Great gives us additional exposure to largest retailers in the world. It is a great opportunity to meet and discuss our brand with retailers that are on the cutting edge.
What advice can you offer to designers working in the home goods field?
Don’t be tempted to overdesign or over complicate things that have the potential to be simple.
Be sure to visit Corkcicle in Booth S3868 at Discover Design to see their latest products. Learn more about the company by visiting corkcicle.com.
Discover Design is the premier design destination at the International Home + Housewares Show. Located in the South Building, within the Dine + Design Expo, the invitation-only category features more than 100 exhibitors from around the world. Companies driven by innovation and inspired by design present distinctive products and collections in Tabletop, Gift, Textiles and Home Décor. Exhibitors are selected to participate by a panel of industry experts comprised of retailers, design journalists and peers. Some exhibitors appeared here last year, many are new to our Show. The Discover Design Gallery, accessible to buyers and media, features select products that are entries in the gia Global Innovation Award for Design. Learn more about Discover Design exhibitors and their products by checking Housewares Connect 365 at www.housewares.org