By Vicki Matranga, Design Programs Coordinator
At the 2013 International Home + Housewares Show, the Innovation Theater in the Lakeside Center will present 21 educational programs, every hour beginning Saturday morning and ending Tuesday afternoon. At the Theater, located in Room E350 (near the entry to the Level 3 Lobby), experts in new product development and launch will discuss critical and timely topics in our industry. As the Show approaches, we introduce you to the presenters with a series of interviews. Be sure to mark your calendars for these exciting programs! Check www.housewares.org regularly for updates on the schedule of Show events.
Paul Hatch, TEAMS Design, moderator, Augusto Picozza, Jarden Consumer Solutions; Joe Moya, StudioMoya; Mark Prommel, Pensa.
Monday, March 4 3:30 pm – 4:20 pm
Designers have their feet on the ground but their head in the future. It often takes about a year to take an idea through production and onto the shelf, and three to five years before that product reaches a wider audience. So a designer has to constantly think about the needs of that consumer four years from now –ideally building longevity into the idea to last for decades.
This panel discussion brings together some of the smartest minds of the design world to scan the displays of the Show, discuss what trends and directions they see and point us toward the future. The panelists are all members of the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA). The Housewares Section members are experts in their fields and organize a panel discussion annually at our Show.
Moderator Paul Hatch heads TEAMS Design’s Chicago office, a global design consultancy founded in Southern Germany in 1956. He opened firm’s first satellite, in Chicago, in 1998. TEAMS Design now has five branches worldwide, more than 90 industrial designers and has received over 1000 design awards. The firm works with many global corporations including Bosch, Jarden and Bissell. TEAMS Design is known for designing entire product lines, creating product strategies and visual brand languages that strengthen brands in local and international markets.
Augusto Picozza, Director of Industrial Design; Jarden Consumer Solutions (JCS), a consumer products company which designs, manufactures and sells various categories of products, marketed under such well-known brands such as Sunbeam, Oster, Mr. Coffee, Crock Pot, Food Saver, Margaritaville, Bionaire, Holmes and Health o Meter. Prior to joining JCS 16 years ago, Augusto drove unique product solutions for Tupperware, domestic and international, for 14 years.
Joe Moya, President of StudioMoya LLC, leads StudioMoya’s product innovation and creative offence programs which helps clients to turn ideas into marketable products and brands that capture market share. Joe’s experience includes over 20 years in corporate, consulting and retail. He has worked with a wide range of clients including LG, GE, Cuisinart, World Kitchen, Medelco, Microsoft, Marvel and Vtech.
Mark Prommel is partner and design director of Pensa, a strategic design and engineering firm in Brooklyn, N.Y. Mark brings to Pensa his honest approach to design and a deep understanding of user needs. He believes the best solution is often the simplest one and that truly successful designs are stories which make connections with people. Throughout his 14 years of design work his clients have included HP, Microsoft, Panasonic, OXO, ESPN, Johnson & Johnson, Colgate-Palmolive, Burton and Samsung and he has received numerous design awards.
What inspires your passion in your work?
Paul: Curiosity for what is next, and what could be. Every new project provides new and interesting opportunities and another step forwards. Industrial Design is a very fulfilling profession; it’s so rewarding to be able to imagine the future and then create it piece by piece.
Augusto: What inspires me is the great variety of needs and potential new problems to solve for. It helps to keep your mind open and alert for those new “creative collisions” to occur. When that happens, it’s like doing something for the first time again. I find that the “norm” is the thing that propels your thoughts into the next improvement, or new method of solving a problem. It’s about knowing that you can make a difference….in a small way to a product, as well as in providing a major impact to a business.
Joe: Creativity and problem solving. Product design, development and marketing go hand in hand and I am passionate about blending these areas in my consulting work with clients.
Mark: What’s most inspiring is to know that a design solution is responding to real needs of real people and achieving this in a simple and elegant way. We are always striving to create solutions that are so appropriate and compelling that they seem like they must have always existed.
Why did you choose to speak at the International Home + Housewares Show?
Paul: The Show centers on sharing knowledge – color and materials, technology and innovation. I enjoy the open idea exchange that happens at the Innovation Theater, helping explore the new ideas we see through the Show.
Mark: At Pensa we have our own approach to understanding people and telling stories through design. We love to come together with other innovative and creative people to share our thoughts and learn from them. This venue is a great example of that type of opportunity.
Tell us what you will be speaking about and how and this topic is important for Show audiences.
Paul: The session is a discussion panel called “Designers Look Beyond the Horizon,” where the panelists will piece together the highlights of the Show to capture the ongoing trends and predict what’s next. There are some very talented panelists; I’m really looking forward to it!
Joe: The panel discussion is a recap on trends in housewares. It gives the audience a unique perspective from 3 panelists who will share unique experiences from consulting and corporate product design, development and marketing working with leading global branded companies.
You’ve presented in the Innovation Theater before. What are you looking forward to most from speaking at the Innovation Theater?
Paul: The audience at the Innovation Theater tends to be some of the most engaged and interesting people, so there are always great discussions. After seeing the show it’s a good place to share some thoughts with trend-spotters, innovators and designers.
Joe: I have participated at the Show in the past and have been involved throughout my career with product development and marketing housewares hard-lines products and home soft-lines products. It’s a great way to share my experience and help companies who are looking for insight from others.
What kind of impact can the speakers of the Innovation Theater make at the Show?
Paul: I think the collective knowledge that goes into the presentations is huge; it provides invaluable insights about today’s housewares delivered directly from some of the leaders in the industry.
Augusto: This is a great forum to provide the greatest secrets to only those who want to hear them. It’s about taking a moment to stop, listen and think….a pause in your busy day to absorb one small point that you take away with you….to be inspired.
Joe: The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) has been involved with the International Home + Housewares Show for many years and having a forum to share our perspective helps all businesses who are involved.
What do you see as consumers’ biggest concerns regarding housewares products?
Paul: The housewares category is unique in how much it needs to accentuate both style and practicality to the user. The aesthetic of many housewares products needs to tap into the emotional side of the user, and then answer to the rational side, providing function to fashion.
Augusto: There are questions that we need to help them answer, like..…Do I really need it? Will it do what it is supposed to, and how well? Will I love it after I bought it? Will it make me feel good as I use it? Is it a good value? Is it safe? Will it last? We need to be sure that we attend to not only the practical elements, but to the emotional triggers which drive interest.
Joe: I think one of the biggest concern’s consumers have is with being efficient in everyday life. Purchasing products that are user-friendly help solve their concerns.
Mark: Lives are complicated. Media and technology are coming at us everywhere we turn. How can design and innovation in housewares help to simplify people’s lives? How can we help enrich lives? Often the products in this category, such as culinary tools, represent areas of personal interest and pride for people. They can offer joy and a respite from our now fast-paced world. Or they can simply help to ease the burden of cumbersome and tedious chores. People want meaningful solutions, not just another gadget.
What are some of today’s trends or issues that new product development professionals face in the housewares market?
Paul: The users’ demand for eclectic materials has increased substantially over the last five years, bringing many unusual materials and colors together on one product. This has become a barometer for value; the more unusually the contrasting materials, the higher perceived value. While this provides a broad palette for the designer to work with, it also offers a greater challenge to make it work, both visually and in production.
Augusto: In a broad brush manner, it would be knowing who to design for, understanding the changing attitudes people have with traditional methods and what they are open to, for new and exciting solutions. We must ask ourselves….do we market products to people’s intelligence, or to people’s ignorance? What does the answer say about what we produce and how we do it?
Joe: Sustainability and ways to be more eco-friendly.
Mark: Competition is fierce. The level of design sophistication, quality and innovation is very high across the board. Today more than ever, products need to tell unique and compelling stories that connect with consumers in a straightforward and honest way.
What is the best advice you could give someone trying to get into your area of expertise?
Paul: It takes a certain type: Industrial Design calls for polar extremes in both halves of the brain –the creative side for invention, form exploration and ‘feel’, and the rational side for functionality, purpose and to bring it through production. Design is also a form of communication – a visualization of aspiration and contemporary thought, those who do it well will be rewarded for life.
Augusto: As an Industrial Designer, I’ve learned through the years that real insights come from wearing many hats. Aside from having an inherent talent, a formal education and building a deep and broad knowledge through experience, most importantly you must partner with those who wear specialized hats all the time.
Joe: Don’t box yourself in with industrial design alone, but rather, diversify your knowledge and experience in marketing, product development, retail and manufacturing.
Mark: Always remember that great design is about understanding people on many different levels. Be open and honest. It takes many attempts to get to the right solution.
Thank you, Paul and panelists. With such big thinkers thinking big thoughts, this is sure to be a thought-provoking discussion! We look forward to looking into the future with you on Monday afternoon at 3:30 p.m. in the Innovation Theater.