Twin brothers Richard and Antony Joseph founded Joseph Joseph in 2003, combining their experience in product design and business. Specializing in contemporary kitchenware, Joseph Joseph is now internationally recognized for producing some of the most stylish and innovative products available. Their unique ability to match form and function has earned them global recognition for their designs. Damon Wilmott of Joseph Joseph shared with us his company’s views on design and inspiration.
IHA: What is the inspiration behind the design and functionality of your products?
Damon Wilmott: Our approach to product design is always to look at improved function first. Though our products are colorful, this is not part of our design strategy, more part of our identity and will change as kitchen trends change. We consider and agree on the design and its functional innovation before colors are chosen.
IHA: Are there specific designers that have influenced you?
DW: We respect industrial designers who have established their own product brands, for example James Dyson.
IHA: What makes a design “great”?
DW: For Joseph Joseph: Innovative function; intuitive operation; appropriate for the market?
IHA: How much does cost influence design?
DW: Very much. Consumers are making constant comparisons based on cost. Perceived value can be increased with good design.
IHA: What does your company offer the housewares industry?
DW: A fresh approach to everyday housewares.
IHA: How do you see design impacting the industry five years down the road? Longer?
DW: Outsourced manufacturing is key to our business. This means that we are not tied to a specific manufacturing technique. We can buy any product or material, so design becomes the most important driving force in our business. More and more companies in our industry are working like this so design will become more important in the next 5-10 years.
IHA: How much does the use or function of a product play into the design of it? Do your products follow a similar design throughout the line, or does the influence differ from piece to piece?
DW: We like to think every one of our products has its own unique story. We don’t have a theme running through the range except for the fact that there must be a functional innovation. This could be about compact storage, hygiene, improved function or multi-functions.
IHA: What advice can you offer to designers working in the homegoods field?
DW: Remain focused on what your market strength is and be the best at one aspect of design. Be known for something unique, then build the business from that.
To learn more about Joseph Joseph, see www.josephjoseph.com.
For more interviews with interesting designers and housewares innovators, visit the Inside Discover Design blog.