Get to know the people behind the stylish products that will appear at the 2014 International Home + Housewares Show in Discover Design. Ourconversations with exhibitors give you a glimpse of the inspirations, influences and ideas that go into creating the exciting products that you’ll see very soon at McCormick Place. Today we’re speaking with Ken Yeung, president, Siliconezone. Siliconezone is based in Hong Kong with U.S. headquarters in Old Bridge, N.J.
Ken, where do you find inspiration when designing new products?
We engage designers like Karim Rashid whose work reflects not trends as much as an expression of our world in striking but classic forms. We also turn to nature, art, food, architecture and fashion –all which feed the Siliconezone sensibility. Our product palette enjoys scope and vision from multiple sources and designers who each bring global and personal influences. Along with our own product development team, we look to expand our view and our product design through associations with highly-regarded designers. We tend toward the clean and useful design, and use materials like silicone to give us – and our designers – the flexibility and outcome users will enjoy through the cooperation of the design and the material. Equally important, we have fun and capitalize on the fun part of functionality – check out our Piggy line, the iconic Hello Kitty line, Karim Rashid’s Pop Art- influenced products for Siliconezone, the charm and cleverness of our SillyPop, the innovation of the EZSeal, and our cute My Animals and Chocochips cake and chocolate molds.
Are there any specific designers, places or eras that influence you?
We are looking forward to announcing the addition of new designers joining the Siliconezone design contingent. We are thrilled with the additions to the kitchen and household cleaning and cleanup tools to the Siliconezone product family by Karim Rashid. We will be adding other renowned and exciting designers who, along with our in-house design initiative, we anticipate will expand the sensibility and expression of our Life is Art standard.
How do you choose which idea to take to the next step — to product development?
As a global company, we can consider multiple opportunities in product introduction. Of course, not all products are appropriate to all markets, but we do have a chance to assess products in specific global markets. All Siliconezone products are carefully considered for exceptional performance and appropriateness to the material, to the function and to the need of the user.
How do you identify the key user audience for your products?
We know that the core demographic is women, but see growth in value-minded consumers who seek out smart, functional products with fun and design attributes. Further, we are capitalizing on the growing interest in the consumer marketplace for space-saving, storage-sensitive and safe, long-lasting materials in their products.
Is there an approach or look that joins the functionality, form or emotional appeal of your product line?
That description pretty much defines the Siliconezone and Siconi lines – function in an attractive, fresh form that has an innate and meaningful appeal and attraction to the user – whether new college graduates in their first apartments, or a family short on kitchen space and anyone who desires and appreciates both design and performance in one fun and appealing package.
Where are your products manufactured?
Manufacturing is based in the Far East and close to our international headquarters.
How do you see design’s importance in our industry as it moves forward?
Design is essential to function. For all of us at Siliconezone and Siconi– we live, breath and deliver on our promise that Life is Art. From our perspective, design drives not only the utility of our kitchen and lifestyle products, but becomes part of the essential landscape and tools of our lives. By joining our design sensibilities with the innovations of our design partners such as the renowned Karim Rashid, we can deliver products with classic but fun and functional design from food prep to cleanup.
Tell us about your previous experience with Discover Design and how our Show helped build your relationships with buyers and media.
Siliconezone has the unique position of having some history but we are excited about our re-energized, re-invigorated and renewed affiliation with Discover Design and in the housewares category. This has allowed Siliconezone and Siconi to join forces to exhibit with like-minded colleagues who understand the value of design that is committed to enhancing and not overwhelming function.
Discover Design is a wonderful opportunity within the International Home + Housewares Show environment to showcase some of the most interesting and inventive designs in our industry and witness the collaboration of product and design in real time.
Thank you, Mr. Yeung, for explaining your determined design approach for developing artful and expressive items for the kitchen. It’s great to hear that Discover Design provides a community for design-focused companies like yours. We will see you soon in Chicago at the Show’s thriving design hub in South Building. Visit Silicone Zone in Discover Design S4077. Learn about their colorful and fun products that bring art to life at home. www.siliconezone.com
Discover Design is the premier design destination at the International Home + Housewares Show. Located in the South Building, the invitation-only category features more than 100 exhibitors from around the world. Companies driven by innovation and design present distinctive products and collections in Tabletop, Gift, Textiles and Home Décor categories. The Discover Design Gallery, accessible to buyers and media, features select products that are entries in the Global Innovation Award (gia) for Design. Learn more about Discover Design exhibitors and their products by checking Housewares Connect 365.