by Vicki Matranga
Design Programs + Services, International Housewares Association
IHA speaks with Laura Perri, senior manager, digital content and brand marketing at Nambé, to hear the about the latest developments at the company known for its trendsetting tableware and gift items.
IHA: Laura, where does Nambé find inspiration in designing new products?
LP: We work with leading designers around the world to create products that bring style and function into the home. Our designers find inspiration at every turn. For example, our Drift collection, a new introduction in glass for the 2017 International Home + Housewares Show, was inspired by sand drifts in the desert. Our Cabo collection takes a more rustic, beachy approach, and POP introduces color.
IHA: Are there any specific designers, places or eras that influence you?
LP: Nambé just recently celebrated its 65th anniversary and has certainly been influenced by many designers over the years. Nambé’s design aesthetic remains true to its heritage, creating products that embrace mid-century modern design. Nambé products maintain a modern appeal, yet they’re still timeless. Pieces like the Butterfly Bowl have been in our collection since it was first introduced in 1957.
IHA: How do you choose which idea to take to development?
LP: There are several factors to consider when thinking about new product development. We look at our current collection and look for gaps in the existing assortment, whether it be for function, price or material. This often leads us down a path worth exploring. We’ll also conduct some informal market research to see what’s trending.
We then work with our designers to create concept and technical drawings, which we then forward on to our manufacturers to assess whether the item can be manufactured and if it is cost-effective to produce.
IHA: How do you identify the key user audience for your products?
LP: Nambé pieces make wonderful gifts, entertaining essentials and home accents. We put a focus on products that are functional and stylish. The key user appreciates both and has an eye for good design. The items are often passed down from one generation to the next.
IHA: How do new technologies influence your product design?
LP: Nambé has an active presence in social media. We use platforms like Instagram to showcase user-generated content and ideas on how to use your Nambé pieces, as well as Facebook to keep followers up to date on the latest Nambé news and trends. Nambé has also started looking to influencers to help us create robust content and help spread word of mouth.
Nambé uses 3D printing on almost all of our products. Nambé will often create a 3D printed plastic prototype to provide a really good sense of what the product will look like.
IHA: How do you see design’s importance in our industry as it moves forward?
LP: Great design is at the forefront of everything we do at Nambé. It is our dedication to artistic integrity, and commitment to timeless beauty and uncompromising quality that has contributed to our recognition in the design community and will continue to guide us as we move forward. Our pieces have received numerous design awards and are featured in museums around the world.
To learn more about Nambé and its products, see www.nambe.com.
And, find Nambé products in use on The Inspired Home at https://theinspiredhome.com/search?q=nambe.
For more interviews with interesting designers and housewares innovators, visit the Discovering Design blog.