IHA chatted with Jeevak Badve, a designer shaping many products and experiences for tomorrow, about his presentation on the future home at the 2018 International Home + Housewares Show. At the Show, the Innovation Theater will feature 21 presentations over four days. Topics discussed will include smart home, consumer shopping preferences, branding and global market trends.
Jeevak Badve brings energy, passion and curiosity to his work as vice president, product innovation studio at Sundberg-Ferar, a full service industrial design firm supporting the product and vehicle industries from its metro Detroit location since 1934. He helps companies to understand and leverage the fundamental role of industrial design thinking to aid the sustainable growth of business, by planning for the entire range of use-case scenarios and designing for the ideal user experiences.
Jeevak has 22 years of design experience: seven years in India, with Tata Motors and others, and 14 years in the U.S., including his work at the GM Design Center and at Sundberg-Ferar. He earned an executive MBA from Michigan State University, and master in industrial design and B.S. in mechanical engineering from universities in India. He is a board member of the Michigan Design Council, the Detroit Creative Corridor Center, and has served on the board of the Industrial Designers Society of America.
Jeevak, what is the most exciting or rewarding part of your work?
For a designer, there is nothing more incredible than getting up, each and every day, and contemplating how to build the future. And as a consultancy, we get to think about diverse categories—from toothbrushes to tractors, appliances, medical products, tools and trains. Every week is a new product. Every week is a new client. And the best part is—we get to work with some of the best minds in advanced design studios across the product category spectrum.
What fuels your inspiration?
The resolve, the mindset, the approach we take: that each and every product can be a bit better and each and every product can be a bit more beautiful. If ultimately the products we design for our clients are going to be aligned towards the “betterment of human condition”, then that keeps me and our team marching on. We designers get that rare golden chance to eliminate the agony, the suffering, the frustration, the resentment, the pain that badly designed products inflict on us daily. This opportunity to aid in “pursuit of happiness” is my source of inspiration.
In the past few years, what has changed most in your business?
The greatest change we are observing, (and ohh so dearly and finally) is the urge for companies across categories to come to the same table and attempt to partner with each other. (Which should have always been the case!) The end user need not have to feel the pain, the friction that happens in between categories. They experience these products as a whole. So when we advise our clients to not push the problem from their category to another, but try to extinguish it completely from the ecosystem, such an idea is now being embraced. And that simply is great news for the end user (happiness) and in return the clients receive brand loyalty for the business (dollars).
Why did you choose to speak at the International Home + Housewares Show?
Home is where all the future action is! And ever will be. It’s not in your office, not your car, not your gym, not your restaurant. Home is where the magic happens and stays. The crucible of all human interaction is and was always around a fire—which is only in a home—in a kitchen or by a fireplace, never in a car or an office.
How a House Becomes a Home, in America
Sunday, March 11 1:30 p.m.– 2:20 p.m.
Innovation Theater, Lakeside Center E350
Tell us what you will be speaking about and how and this topic is important for Show audiences.
The narrative will evolve around the fundamental understanding that we indeed buy a house, a structure, a shelter; but we, as homo sapiens make it a “home”. The everyday behaviors, expectations and lifestyles affect the way we want to use the house, the articles in it, the space around it. It’s not just an assemblage of wood, concrete, metal, plastic and glass. We humans define, assign and derive meaning and value from each and every product in it. We surround ourselves with a sea of products, which we choose very, very deliberately. I will attempt to get to those roots of how and why we do what we do in a home. And going forward perhaps challenge the audience with questions like: what elements will remain and what elements might go extinct!
This is your first time presenting at our Innovation Theater. What are you looking forward to most?
I will look forward to other forward-thinking minds to bring in their expertise to the table and also to provoke my thoughts beyond,…. Each and every discipline has a lot to share and we have to acknowledge that just design alone will not make the product successful in the market! It’s a team sport.
What do you see as consumers’ biggest concerns regarding housewares products or how to shop for them?
At the end of the day, it’s about how those products, tools or utensils are going to provide the core benefit for which they were bought in the first place. The object has to be useful for the job to be done. Then you serve it up with added features and connectivity and amplification. But never deviate from the core offering. Today’s consumers can see through the smoke and mirrors of marketing’s over-promise. Be honest and purposeful in designing the product. Consumers want that. Always have and always will.
Thank you, Jeevak, for sharing your thinking on the values and beliefs a home represents. Your perspective on human needs from the past and forecast for the future will give a fresh interpretation to the many types of products exhibited at the Show.
Be sure to attend Jeevak’s presentation on Sunday, March 11 at 1:30 pm in the Innovation Theater, Lakeside Center E350.
Born in 1934 in metro Detroit, Sundberg-Ferar is the second-longest operating independent design studio in the U.S. They are a multi-disciplinary team of creative, talented, status-quo-questioning people. Throughout their long history they have evolved to serve clients in a broad range of categories including consumer products, medical equipment and vehicles of all types. They help their customers accomplish their business objectives to increase profit margins, gain market share, and ultimately build and enhance strong brands.
Learn from experts about how to invigorate your new products and services by enhancing your innovation efforts. Critical issues such as global design trends, branding, the needs of distinct consumer age and gender groups, and questions about smart/connected devices in our home environments all impact the home goods market. Be sure to attend the free executive-level educational sessions at the Innovation Theater. These programs will give you a fresh perspective as you walk the Show and will inspire, inform and improve your business. All programs will be audio-recorded and will be available at www.housewares.org after the Show.