Across the world, this year has brought a new view on clean and hygiene. After the recent announcement by global kitchen & bath leader, Kohler, about its Perspective of the Year entitled Dimensions of Wellbeing, we were intrigued to learn more. We sat down with Kohler’s Design Studio Manager, Erin Lilly, to discuss what role design plays in creating cleaner spaces.
How is your brand approaching designs and new product development with COVID-19 in mind?
As a leader in kitchen and bath for over 146 years, Kohler has always had a vested interest to help consumers maintain hygiene and health in the kitchen and bath. Health and hygiene are foundational to Kohler’s mission of gracious living. We recently debuted our Perspective of the Year, Dimensions of Wellbeing that explores the profound impact design can have on wellbeing, particularly the importance of healthy habits, clean environments and personal hygiene to the overall experience.
There are multiple aspects of clean we filter our designs through; performance (cleaning of self), cleanliness of object, perception of clean of object and a higher order of clean through organization that allows for a greater calm. The clean-ability of products is an integral part of our design process, and we often make design decision to improve a consumer’s ability to clean the products. We apply our industry heritage and a passion for innovation to provide specific solutions and products that address and improve personal hygiene and health.
What design solutions can help make a space cleaner?
One of the best ways to increase the cleanliness of a space is through the integration of touchless technology. For many years, we really only used touchless flush toilets and touchless faucets in commercial settings – sports arenas, public bathrooms in malls or stores, restaurants and so on. But recently, touchless technology has made its way into our homes in smart and seamless ways. Kitchen faucets are a great example – the less touching that happens in this space while you are prepping food or cleaning up, the better. Installing a touchless kitchen faucet reduces the potential of spreading contaminants and offers more efficiency also.
Touchless in the bathroom in both our homes and offices will be a crucial element to us all creating and enjoying more hygienic and clean spaces. And while some of us may remember a time when touchless in commercial settings was less than perfect in function and not desirable in form, the industry has advanced tremendously in the design and functionality that touchless bathroom products offer and we are starting to see this technology be adopted into residential spaces much more frequently.
Where do you see kitchen and bath design going in the future?
I think we will see a new or renewed focus on space design that incorporates a stronger idea of healthy and hygiene, from the materials used to the mood evoked. Healthy goes well beyond the physical to encompass emotional, mental, spiritual wellbeing and the environments and spaces we live, work and play in all impact our sense of wellbeing. Materials that repel dirt or allow for easier cleaning/withstand stronger cleaners, products that function with minimal to no human touch…these will all become more important in the discussion about bathroom design. We are also evaluating how behaviors and interiors (residential, commercial & hospitality) will evolve in the pursuit of enhanced hygiene.
Discover more on StudioKohler website.
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