LIXIL brands are pushing design thinking in the home

10:43 | 20/03/2020 Companies

“We want to create experiences in the home that people absolutely fall in love with,” says LIXIL’s Chief Design Officer, Paul Flowers, the driving force behind design-led innovation at LIXIL.

Two years ago, Flowers was tasked with wedding some of the most advanced technologies in and around the home with desirable and meaningful designs, all part of the company’s shift to becoming more consumer-centric.

lixil brands are pushing design thinking in the home

INAX wins iF Design Award for brand’s signature elements

Since then, he has established a centralized Global Design Organization to oversee LIXIL’s house of brands, opened new in-house design studios around the world, and implemented design and work processes that are redefining LIXIL’s water and housing products.

“We have reworked the entire design process at LIXIL and I am proud to see our teams are winning global accolades for it, including 27 iF design awards this year. In particular, last year we redesigned the visual identity of our INAX brand, which alone picked up 15 awards – an incredible sign of recognition and a telltale sign of things to come,” says Flowers. Paul and his team are credited for their contribution in driving the LWT business to win 49 prestigious iF and Red Dot Design awards in the past three years and supporting other LIXIL brands beyond GROHE, to win numerous awards.

Design is a key driver of LIXIL’s differentiation strategy, along with technology, quality and brand. Over his years at LIXIL, Paul has been influential in embedding a design-centric approach at LIXIL Water Technology – LIXIL’s business unit with INAX, American Standard and GROHE brands under its portfolio, among others.

INAX makes its mark

lixil brands are pushing design thinking in the home

As part of LIXIL’s approach to applying design, its designers have been developing and applying a “brand lenses” to each of its global water technology brands, introducing signature elements that form a brand’s visual and emotional identity. This ensures they are well-defined, authentic, and with a unique sense of purpose, all while staying true to their cultural roots.

INAX, a LIXIL bathroom and kitchen brand from Japan, received an iF Design Award for its signature elements, which were unveiled at Milan Design Week in 2019 for the first time. Combining architectural and human elements, INAX’s signature elements convey Japanese aesthetics in a new, contemporary style.

INAX was also awarded for its use of color in the bathroom sector. INAX Blue, a color that is now synonymous with the brand, goes beyond mere aesthetics to also indicate when a function is activated, immediately drawing the attention of the user and making products more intuitive to use.

GROHE gets gold

LIXIL’s design teams are also pivoting from product design to experience design to capture the hearts of consumers.

In line with this approach, LIXIL’s bathroom and kitchen brand GROHE was awarded the highest of product design accolades: a Gold iF Design Award.

Designed using an intuitive push button technology first developed in Japan, GROHE developed SmartControl Kitchen Colors, a series of minimalist faucets that simplifies how users interact with faucets while cooking or cleaning. This series was made available in eleven colors, catering to the individual tastes and preferences of consumers.

LIXIL pushes new boundaries

lixil brands are pushing design thinking in the home

Experience design also means redefining how consumers interact with products altogether – including redefining concepts altogether.

Looking to the future, LIXIL, which includes brands famous for exterior housing products, was awarded an iF Design Award for re-conceptualizing boundaries.

Made up of crisscrossing carbon wires, Concept F is a fence that offers glimpses of the scenery outside, helping spaces appear larger, while also casting shadows that aesthetically mimic nature throughout the day.

Making things that matter

LIXIL’s 27 winners of this year’s iF Design Award range from newly designed toilets through to its showers, faucets to external blinds and carpets, each with a unique story to tell.

But, ultimately, it is about making products that matter to people. – that solve real-life challenges, suit individual preferences, all while contributing to environmental sustainability.

“This is a fantastic result, demonstrating the power of design thinking. Every interaction, from how something looks and how it feels to what it stands for, adds value to what we do at LIXIL, helping to make better homes a reality for everyone, everywhere,” says Flowers.