PISCATAWAY, N.J. (April 6, 2017) ― Demonstrating an unmatched commitment to sophisticated and innovative product creation, American Standard and DXV proudly announce the opening of a new industrial design studio in New York City, as well as the addition of four new designers to the celebrated LIXIL design team.
Explaining the expansion of the American Standard and DXV industrial design team, and its relocation to New York City, is Jean-Jacques L’Henaff, vice president of design at LIXIL Americas, the business unit under which the two iconic bath and kitchen brands operate.
“Moving our design studio to New York makes sense. It provides us with direct access to a climate of culture and energy that you get in a diverse metropolis. An unparalleled talent pool of gifted designers is imperative in order to reach our mission of innovative, compelling and inspired design. These changes demonstrate to our customers how passionate we are in achieving this goal,” L’Henaff said. “With this move, we now have our finger on the pulse of contemporary art, design, and architecture. We are committed to the future of our brands and to homes across North America.”
“Our role is to transform trends and insights into delightful experiences and unique benefits for users,” he stated. “At the heart of our process is a user-centric approach, a process that allows us to deliver truly meaningful design and innovation. We spend time patiently observing and listening to the user, trying to understand what would make their lives easier, healthier, and more satisfying. Then we prototype, try, test, and do it again until the right balance is found between form and function.”
Recent examples of these efforts include the pioneering ActiClean self-cleaning toilet and the remote-operated Spectra Touch showerhead, which were showcased at the 2017 Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (KBIS). Both new products were the result of extensive consumer research and prototyping, yielding unique user benefits combined with sleek, appealing design.
The industrial design team will continue to use its industrial design studio opened in 2015 at the Company headquarters in Piscataway, N.J., to facilitate communication with the marketing and engineering teams.
The commitment from American Standard and DXV to invest in industrial design has been acknowledged by the many important awards won in recognition of product innovations from both brands. These accolades from both the kitchen & bath industry and the design community are powerful indications of the creativity and groundbreaking inventions produced by this talented team.
Recent award wins for American Standard include a Red Dot Award for excellence in design innovation for its Edgewater kitchen faucet collection. An intriguing blend of sleek, geometric styling and impressive functionality, the Edgewater faucets feature an intuitive five-function sprayer that keeps the user in complete control over common kitchen tasks. A dishwasher-safe scrub brush that attaches directly to the faucet spout is available for more intense cleaning jobs.
Additionally, the Beale touchless faucet with Selectronic technology and the Edgewater semi-professional faucet were honored with a GOOD DESIGN Award in the Kitchen category for design excellence. Delivering effortless wave-on/wave-off functionality that employs American Standard-exclusive Selectronic technology, the Beale faucet offers the unique option to easily switch from touchless operation to manual operation, by simply sliding a movable door on the front of the faucet spout to cover the electronic sensor. No other electronic faucets currently on the market offer this flexibility.
From DXV, the revolutionary collection of 3D printed metal faucets was created through a challenging assignment asking the team to “design something you can’t make.” The goal was to conceive a range of creative and completely new faucet models that could not be made using traditional manufacturing techniques. The imaginative and startlingly beautiful faucet models produced by the team – the Vibrato, Trope and Shadowbrook – have won a number of important design awards after being selected as the Best of Show at KBIS in 2016. Other prestigious honors include the Platinum A’ Design Award, an Interior Design Best of Year Award, and a Silver Industrial Design Excellence Award from the Industrial Designer Society of America, among many others.
Design Team Expands
To further augment LIXIL design capabilities, as well as refresh and expand existing American Standard and DXV collections, four talented new individuals have joined the award-winning industrial design team. Hailing from a variety of backgrounds, both culturally and professionally, each member of this dynamic team brings a unique perspective to new projects.
Kibok Song joins American Standard and DXV as design director, special projects, from Hewlett-Packard, where he developed premium commercial tablet, notebook and work station computers for many years. His previous industrial design experience also includes positions at Eastman Kodak, Radius Product Development, and Beyond Design. Song holds a master’s degree in design from the Illinois Institute of Technology and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in industrial design from the University of Seoul, South Korea.
Jacob Nitz joins the team as a senior designer with years of experience with American and European design labels and firms, most recently at his own Jacob Nitz Studio in the Netherlands. His prior experience includes positions at JSPR in the Netherlands and MNML in Chicago, Ill. Nitz earned a Bachelor of Science degree in industrial design from the University of Cincinnati, where as a student he was selected to show his work at the prestigious International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York City.
Also bringing international design experience to the team is Sherry Jiekun Qian as a junior designer. After holding an industrial design position at the State Key Lab of Rail Traffic Control & Safety in Beijing, China, she came to United States to pursue a Master of Fine Arts degree in industrial design from the Rochester Institute of Technology. In addition, Qian traveled to Denmark to attend Scandinavian furniture design programs. She holds a Bachelor of Engineering degree in industrial design from Beijing Forestry University in China.
A recent graduate of Purdue University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in industrial design, Calum Wagner completed a design internship in New York City last year. Wagner often finds creative inspiration in travel and adventure, and is delighted to begin his career as a junior designer with the American Standard design team.
“Our industry has been using many of the same manufacturing technologies — melting and casting metal to make faucets, or firing clay to make toilets — for over 150 years,” said L’Henaff. “The new opportunities that technology offers to the plumbing world, both in manufacturing and as ‘smart’ features integrated into products, will enhance functionality and make life more beautiful in the coming years. As our team of incredibly talented designers continues to grow, American Standard and DXV are ideally positioned to make the most of these exciting advancements in design.”
For additional information about American Standard products, visit www.americanstandard.com or call (800) 442-1902. To learn more about the DXV luxury portfolio, visit www.dxv.com or call (800) 227-2734.
LIXIL is the most comprehensive and connected global company in the housing and building industry, delivering human-centric innovation that enhances people’s living spaces – we call this Living Technology. Delivering core strengths in water, housing, building and kitchen technologies, our brands including LIXIL®, GROHE®, American Standard Brands, DXV®, INAX® and Permasteelisa® are leaders in their industries and regions. Operating in more than 150 countries and employing more than 80,000 people, we bring together function, quality and design to provide better living solutions to the world today and for future generations. Learn more at www.lixil.com and follow us at facebook.com/lixilgroup.
ActiClean®, Beale®, Edgewater®, SelectFlo®, Shadowbrook®, Spectra®, Trope® and Vibrato® are registered trademarks of American Standard Brands.
GOOD DESIGN® is a registered trademark of The Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design.
Red Dot® is a registered trademark of Red Dot GmbH & Co. KG.