This September, Villeroy & Boch is opening its new UK address in London’s most prestigious design hub, Design Centre, Chelsea Harbour. S
Villeroy & Boch’s Office, and Customer Meeting Point, boasts 265 sqm combined, is a unique space hosting a new UK headquarter for divisions Bathroom and Wellness and Tableware and a Customer Meeting Point.
The Customer Meeting Point will showcase an extensive range of products from Villeroy & Boch’s collections of bathroom and wellness and kitchen, as well as hotel/restaurant tableware collections. A dedicated Designer Workspace lets designers create with Villeroy & Boch moodboards. An interactive training corner will be available for those looking to gain a greater understanding of the products and product specifications.
On appointment only trade and professionnals will be to able meet with Villeroy & Boch specifications managers.
Design Center East 3 rd Floor 308 : Customer Meeting point 306-307: Offices Chelsea SW10 0XF
BR: How long have you worked in the bathroom industry?
Since I joined Aqualisa in February 2014 from Dyson, where I was MD, UK and Ireland
BR: What are the key USP’s offered by your company?
Innovation! From our bi-metallic, thermostatic valve - which revolutionised British bathrooms - to the first digital shower, designer electric showers and now with Q and Q EDITION, a new generation of smart showers .
BR: What new manufacturing technologies excite you?
Take the word manufacturing out of your question and I’d say the internet of things. I think the guys at Nest (now owned by Google) did something amazing: Taking something as ordinary as the thermostat and making it exciting and useful is a great achievement. If you want to stick to manufacturing, then it’s got to be 3-D printing. It’ll be a while before anyone’s printing showers, but printing some of our spare parts may not be so far away.
BR: What challenges do you foresee for the industry over the next 12-24 months?
My challenge is to foresee Aqualisa’s future. With ever increasing demand for consumer choice, there’s a temptation to be all things to all people. That can be dangerous – for instance when companies spread themselves too thinly and outside their area of expertise. Aqualisa is obsessed with showers, all types of showers, but only showers.
BR: Which industrial designer do you admire the most and why? (Living or departed)
I'm bound to say James Dyson and the engineers he inspires though his annual international award. Although not a winner, my personal favourite was Min-Kyu Choi who designed the Mu folding three-pin plug - a clever, thoughtful, solution to an everyday problem. Now I have a whole team of industrial designers I admire in our R&D department at Aqualisa.
BR: Where do you think the industry most needs to improve?
We need to do more to educate installers and consumers about the fantastic benefits of smart showers. Industry insiders get it, but there’s work to do to persuade installers of their ease of installation and home owners of the sophisticated level of control a smart shower gives them, such as automatically checking water temperature 100 times per second.
BR: Online has certainly changed the market, what key benefits have you seen?
Online presents more opportunities. It allows consumers to compare prices between a massive range of shower products and it’s an additional opportunity for manufacturers to engage directly with installers, owners and prospective owners about their needs.
BR: What advice would you give a new starter in the industry today?
Start at Aqualisa! We are an exciting, vibrant, growing business with an obsession for showers and a passion to work with our customers to help them (and ourselves, of course) succeed. Wherever you start, look at the bathroom business through a category lens - how can we all work towards identifying and providing products which address unmet consumer or installer needs.
Whilst there is a mass of information available, seek real insight to anticipate trends before others do. Make greater use of tools and techniques which have been proven to work in other sectors such as Customer Segmentation, again applicable both to installers and consumers.
BR: What motivates you most in your work?
My family inspire me - my children, my wife, my mother and the memory of my father who passed away 20 years ago. At work, I am inspired daily by the great stuff I see colleagues do.
BR: If you could choose a super-power what would it be & why?
Speed! I’m in a hurry to help Aqualisa grow market share across all three showering categories and to double the size of the smart shower market. Just call me (The) Flash…
Are sensor products relevant to the residential market?
Over the last 20 years our lives have been transformed, almost beyond recognition, by technology with smarter phones, smarter TV’s and even smarter appliances, so why not smarter taps?
Could and should sensor taps be used in the home as a smart solution which brings with it the possibility to save money and energy in a simple but smart way?
We talk to Paul Musgrove, UK Development Manager, Conti+, to find out more...
What type of people might sensor products be useful for?
All people! They are great for families but especially useful for the young and old or those who like new technologies.
For people who suffer from limited motor skills or arthritis the function of operating the tap suddenly becomes simple, just by placing your hands under the spout the Conti Ultra range, for example, will provide optimum performance with reliably simple temperature control.
Water can be saved in the bathroom on daily tooth brushing, shaving and hand washing whilst the kitchen tap stays super clean even when you need to wash dough of your hands.
The technology for sensor taps is not new. Why do you think sensor products have not taken off before?
I believe this is down to peoples personal experience built upon commercial disappointment.
In commercial buildings across the country such as motorway services, cinema and shopping centres the sensor products have not always been good due to poor quality products, poor installation and set-up - all enough to scare people off from even considering using them at home!
Now we can provide reliable products that are as simple to install as a traditional tap, so no special skills are required. More importantly the taps performance will equal or better the current tap you have in your bathroom, en-suite or even kitchen.
But how easy are they to fit? Can they be retrofitted into existing kitchens and bathrooms?
The Conti+ range of sensor taps for the home are all extremely easy to install, no special skills are required other than connecting a hot and cold water supply. The Ultra range from Conti+ also has built in technology that learns its own environment and self-commissions when turned on.
A retro fit to remove and replace existing traditional taps can be completed in a very short time. In fact once the Ultra tap is installed even a non-trained person can maintain this tap with its above basin isolation feature.
Do I need to have an electrical supply in my bathroom?
No requirement for mains is necessary as the Ultra range is supplied as a battery version with an extraordinary 4 year life expectancy on the batteries due to its unique and patented technology (based on a user turning the tap on up to 150 times a day). Alternatively, Conti+ have solar and turbine versions to provide sustainability and ecological advantages, with power solutions which will last up to 8 years without the need for changing batteries.
By using a sensor tap in the home a significant saving on water costs can be found as you only use the water when in the range of the sensor, typically this saving can achieve up to 70% compared to other taps.
For the kitchen, Conti+ has a unique product that combines a traditional lever product, for day to day conventional use, with a built in close proximity sensor which provides the perfect solution for messy hands. No more touching the tap and transferring bacteria from chicken or fish just to wash your hands. Simply activate the flow with the sensor and wash in a hygienic way. Perfect for children when they are muddy or covered in paint or even adults when working in the garden or on a car, after all who hasn’t asked someone in their life to turn a tap on for them as they have messy hands. Now Conti+ provides the solution.
For architects working on residential projects can sensor taps help towards their BREEAM rating?
Conti+ sensor taps can achieve the 5 credits, the maximum available in BREEAM. Even with a low flow rate the performance is not compromised but delivers a jet spray on demand.
At Conti+ we would suggest not all sensor taps are born equal, the Conti+ Ultra range is unique, with great designs, multiple size options and now available in the UK. Talk to us about your next project.
Would you like to see more from Conti+? View Their Profile
Or visit the website: http://conti.plus/