"Thin is in" says Moen's director, global design.
May 20, 2015
Moen’s new director of global design, Steven Ward shared his insights into design trends at a recent media roundtable. In his role, Ward will oversee the global industrial design team located both in North America and abroad in categories, including faucets, showerheads, accessories and bath safety.
“Steven comes to us with a wide range of technology and product experience that we know will provide immeasurable value to our organization,” said Timothy McDonough, vice president, global brand marketing at Moen Incorporated. “His diverse background will greatly enhance global design at Moen.”
“It is in the details that you find the difference between really good design and mediocre design,” said Ward. He identified filtered water, hands-free and the at-home digital spa as incoming trends, along with a move to a more modern look.
“Why do we have this trend where everyone is choosing modern?” asked Ward. He went on to name space efficiency, immigration and modern’s popularity among architects and designers as factors. As for other trends, he said, “white is hot. White with anything is what we saw big-time in Europe.”
Garry Scott, vice president of marketing, Moen Canada added that there is “huge trend to freestanding tubs, particularly in retrofit.” He noted that this can present installation challenges and that the freestanding tub filler must be leak free and wobble free.
Both Scott and Ward remained mum on the influence of smart homes on product design and how that might infiltrate the faucet market. “That is an area we are keeping an eye on – we can’t comment on it today,” said Scott.
Ward noted that it is wise to consider whether a product is more trendy than trend before making a product selection. “We don’t want to be involved in flash in the pan trends,” said Ward.
Prior to joining Moen, Ward served as director of industrial design for the Life Fitness division of Brunswick, a manufacturer of sporting and fitness equipment. Ward also was an Adjunct Professor at Northwestern University, McCormick School of Engineering/Segal Design Institute in Evanston, ILL. He has worked in a variety of industries in both corporate and consulting design studios including automotive, aircraft, marine, furniture, electronics, fitness, soft goods, as well as exhibit and user interface design.