Design Talk

Royal VKB

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How would you describe Royal VKB’s unique style and aesthetic?

I would say that Royal VKB has a typical no-nonsense approach to product. Most of our designs appear to be straight forward at first glance but then they always have a second layer which needs to be uncovered. Discovering it will instantly put a smile on your face!

When starting a new project, what is the creative process each product goes through?

A project starts with the issuing of the design brief. This brief describes the trends that have been spotted in relation to the brand values and how it discriminates from others in the business. After internal consensus the external designers are then sent their copy of the design brief. This way the brand team is well prepared and in the right frame of mood to receive the concepts the designer will come up with.

When looking for new ideas is there a particular thing you do to look for inspiration?

As a design manager one should have a certain feeling for what is going on in the market and society. We mainly use trend watch reports, fair visits, city trips mixed with a fair portion of simple gut feeling as the key references for our inspiration. But of course the designers we work with also know what is going on in the world. This way the inspiration comes from two sides which often leads to a more exciting outcome.

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How do you view the development of storage prodcuts in interior design?

Storage design is one of the most important design elements in today’s living space, especially the open plan kitchen which is now a place where not only cookware is stored but many other things we use in our daily lives. If you study the kitchen table you will see that only a short amount of time is actually used to sit and eat, many of us now read our newspaper, sort our mail or simply surf the web with our laptop whilst at the table. Our children do their homework there or play with their toys. Also check where most people charge their phones or tablets…yes, it’s the kitchen! So since the kitchen is more and more the Hub of the house where people come and go, “stuff” also will come and go!

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How do you feel your products fulfill both form and function?

We are a multi material brand which means that we seek materials that inherently possess the right feel and texture to exactly fit the function and emotion of the product within its surrounding. For instance, look at fresh herb plants from the Supermarket. Most of the time they will be placed on a saucer and then put to one side on the countertop. Our Herb Garden collects and organizes them so you can stylishly display them in a kitchen window. The pair of scissors in the special compartment then invites you to cut fresh herbs for instant addition to your food preparation.

What was the thinking behind Bottle Field and Chop Organiser?

When you look at the habits of people whilst cooking you will see that there are certain favourite utensils or ingredients which are used more often than others. Now the most used utensils already have a storage place which is, of course, the utensil pot on the countertop or near the stove. But for those most used ingredients people also want them close to their working area as they are used continuously. So instead of storing spices and bottles separately around the kitchen on shelves and in cupboards, the most popular ones are now gathered and centralised within our Bottle Field. As for the Chop Organizer…Good cooking demands good preparation. Having your ingredients nicely prepared, diced, separated and then collected in little bowls is the best way to go through your recipe with a clear mind. When chopping vegetables you have to transfer them either to a pan or a bowl. In the main this is done by collecting the chopped ingredient with one free hand and using a knife with the other rather like a dustpan and brush. Not only can this be potentially dangerous but there is the added frustration of losing pieces whilst making the transfer. The lid of the Chop organizer is designed to allow you to collect the diced ingredients more safely, like a real dustpan. The Container can then be used as a little waste bin for the various peelings you collect.

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How long does it take to develop a new product through design, prototype, production and into the shops?

Depending on the difficulty the average time to develop a product from conception to arrival on shop shelf will be around 12 months.

Which beautifully designed storage or organising product do you covet?

One of my favourite organizing products is the B-Line trolley by Joe Colombo. How cool would it be to have that one in a 2015 version with charging hubs for all your mobile devices.

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Are you fanatical about buying great storage for your own home?

Storing and organising is of constant worry in our house. I like a home which is tidy but not too tidy in ways that everything is put out of site. Ever wondered why it is that when you put an empty bowl on the kitchen table by the end of the week it is full of small objects from your pockets, bits and pieces from broken things from around the house plus all sorts of other stuff. It’s the instinct of people to collect things. So it’s a continuous story…

Do you have any great organising tips you can pass on?

Do not try to get over organized when storing stuff. Products tell who you are and they communicate with you while sitting on a shelf. A nice product can work like a painting while watching it. They cannot do that behind a closed door!