GROHE Design Series 2021: Insights from GROHE around the new importance of Hygiene
In the course of its continuing efforts to support the design community, GROHE held the first 2021 edition of its GROHE Design Series event virtually, tackling the new Hygiene focus in the Hospitality sector, as well as the shift in consumer behavior around Health and Wellbeing, ending with a spotlight on sustainability in MENA. The Digital Dialogue between Renu Misra, Leader, MENA, LIXIL EMENA, Patrick Speck, Leader LIXIL Global Design EMENA, and Catherine Belbin, Editor and Editorial Consultant, was moderated by Yeliz Olcay, Regional Specification Manager at GROHE MENA. Leading architects, interior designers, and media attended the event, and interacted with the speakers during the live session.
Health & Wellbeing in The Hospitality Sector
The first session of the event covered the new Hygiene focus that emerged in the Hospitality sector as a result of travel restrictions and safety measures imposed in many countries around the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though consumers’ needs and the way they plan their traveling journeys have changed, they are still eager to travel and are looking for spaces that they trust are maintaining the best hygiene standards. It is therefore a must for the sector to adapt to the shift in consumer behavior to remain resilient in the face of these challenges.
When it comes to hotels in specific, there are many sensitive areas that are considered public, like spas and gyms where the chances of encountering people are high, which might cause hotel guests to start avoiding these areas, while still wanting to have access to the wellbeing experiences that many hotels offer. This is where GROHE’s touchless products and technologies can help make a difference. “Public sectors such as hotels, food preparation, catering, and high-traffic are very sensitive areas with stringent requirements when it comes to hygiene especially in sanitary facilities and washing areas. With the increased demand for hygiene, we are experiencing right now and in order to minimize the risk of spreading germs and also cross-contamination, we need to reduce contact with any surface as much as we can. As a sanitary brand we are developing solutions for quite a while now to answer this consumer demand: An example are our touchless-control faucets, like the GROHE Essence E. Touchless products are not new but the sensor technology allows for example an extra hygienic hand washing routine without touching the faucet and also reduces water consumption, as the water flow automatically shuts off when the hands are removed from the sensor. On top, GROHE design quality ensures that the long service life and functionality of our products is not affected by heavy use” explained Patrick Speck, Leader LIXIL Global Design EMENA.
The Effect of Urbanization on Health & Wellbeing
Moving on to the second topic, the speakers discussed how global trends of seismic scale – namely urbanization – are creating shifts in consumer behavior that is driving technological development. “Today consumers are fundamentally changing how they define and use their living spaces. Consumers are creating new living spaces that blend and redefine the kitchen and the living room, the bath and the bedroom – bathroom and kitchen products become furnishing items. They have risen from passive consumption to taking control over the creation of their living spaces while seeking simplicity and intelligent product solutions” said Renu Misra, Leader, MENA, LIXIL EMENA. “Now, more than ever, product innovation and design depend on an empathetic understanding of these trends as consumers are inclined to choose integrated solutions over single products to create spaces that enhance their health and wellbeing” she added.
Sustainability and Creating Better Homes for Everyone, Everywhere In the MENA
The focus of the last session was on sustainability and GROHE’s efforts in working towards LIXIL’s vision of creating better homes for everyone, everywhere. Besides quality, technology and design, sustainability is one of the four GROHE brand values and it is deeply anchored in the brand’s strategy. GROHE committed itself in its “principles and guidelines for sustainability” to continuously improving all products, processes, and services in terms of protecting the environment and conserving resources. Since then, GROHE has set new industry standards, applying its 360-degree sustainability approach and in the past ten years alone, more than 490 design and innovation awards as well two recognitions at the German Sustainability Award 2021 have confirmed GROHE’s success. “I firmly believe that the MENA region and the UAE, in particular, embrace the sustainability movement and welcomes the new products such as those from GROHE, that contribute to both their own wellbeing as that of the planet. People are aware of the need to minimize their carbon footprint and are open to new concepts and ways to do this, from buying a shower that uses less water to choosing to live in a custom-designed green residential community” said Catherine Belbin, Design Editor.
The floor was open for attendees to share their questions with the speakers resulting in an exchange of information and insights about the future of health and wellbeing and how a brand like GROHE can play an important role in shaping the evolution of the Hospitality sector as well as others by offering technologies and products that cater to the ever-changing consumer needs. Yeliz Olcay, closed the event by thanking the speakers and attendees for taking part in the Digital Dialogue, and asking them to stay tuned for future mores sessions of GROHE Design Series in 2021.
GROHE is a leading global brand for complete bathroom solutions and kitchen fittings and has a total of over 6,500 employees in 150 countries – 2,600 of them are based in Germany. Since 2014 GROHE has been part of the strong brand portfolio of the Japanese manufacturer of pioneering water and housing products LIXIL. In order to offer “Pure Freude an Wasser”, every GROHE product is based on the brand values of quality, technology, design and sustainability. Renowned highlights such as GROHE Eurosmart or the GROHE thermostat series as well as groundbreaking innovations such as the GROHE Blue water system underline the brand’s profound expertise. Focused on customer needs, GROHE thus creates intelligent, life-enhancing and sustainable product solutions that offer relevant added value – and bear the “Made in Germany” seal of quality: R&D and design are firmly anchored as an integrated process in Germany. GROHE takes its corporate responsibility very seriously and focuses on a resource-saving value chain. Since April 2020, the sanitary brand has been producing CO2-neutral worldwide. GROHE has also set itself the goal of using plastic-free product packaging by 2021.
In the past ten years alone, more than 460 design and innovation awards as well as several top rankings at the German Sustainability Award have confirmed GROHE’s success. GROHE was the first in its industry to win the CSR Award of the German Federal Government and was also featured in the renowned Fortune® magazine’s ranking of Top 50 that are “Changing the World”.
LIXIL makes pioneering water and housing products that solve every day, real-life challenges, making better homes a reality for everyone, everywhere. Drawing on our Japanese heritage, we create world-leading technology and innovate to make high quality products that transform homes. But the LIXIL difference is how we do this; through meaningful design, an entrepreneurial spirit, a dedication to improving accessibility for all and responsible business growth. Our approach comes to life through industry leading brands, including INAX, GROHE, American Standard and TOSTEM. Over 70,000 colleagues operating in more than 150 countries are proud to make products that touch the lives of more than a billion people every day.