A lively panel discussion on Internet of Things (IOT) was jointly organised by GROHE AND DOMA Initiatives.
This informal chat session brought together 10 panelists from various discipline to share their views on IOT. The panel line up includes Michael Seum, VP Design at GROHE, Iko In, Publisher and Founder of iN Publishers, Joe Chan from Designtone, Lai Siew Hong from Bluwater, Nick Ling from Konzepte, Dr. Camilia Kusumo from Taylor’s University, Ar. David Chan from Design Collective Architects, Suzanne Zeidler from ZLG, Ar. Lee Cherng Yin from Formzero and Ar. Chin Pak Loong from Chinpakloong Architect.
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“The Internet of Things (IOT) has become an integral part of our daily life where almost everything is connected. Smart devices, integrated drawing platforms and shared spaces are just a small sample of how the IOT has transformed our life and our built environment today,” said Ar. Chan Mun Inn, who is moderating the panel discussion and he is also DOMA Initiatives Berhad representative.
The questions for the day: “When anything can be connected and everything is synced, are we all approaching singularity where individuality, identity and privacy is foregone for technology and convenience? How is the IOT affecting your life and your work and is it an indispensable tool along your productivity line?”, spark off a series of wholesome conversation between the panelist and audiences.
In Iko In’s point of view, IOT has its advantages, but the society should also not be overly dependent on it. “IOT can bring convenience; it can improve life and efficiency. To the design world, IOT can significantly enhance efficiency. It will shorten the time consumed and decrease labour costs. Desired outcome could be achieved by analysing the statistics. Perhaps in near future, we can all live like Iron Man. However, at the same time we cannot rely too much on IOT as it is a two-edged blade,” In said.
Vice President of Design at GROHE, Michael Seum shared on how technology can be implemented in the use of water: “I think the biggest trend is the use of technology in the bathroom, the evolution of how we use water. Water is a precious resource. We need more technology to better manage how we use water. But I think from a design perspective and styling wise, we are going to stay focused on contemporary and cosmopolitan design. We are making our technology more sustainable through better understanding on how we are using water, and really shape the future of water in a much more sustainable fashion. There is a lot of different ways you can use technology that shape the experience. And that is what we are going to focus on.”
As one of the four brand pillars, design is an essential component of GROHE’s core values. The strong visual DNA with its high recognition value is created by an inhouse design department with 20 international designers. For the team, around Michael Seum, Vice President Design at GROHE, each design process attaches great importance to three key elements: The development is consumer-centric and considering the entire consumer experience, the product should be intuitive and able to form an emotional connection, making it a pleasure for consumers to interact with it a long time and achieve the optimum balance between aesthetics and function. The design philosophy is the foundation of all GROHE product designs and highly recognized by the creative community. This is demonstrated by the record number of 63 design awards that honoured the work of the GROHE design team in 2018.
In the past ten years alone, more than 300 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 German government’s CSR prize and was also featured in the renowned Fortune® magazine’s ranking of Top 50 that are “Changing the World”.
A Chat with Micheal Seum
The conversation with Seum continued with a lively interview by Iko In. In this Q&A Session, Seum talked about what’s next for GROHE, especially with the advent of IOT.
Iko In: What do you love best about your role at Grohe?
Michael Seum: I love working with my team and I’m very focused on the dynamics within a design team. I believe this is the super power of a company where one of the only function is that we can visualise the future before we go there. And I love harnessing the creativity within a unique individual that I’m working with. This is probably the most enjoyable part of my job.
II: How does Grohe stand out from the rest? What are some of your brand values that truly set you apart?
MS: I think what sets Grohe apart is really our vision for the future. We’re trying to shape the future through a variety of products and services. To date, we’re one of the innovative industry leaders in the industry. We are playing with new technology for smaller home and we’re doing a lot of work on new 3-D printing technology, and we’re working across the globe with different consumers meeting all their needs within kitchen and bath space.
II: What are some the Grohe collections that were recently launched?
MS: We recently launched Atrio, which is more of a luxury product. What we’ve done with Atrio is we started from a single geometry. One geometry that designs the entire line. No other element other than circle. The approach, this design philosophy really involves the need to seek simplicity. I’m a minimalist when I design. This is really the core philosophy behind our design.
II: How has Grohe evolved throughout the years? What are some the milestones that set the stage for growth?
MS: Grohe has seen a tremendous growth evolution. Now we’re more of a lifestyle solutions company. We’re really looking at full solutions for how we live in the future. And we’ve expanded categories like ceramic. We have a lot of innovations in shower, smart control technology.We are pioneers of IOT products.
For more information about GROHE’s products, log on to https://www.grohe.my/en_my/