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Sticking to our design principles

by Dev Direct on November 10, 2014

Colin Wong Development Direct

Designer Colin Wong outlines his views on how some KBB studios have let the quest for profit outweigh design creativity

There’s an air of malaise at the heart of the UK kitchen industry. Like much of the cultural landscape in neo-liberal Britain, values and ideals have been eroded by an all-powerful profit motive and the twin idols of money and ostentation.

Great salesmen are revered above brilliant designers; an optimised profit margin trumps an optimised design and aggressive sales targets diminish the focus on the customer’s needs. This is ultimately self-defeating.

Great design should be at the heart of our industry, integral from the high street through to the six-figure bespoke one-offs. Many would argue that in the lower budget range, design doesn’t play such a key role. However, while it’s certainly true that it isn’t celebrated or recognised to the same extent as among the more expensive, big-budget projects, design can actually be more important in the lower-budget kitchens. Lateral thinking is required to create something original and special with limited resources. Conversely, large budgets can reduce the amount of actual design employed due to a reliance on brash, overpriced and ostentatious ‘wow’ items.

At its crudest, kitchen design can be reduced to simple box arrangement – regardless of budget. The high-budget examples of this school of kitchen design (if we can call it that) simply arrange better quality boxes, appliances and worktops in bigger spaces. With sales targets to meet and the associated pressures of the corporate approach, it is all too easy to fall into this mode and become one-dimensional designers.

Read the rest of the article on the KBB Review website

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