I think it is time to refresh the term and our perception of Kitchen Designers and award proper recognition to the modern, progressively unconventional, VANGUARD Kitchen Designers of today, and tomorrow’s.
To do this, I dare to differentiate Vanguard Kitchen Designers from the traditional Kitchen (sales) Designers.
Sales representatives work with customers to find what they want, create solutions and ensure and ensure a smooth and profitable sales process for the business they represent.
Kitchen (sales) Designers, know their products and how to put them together to create a user-safe, functional and attractive space for their customers with the main goal of profiting the business. They have the option to choose what products they represent, but their measure of success is -only- in the quality of sales and its profit. Kitchen (sales) designers rely on suppliers t provide affordable green choices.
This sounds good, business as usual. After all, when a business is successful, it is good for the economy and with excess there is the opportunity to help charities and so on.
I invite you to a new chapter of thinking when kitchen designers come to mind. I also hope to influence you and change the way you want to see kitchens and their designers in the future.
But first, what is Vanguard? It means any creative group actively in the forefront of INNOVATION and APPLICATION OF NEW CONCEPTS and technologies in a given field. Vanguard is an old variation of the French word avant-garde, meaning “front-guard”.
I see Vanguard Kitchen Designers as responsible design activists, progressive decision makers, with a special attention to the changing world. They positively influence businesses, introduce and develop new ways of thinking, and drive new and better technologies to emerge. Vanguard Kitchen Designers are also customer oriented, but are very critical with products and recommend only those that are future-friendly. In addition, Vanguard Kitchen Designers are genuinely sensitive and attentive to the ecological complexity of their design *** Vanguard Kitchen Designers see and approach design as an ethical business practice for the benefit of all, rather than a user-centred, consumer driven privilege and indulgence. They are constantly evolving and revolutionizing their design applications to meet a much broader spectrum of social and environmental issues, beyond its traditional professional territory.
The good news for the kitchen & bath industry is that products are getting jazzier, greener and more efficient. However, Vanguard Kitchen Designers don’t take the product’s solo offerings at face-value. They consider the product from multiple angles, including its impact on society and the environment.
VANGUARD KITCHEN DESIGNERS:
(TIPs for responsible kitchen design)
- consider the environmental and social impacts of everything they design
- think strategically instead of traditionally: see sustainability as a non-negotiable way of doing business
- are a force in moving from well-intentioned but lightweight ‘greening’ to a deeper and more impactful sustainability and resilience (Rob Fleming: Design Education for a Sustainable Future) Request companies to clearly identify the origin and ingredients of their product, and how to recycle/reuse them (Sustainble Products are those that provide environmental, social and economic benefits while protecting public health and environment over their whole life cycle, from extraction of raw materials until the final disposal -wikipedia)
- they are CRITICAL OF appliances: *critical of their ever-growing size in relation to combination of waste; *critical of the positioning of appliances in their design for energy-saving purposes; *critical of the appliance built-in offerings and those increased energy-draw consequences; * critical of their potential IAQ hazards/Indoor Air Quality (see my blog http://www.sipgreen.org/blog/kitchencooking-as-an-indoor-air-pollution-hazard)
- they are CRITICAL OF EVERY MATERIAL that goes into a kitchen and bath space from construction to decoration, and consider all aspects of a product: materials, manufacturing, packaging, distribution, usage, disposal = CO2 reduction, toxicity, less waste, renewable materials
- ask for transparency. Environmental Product Declaration (EPD) is a standardised (ISO 14025) and LCA (Life Cycle Assessment) based tool to communicate the environmental performance of a product or system
- provide transparency via design statement and back-up documentation
- see luxury in a totally different /vanguard value system (i will write on this in more detail) promote sustainable consumption and production
- provide COST EFFECTIVE DESIGN *optimise site potential, design to maximise energy independence to reduce energy load, increase efficiency and maximise the use of renewable energy sources:
- identify the building’s operating and maintenance issue(s) during preliminary design for reduced energy and resource costs and prevented system failures. Specify materials and systems that simplify and reduce maintenance requirements-
- design to protect and conserve water, reuse and recycle water for on-site use
- design to maximise energy consumption, maximise daylighting, provide appropriate ventilation and moisture control
- design for the future. Create beauty, flexibility that serves long-lasting satisfaction on any budget (https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/design-budget-tight-hurray-unleash-your-creativity-clara-puskas-csp?trk=mp-reader-card )
- create ‘timeless’ that saves our planet’s resources
- prefer local manufacturers-contributing to local economy, while save energy and resources and decrease transportation related air pollution
- celebrate and protect history via creative solutions of re-use of existing materials for a truly unique and personal space
- reject/boycott materials containing toxins —and with that:
- help growing competition for healthy choices —and with that:
- speed up the availability of more and better choices at more affordable prices, contribute to the green economy
- enjoy sustainable choices privately and professionally
Cheers to All VANGUARD Kitchen Designers!