Symposium Reviews Design, Technology
San Francisco A panel of five nationally renowned kitchen and
bath speakers including K&BDN publisher Eliot Sefrin
addressed the question of whether a home can be both
technologically advanced and personally designed at the second
Annual Hafele Trendsetters Symposium, held here in September.
More than 100 cabinet manufacturers, kitchen and bath
specialists and interior designers attended the event, which
focused on ideas for blending technology and design in the kitchen
of the next century.
The panel included Sefrin, Hafele marketing manager/North
America Philip Martin, Rhode Island School of Design professor Jane
Langmuir, GE Appliance marketing manager Larry LaFata and MIT Media
Lab member Joseph Kaye.
“People want their kitchens to be an expression of themselves,
but they also need room to be functional and efficient. The kitchen
is the perfect laboratory for combining technology and design,”
said LaFata, who sees safety and sanitation as two areas ripe for
Langmuir sees digital technology as an up-and-coming trend, but
believes the challenge will be integrating it into design in such a
way that avoids depersonalization.
Sefrin emphasized the importance of designers’ role in the process
of blending technology and design. “Designers must take the
initiative and understand new kinds of technology, because they
will be the ones explaining it to clients,” he noted.
As Hafele’s Martin concluded, “Technology and design can
peacefully co-exist n our homes. If you put the client first, you
don’t have to choose between [the two].”