kbb Birmingham 2020: ‘Inspiration is everywhere, at any time’, says Laufen

Exhibitor interview with product designer: Peter Wirz, designer and group MD, Vetica Group for Laufen


Q: What inspires your designs?

A: Inspiration is everywhere, at any time. You must have the right attitude as a designer to see things from different angles. Art, architecture, interiors and design are constantly present in every corner.

But most important is the dialog with people and the ability to listen to what they think and believe.


Q: What is the process for coming up with a new product design for Laufen’s portfolio?

A: More than 60% of our design work is based on pure analysis and strategy-driven elements.

Designing for the human touch means intuitive and easy-to-use hardware and software, development of new functions, a constant exchange of new ideas with customers and clients.

Design is an ongoing destroying and rebuilding process.

We as designers have the power and the ideas to make everyone’s home a better place.


Q: What is ‘good’ design?

A: To me, good design can be defined as aesthetically and com–mercially applied thinking.


Q: As a designer, how do you balance creativity with commercial needs?

A: In our world, there is no creativity without a clear and focused commercial need. Most of the time, there’s only a hunch of an idea, but not a concept. Sometimes there isn’t even a business model behind it. This is the way we get to where no one has been before.

We know where we want to go, but we don’t know how to get there. We need this factor of uncertainty – but you still have to keep your eyes on your goal.


Q: Overall, how would you rate the  general level of design in the KBB industry? 

A: We’ve been working in this industry for over 20 years now. Many so-called trends have come and gone over this period of time.

The digitalisation of smart-home applications and other digital solu-tions are much less important than the true importance of the sustainable use of recyclable materials, the management of drinking and waste water, as well as solving intelligent storage and room systems for the kitchen and bathroom.


Q: Sustainability is becoming a big concern for industry and consumers alike. How is this affecting the way you approach product design for brands such as Laufen?

A: There is no way we can ignore the fact that we are running out of raw materials. So many of our natural resources will be gone soon.

We all need to change and accept that we have to think beyond existing solutions to find new ways to motivate customers and invent even better products.

We as designers are motivated to take on this challenge for change.

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