20th January 2022 | IN EXPERT INSIGHT | BY SBID ShareTweetPinterestLinkedIn In this week’s interview with 2021 SBID Awards winner for the Kitchen Product Design category, Abode, Design Manager Paul Illingworth answers questions on the company’s approach to projects and the technical features and functionality of their award-winning tap filter – Swich. SBID Awards Category: Kitchen Product Practice: Abode Entry: Swich How important is it to enter the SBID Awards & receive industry recognition for your work? What are the benefits? As a premium manufacturer, we are proud of our products and want to make it as easy as possible for our customers to understand their features and benefits, so entering the SBID International Design Awards is a great way to raise the profile of our brand on a global stage. To be recognised by SBID and its panel of leading industry experts is a great achievement for Abode, acknowledging Swich for its outstanding examples of technical innovation, aesthetic creativity and fit-for-purpose functionality. There is something truly special in knowing that the talents of every member of our team, from product developers to marketing and sales, are recognised and celebrated by the international design community and the entire Abode family. What do you think made this particular design an award winner? For me, I think the versatility and ease of use of Abode Swich makes this product an industry game changer for the modern home. It’s a revolutionary design solution that will transform a new or existing kitchen tap into a filtered water tap that delivers a constant supply of crystal clear filtered water! The exclusive and patented Swich water filter system is a discreet yet ultra-luxe device, which is easy to use and install, either retro-fit in an existing kitchen or add to a new kitchen design. Swich works in conjunction with a normal kitchen mixer tap to improve the overall taste, appearance and quality of your drinking water without compromising on style. For the first time, our customers are not restricted to the style of tap they can have in their kitchen and now, they can enjoy fresh filtered tap water while removing the need for a countertop water purifier or bottled water, which we all know is harmful to the environment. How has Abode evolved, while managing to stay innovative and keep product designs aligned with client demands and trends? We are strong believers in the power of feedback, so we are in constant contact with our network of retailers up and down the country to ensure that we are developing the very best products with the right functionality. We are highly creative with a strong ‘can do’ attitude and believe in taking care of every member of the Abode family, which is reflected in our high level of customer service and our development of hero product lines with full marketing support. Could you tell us about the design process behind Swich, and what inspired the concept for this particular solution? Our new product development team track lifestyle trends worldwide, as well as focus on the UK market in order to create a concept that seized key consumer concerns with a simple, failsafe solution – using the philosophy of ‘If you can dream it, we can do it’. With that in mind, we wanted to tick the boxes of reducing waste, saving space, enhancing cooking alongside boosting home hygiene as the open-plan kitchen absorbs many of the functions of the living and dining area. Like a Swiss army knife that combines multiple functions in a single unit, we wanted something which could be universal, minimal and super-easy to use. This is why we decided to make Swich available in four high fashion finishes – Brushed Brass, Matt Black, Brushed Nickel and Chrome – simply turn the Round or Square control handle to indicate the type of water supply you wish to channel through the tap. Providing immediate access to both the domestic water supply and Abode-safe water, via the Swich filter cartridge, customers can enjoy clear refreshing results, every time! Now that you’ve won an SBID Award, what are the next steps? Is there anything new you are excited to be working on? We are celebrating 20 years in business in 2022 and are eagerly preparing for KBB 2022 with new products and innovations to introduce to the market. We are investing heavily in every aspect of our business as we want to be in an excellent position for the next 20 years onwards. What advice can you give to young designers starting out in the design industry? Always keep your portfolio up to date, take pride in your work and never be afraid to ask questions. There is no such thing as a silly question and you never know where the answer might take you in terms of inspiration. It is so important to feed your imagination so make sure you take time out to enjoy pursuits you are passionate about and be curious – look at innovations and trends in other industries to keep developing your design ideas and stay abreast of current affairs to anticipate future client and consumer needs. My approach to design has certainly become more subtle over the years and I think that as one matures you start to gather a wider appreciation for the design likes and dislikes of others and these automatically filter into your work, whereas I think the younger version of myself, designed more selfishly. I still probably get the greatest joys from solving annoying or fiddly design problems with the simplest solutions, these are the daily successes – in between the big product launches. View the full project Questions answered by Paul Illingworth, Design Manager, Abode. Established in 2002, Abode has a team with extensive knowledge of sinks, taps and the kitchen & bathroom industry. Abode is part of the Norcros plc group of companies, a leading supplier of high quality and innovative kitchen and bathroom products. Visit Website Hey! I am first heading line feel free to change meIf you missed last week’s Interview with the Lighting category winner II BY IV DESIGN, click here to read it.