KOHLER Design Forum investigates the future of design technology

Kohler Co., global leader in kitchen and bath design and innovation, hosted the Toronto edition of the KOHLER Design Forum at the Globe and Mail Centre on October 12, 2018. This year’s theme of “All Things Connected” provided a platform for the architecture and design industries to join in the discussion of shaping the future of the Toronto industry through the exchange of experiences, insights and ideas. The third installation of the forum, which previously visited Singapore and London, consisted of insightful presentations, discussions and panels by industry leaders on trending themes and topics, and offered opportunities for architects and designers to inspire and be inspired.

KOHLER Design Forum
Marianne McKenna, Lilio Liu, Andrew Peek, and Richard Kong (l-r).

“The future of architecture and design is being informed by today’s events, and it is crucial for the talented and aspirational voices within this industry to rise above and give shape to what we will see in 10 or 15 years,” said Larry Yuen, Kohler Co. Kitchen and Bath Group President. “The KOHLER Design Forum has been crafted to provide a place and time for this invaluable exchange to occur, and this year’s theme of All Things Connected puts the spotlight on the growing and rapid integration of technology into our lives and how this is and will inform, shape and disrupt the design world.”

Several forums have been held in key design hubs throughout Asia and Europe over the last three years, and have presented the insights from influential and award-winning designers and architects all over the world. This year’s forum in Toronto saw a panel of speakers consisting of design professionals from various fields, including Marianne McKenna, Partner, KPMB Architects, Lili Liu, PhD, Professor and Chair Department of Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine, University of Alberta, Andrew Peek, Entrepreneur, Managing Partner at City & Stay Hotel Group, and Richard Kong – Vice President of Industrial Design, Kohler Co. The forum will continue to travel globally in the coming months visiting Dubai and Bangkok.

Hosted in conjunction with Monocle, a global affairs and lifestyle magazine, the Toronto forum was moderated by Tomos Lewis, Toronto Bureau Chief at Monocle. Conversations focused on how smart technology is shaping the world we live in and offered an interactive discussion on the integration of design and technology into our daily lives, touching on meaningful topics such as ‘Responsive Cities’ and discussing the use of smart technology in a people-centric way, and where the possibilities of artificial intelligence might take us.

The new series of KOHLER Design Forum comes on the heels of Kohler’s successful and widely shared launch of the KOHLER Konnect smart home suite that includes the Verdera Voice lighted mirror with Amazon Alexa, and products enabled with KOHLER Konnect: DTV+ showering system, Numi Intelligent toilet, and Sensate kitchen faucet, among others. Kohler’s new platform and product suite offer consumers the path to a bathroom with integrated voice control that provides enhanced convenience and connectivity.