New Zealand appliance brand Fisher and Paykel recently invited 22 leading architects and interior designers from Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne to its Future Design Workshop, a half-day interactive forum in its Sydney showroom where the brand’s upcoming prototypes were presented and discussed with the workshop participants.
The day began with presentations from Jamie McLellan, a former Fisher and Paykel designer who now runs his own product studio and designs footwear, lighting and furniture, followed by Mark Elmore, general manager of design for Fisher and Paykel.
After lunch, four members of Fisher and Paykel’s senior industrial design team – Mike Jensen, Lauren Palmer, Mark Haydon and Simone Stephens – showed the architects and designers the brand’s products in development and invited them to comment and ask questions about everything from the lines on the products to the finishes and materials.
Fisher and Paykel’s Specifier, Designer and Architect (SDA) business development manager Dan Varcoe said, “It’s exciting for us to show these designers our new products and get some feedback on them, but also generate some excitement among them so they’re looking forward to when the products are released.”
Where previously Fisher and Paykel conducted one-on-one feedback sessions with architects and designers, Elmore says the group format is very beneficial. “What’s really interesting about the format, where you have groups of people, is that the conversation goes in all sorts of directions and prompts other dialogue about the products,” Elmore said.
Robson Rak principal interior architect and workshop attendee Chris Rak said the day was impressive. “I really enjoyed Fisher and Paykel’s ambition. They want to get it right, and they’re doing everything they can to get it right. They are really tuning in to what architects and designers want.”
Arent and Pyke co-director Juliette Arent was also in attendance and loved seeing the protoypes. “It’s really fascinating how Fisher and Paykel are so keen to put the feedback of these workshops into practice. For architects and designers, it’s particularly useful when we’re always looking at appliances. For me, personally, it’s great to see the full suite of products and see the design continuity amongst all the products.”
The next Future Design Workshop will happen in late 2017.