Talking Shop

Judd Lord, Director of Industrial Design for Brizo and Delta Faucet brands, recently answered a few questions for 'Talking Shop', a recurring feature at KBCULTURE.

As a designer, my greatest responsibility is...
To interpret unmet needs and to influence, in a positive and responsible way, people's everyday lives through the objects I design.

An industry trend I'm watching is...
There are several. One is 'mass customization'—an oxymoron, to be sure, but it's the best way I've come up with to describe how mass-production manufacturers are providing consumers choices that are tailored to their personal tastes; that is, allowing a customer to customize a product aesthetically and/or functionally so it suits their wants and needs. It plays off people's innate desire for change and innovation. And it's heavily reliant on ever-improving manufacturing methods and creative uses of materials; a process newer generations are going to expect.

Another issue is aging in place. Architectural spaces and the objects that 'inhabit' them have to allow us to live as independently as possible for as long as possible. Design done correctly is beneficial to all, whether you're 5 or 95 years old.

Finally, water conservation is important. As stewards in the dispensing of this most precious commodity, there is growing attention being paid by us and the industry as a whole to its more efficient use. For example, the flow rate for all our lavs has been dialed back from the industry standard of 2.5 gallons per minute to 1.5 GPM. We've also invested a tremendous amount of R&D resources into our shower technologies, to enhance the bather's experience while using much less water.

The best part of my job is...
Working with a talented team in the reinterpretation of mundane, everyday objects in such a way that it makes end users rethink a product's importance and the benefits it's brought into their lives.