ISH 2019 - Mario Gagnon gives us his impressions

April 8th, 2019

These days, ALTO Design founder Mario Gagnon has a new role as a strategic innovation consultant – identifying growth drivers for our various clients, based on their innovative potential.

Not long ago, Mario travelled with the Baril Design team to Frankfurt, Germany, for the 2019 edition of ISH, the world’s largest trade fair dedicated to construction and energy technology, including air-conditioning, ventilation systems, and bathroom design. The primary purpose of the trip was to assess major trends in the bathroom fittings industry.

Now back home, he’s sharing his first impressions.

«At first, when you go around the floor, you feel like you’ve seen it all before. Market trends are becoming increasingly global, so differentiation is becoming increasingly challenging as well. We also realized that, with our years of experience, we’re somewhat unresponsive to merely sweet tweaks and slick designs. In other words, we have to work twice as hard to find the real pearl that inspires us and makes us change our way of thinking.»

«That said, my personal favorite in this year’s show was, and still is, the Hansgrohe company, which has re-thought, redesigned and re-created conventional shower equipment with its new RAINFINITY product line. What makes their approach so special is that they focus on the sheer pleasure of showering as an in-the-moment experience. From a technical point of view, the chosen materials stand out and set a new benchmark against what people are accustomed to seeing. The result is a fine-tuned product that has all the characteristics of an architectural design.»

RAINFINITY won a BEST OF THE BEST award at Red Dot 2019 and a Gold Award at IF 2019 – the two highest honours in product design.

«Besides this discovery, several other, less tangible features caught our attention. We’ll be implementing some of them in the coming weeks with the Baril Design team, as we make every effort to find a look of our own that aligns with our market.»

To be continued…

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