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Electrolux’s new Chief Design Officer talks design for Asia

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Electrolux’s new Chief Design Officer Stefano Marzano brings with him years of experience as an award-winning designer, academic and author of books on designThe Ergothree is small, lightweight, easy to store, manoeuvrable and does not compromise on cleaning power, making it an excellent product for smaller Asian apartments.

Empathy, emotion and simplification – these are the three hallmarks of award-winning designer Stefano Marzano’s approach to product design. Recently appointed as Electrolux’s Chief Design Officer, the immensely experienced Marzano brings decades of international design experience to Electrolux.

Stefano-Marzano

Electrolux’s new Chief Design Officer Stefano Marzano brings with him years of experience as an award-winning designer, academic and author of books on design

Retirement simply wasn’t an option for this designer, whose illustrious career spans over two decades, including the top design position in a leading consumer goods company and as an academic in the Domus Academy Milan. Just a week into his attempt at retirement, Marzano realized he wasn’t ready to step away from corporate life just yet. Today, he is looking forward to working with chefs, customers and consumers to develop even more innovative appliances for the future.

We catch up with him on his vision for approaching product design for Asia.

What do you consider good design?

A designer is successful if he or she can offer a relevant product to the consumer. A successful design also needs to arouse emotion and take into account the consumer’s cultural context. It is hence impossible to make an objective definition of what is good design. A chair designed for Europe may be considered beautiful and relevant there, but in the Southeast Asian context, it might not have the same appeal.

What do you think are the most important product trends from Asia?

I see the cooking habits and behaviour of Asia starting to impact other parts of the world, creating a different richness in terms of culinary enjoyment. This can be seen in the growing trend of Asian food becoming increasingly enjoyed or appreciated outside of Asia, and cooking with a wok is now starting to become popular in other regions.

In a sense, many Asian cooking traditions have started to influence global cooking habits and this has created a broader variety of options and opportunities to develop products that can now be adopted into other cultures around the world.

What about Asian design trends?

In terms of design trends, specifically in the area of built-in appliances, there is a growing trend globally in the use of materials and finishing. There is a concentration towards what is relevant for the kitchen and being easy-to-clean. The region is also mirroring trends in kitchen furniture like the use of steel and glass, which continue to dominate.

In terms of appliances, the most relevant future drivers of trends will  focus largely on sustainable solutions for homes. How can we further reduce and minimize the consumption of energyand water, how to deal with compact living in increasingly smaller apartments and looking at how to develop more compact appliances.

Which Electrolux product do you think is particularly well-designed for Asia?

ergothree

The Ergothree is small, lightweight, easy to store, manoeuvrable and does not compromise on cleaning power, making it an excellent product for smaller Asian apartments.

One product I think truly stands out as an intelligent product is the new Ergothree vacuum cleaner that was recently launched in Japan. I think it is an absolutely well-thought out product because despite its small size, it has the power of a full-sized vacuum.

This is a design that exemplifies a full understanding of consumer insights. It is very small in dimension, easy to manoeuvre and store, has great suction power and is very silent. This is a product that goes against the current logic of what’savailable in the market – when people picture a powerful vacuum; it is usually one that is also big in size. That’s why I think this is an absolutely compelling idea for a new product.

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