Last week, Kohler Australia sponsored and exhibited at the ninth annual Australian Hotel Industry Conference and Exhibition (AHICE), hosted and presented by HM Magazine at the Grand Hyatt, Melbourne.
The largest line-up of global Hoteliers in the nine year history of AHICE descended on Melbourne for the two-day event with more than 800 delegates attending the conference, including industry leaders, investors, consultants, developers, architects, designers and educators.
Boasting the strongest and most comprehensive speaker program ever produced for AHICE, world class industry members and speakers from around the globe joined the line-up to provide an informative and inspirational series of discussions and panels.
Early on the first day, former Starwood CEO, Frits van Paasschen, flew in from New York to give a keynote on the power of disruptors. This was a fascinating session looking at ‘change blindness’ and how a lack of agility and not focusing on potential disruptors can affect our strategic outcome as change in any complex system is inherently unpredictable!
Fritz Dirk Van Paasschen – ex CEO of Starwood Hotels giving his talk on ‘The Power of Disruptors.’
Another major keynote speaker was London-based Professor Toby Walsh (Scientia Professor of Artificial Intelligence at the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, University of New South Wales), talking about how Artificial Intelligence will impact the hotel industry. He said: “AI has the opportunity to make us happier, healthier and wealthier. The smartphone in your pocket has more power than the technology that took us to the moon.”
Other international key note speakers included Michael Issenberg – Chairman and CEO APac – Accor Hotels; Tony Ryan – Managing Director of Global Mergers & Acquisitions, Hotels & Hospitality, JLL and George Nicholas – Global head of hotels, Savills in London.
Tony Ryan – Managing Director of Global Mergers & Acquisitions, Hotels & Hospitality, JLL – speaking on how the hotel industry is currently fragmented.
Over the course of the two days, a number of CEO’s inlcuding TFE Hotels Chief Executive Rachel Argaman and Far East Hospitality CEO Arthur Kiong gave an update on their brands and expansion plans, with a number of hotels in the pipeline for Australia in the near future.
Delegates experienced thought provoking updates and presentations by Tourism Australia Chair and Mantra Chief Executive Bob East; industry updates by organisations including Tourism Accommodation Australia chair Martin Ferguson and Q&A sessions with Travelodge Asia chairman Stephen Burt and Intrust Super Chief Executive Brendan O’Farrell.
With regards to F&B, Time Out Australia Managing Director Michael Rodrigues led a panel discussion on food and beverage issues and trends.
IHG Managing Director Leanne Harwood took to the stage next with HM editor-in-chief James Wilkinson to discuss her new role and ways to develop staff to take on leadership roles. Harwood said that the talent pool for top level jobs is getting smaller and smaller. “Hospitality isn’t just a part-time job, we do have great careers available for you,” she said.
IHG Managing Director Leanne Harwood at AHICE with HM Editor-in-Chief James Wilkinson
Staying on the topic of innovation, B-Hive founder Tammy Marshall delivered an educational presentation on the ‘7 Deadly Sins of Innovation’, and how to embrace them and use them to your advantage. She implored the audience to make sure that the innovations they were implementing were meaningful to their customers. “Don’t just innovate for the sake of innovating,” she said.
The technology discussion continued with tech experts Toby Berger, Revinate; Jeremy Holmes, Elements of Byron and Wayne Taranto, Crown Group in a panel discussion delving into the emerging tech that hoteliers should look into, including digital compendiums and in-room tablets.
Another marketing and social media highlight was PR Maven Kim McKay’s keynote on the business of influence and what hoteliers need to know about influencer marketing. On the topic of targeted social posts, she said: “Consumers are more likely to survive a plane crash than click on a banner ad,” she said. Instead, consumers are looking to honest influencers for recommendations on products and services, she said.
Kim McKay of Click Communications talked about the power of Influencers.
With the sharing economy a hot topic in the industry, the session with Airbnb Country Manager Sam McDonagh inspired heated discussion among delegates before the final Q&S with ex Starwood CEO Frits Dirk van Paasschen returning to the stage.
At the end of the event, a number of exhibitors offered prizes for attendees. The lucky winner of an Exhale Kohler Slide Shower was Kate Quigley from Radisson Hotel Group, pictured with KOHLER’s Rachael Biggs.
Rachael Biggs with shower prize winner Kate Quigley of Radisson Hotel Group
The Kohler display featured some of our top hotel-spec’ed products including the Veil Intelligent Toilet, Hydrorail Showering Systems, Katalyst showers (Exhale, Awaken) and a new tapware range soon to launch.
Celebrating its 145th year of producing some of the world’s most fashion-forward bathroom fixtures, Kohler presented a celebration of modernism at this year’s Salone del Mobile (Milan Design Fair).
Transforming Milan’s famed Museo Bagatti Valsecchi, Kohler treated its audience to an experience that was both visually enticing and emotionally evocative.
Guests were taken on a journey through the entire spectrum of modernism – from minimalism to maximalism – via the lens of a series of artistic installations constructed from Kohler’s world wide products portfolio.
The ornate décor of the Museo Bagatti Valsecchi served as the perfect backdrop to a series of installations set in the grand rooms of the historic museum.
One of the highlights was the newly released ‘Dutchmaster’ sinks collection featuring bold embellishment in the form of large scale botanical patterns in a rich, dark, moody colour palette.
As a direct contrast the smart, sharp ‘Components’ tapware collection drew much attention. Exuding a strong, raw industrial aesthetic the taps feature a clean matte black finish.
Other drawcards in the modernist oeuvre were the newly released Ombré finish and the DeStijl-inspired Kallista Grid tap. The latter is a feat of design and engineering, featuring a dramatic geometric silhouette created with cutting-edge 3D-printing technology.
A further element of Kohler’s visual feast was the very creative use of lighting to add a new and exciting dimension to a number of products. Its new Lighting Suite, for example, created for the organic Veil collection, magnified and enhanced the products – which included mirror, basin, vanity, bath and wall-hung vanity. Each piece was framed by an ambient glow that can change shade according to the user’s mood.
Curator of the exhibition, Mark Bickerstaffe, Kohler’s Director of New Product Development, Kitchen and Bath, said the installations demonstrated Kohler’s love and commitment to comprehensive and forward-thinking design. “From minimalism to maximalism, we love creativity in all its forms; and that has never been more apparent than with our new products”, said Bickerstaffe.
See the video here:
Only weeks into 2018 and Kohler has created history at two of the world’s leading trade shows for the bathroom industry.
The Kohler Co. exhibit shines at KBIS 2018KBIS (Kitchen and Bathroom Industry Show) held in Orlando, Florida is the world’s leading platform for showcasing the latest products, trends and technologies while CES (Consumer Electronics Show) held in Las Vegas, Nevada is the global stage for the technology industry drawing more than 184,000 attendees.
Kohler Co. attended both of these vast shows simultaneously and successfully raised the bar in terms of innovation, new products and the exhibit at both events.
The extended Artifacts range launches at KBIS 2018
KBIS hosts over 600 brands, including 100 new companies and features workshops, networking circles, the integrated Design & Construction Week. New products released at KBIS 2018 included
New products on display at KBIS
New floral basins from Kohler
This year, Kohler’s Mark Bickerstaffe spoke to an extended group of designers and architects on 2018 design trends in both product design and the bathrooms of the future.
KBIS was proud to win Gold in the Bathroom category for its Kallista designer collection of bathroom products and Best In Show for Kallista’s breakout Grid tapware design. Grid was inspired by the fundamentals of the De Stijl movement. Kohler worked with a 3D printing specialist to harness the very best in direct metal printing technology in order to create this outstanding design.
Kohler’s Kallista brand won the Gold Best In Show Award
The prize winning Kallista Grid tapware
CES is THE global show for the tech industry attracting almost 200,000 attendees. Kohler clearly led the bathroom industry, with CES recognising Kohler’s outstanding and world-leading contribution to bringing technology and voice control to the bathroom in a meaningful way.
Media and designers alike were excited during the launch of Kohler Konnect
Kohler used the CES industry-specialist stage to launch its voice-enabled Kohler Konnect technology whereby, for the first time, consumers can customise their bathroom experience by simply saying the words!
The technology extends to the shower, bath, toilet, mirror and tap – they are all finally connected. And simply by saying a command such as ‘make-up mode’, ‘pour 500ml’, ‘flush’, ‘sports shower’ the mirror, the tap, the toilet and the shower can be activated. The result is a truly customised bathroom experience that is both hands free and totally relaxing.
The Kohler Konnect Shower
Run a bath to a preset temperature, turn on the foot warmer on the intelligent toilet, activate presets for sound, water, steam and lighting in the shower – all by voice control.
These incredible products of the future will launch in the US late 2018 … we hope to see them reach our shores soon after. Watch this space!!
This week we opened the doors to our seventh Kohler Experience Centre, in West Hollywood, Los Angeles.
The opening night of the KOHLER Experience Center – West Hollywood, Los Angeles.
Following on from KEC’s in New York, London, Singapore, New Delhi, Taipei and Bangkok, the Hollywood store (KEC LAX) continues our mission to launch our new retail concept – KOHLER Experience Centre’s located around the world, offering a global immersion in the full offering of KOHLER products.
What this means is that each Centre will showcase fully-functioning displays of Kohler’s global product lines available across the world— a first for both the industry and for the KOHLER brand. This will enable trade professionals to test and source KOHLER products like never before. Fully-functioning products, including showers, tapware, basins and toilets will enable all customers to experience the true differences in performance and design.
Extensive displays showcase products.
Designed by noted Los Angeles architectural firm Marmol Radziner, the sleek, white two-story shopping destination is flooded with natural light and features soaring ceilings, sliding walls of glass and more than twenty fully designed kitchen and bath vignettes.
20 bathroom vignettes adorn the showroom.
The opening was attended by key designers, celebrities and industry associates alike. LA has an emerging design scene – not just limited to product design, but also encompassing fashion, film, culture – and has been looking for something like the KEC LAX to learn more about a manufacturer’s passion for gracious living, leading-edge design, and outstanding customer service.
Visitors to the KEC LAX can fully immerse themselves in the world of bathroom and kitchen design by browsing the stunning vignettes, or taking it a step further by booking a real-life experience of the products in the Experience Room, featuring recently released products such as Real Rain, DTV+ digital shower systems, VibraAcoustic hydrotherapy along with the Veil and Numi Intelligent Toilets*.
Showering experiences can be enjoyed by visitors – bookings required!
Experience suites offer visitors the opportunity to ‘try before they buy’.
Each KOHLER Experience Centre includes an art installation to pay homage to the John Michael Kohler Arts Centre and KOHLER’s dedication to the arts. KEC LAX features the large-scale work of renowned sculptor, David Franklin, a Kohler Artist-in-Residence at Kohler, Wisconsin. The installation – named Ghost School (2015), features a piece from the Kohler Co. permanent collection and is crafted from clay during Franklin’s 2015 residency, celebrates life on the water while giving form to the artist’s continued concern of the ocean environment where he frequently spends time.
David Franklin’s art installation – Ghost School (2015)
Kohler Co. plans to launch a total of 10 KECs in 2017 and 2018 to meet global demand. Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Dubai will follow in 2018.
* Note that not all products are available in this market as yet.
This year, Kohler has successfully opened Kohler Experience Centers (KEC) in the US., U.K. and India and can now add Taiwan, Singapore and Thailand to the ever-growing list of experiential kitchen and bathroom showrooms.
TAIPEI KOHLER EXPERIENCE CENTER
On August 28, President and CEO, David Kohler, and Larry Yuen, Group President – Kitchen and Bath, opened the Taipei KEC (KECTPE)
The opening ceremony of the KEC Taipei was a dramatic and exciting event!
The design of the KEC Taipei was inspired by the arcs and angles of a book – like it was being flipped through – and the designers applied the aesthetics of these lines throughout the showroom.
The new KEC Taipei is reminiscent of pages flipping open in a book.
The rich, avant-garde displays of kitchen and bathroom suites included a range exciting new products, including the iconic TouchMe mirrors, Intelligent toilets, Moxie Wireless Bluetooth showerhead, live water zones and the signature Bold Art installation.
The suites include working displays and a range of innovative new products in bathroom settings.
The immersive opening ceremony experience was followed by a Kohler Design Forum, which Kohler partnered with the Chinese Society of Interior Designers (CSID) and was attended by architects, designers and industry guests.
CEO and President, David Kohler, addresses the audience
BANGKOK KOHLER EXPERIENCE CENTER
Just 24 hours after the Grand Opening of the KEC Taipei, David Kohler and the team raised their glasses to officially welcome in the KEC in Bangkok – the fifth KEC to open.
The Bangkok KEC opening also celebrated the 15th anniversary of Kohler in Thailand. The beautiful new retail space in Nobel Remix 2 Condo near the trendy Thong Lor Skytrain station sports a post-industrial, minimalist style.
The stunning new Bangkok experiential showroom.
The 700sqm space was designed by award-winning Bangkok based P49 and was developed with the concept of an industrial art gallery in mind. With hundreds of showrooms currently existing in Bangkok, the challenge was to create a truly unique space to showcase their iconic, award-winning kitchen and bathroom products.
The extensive showroom offers the latest innovations in intelligent toilets, PVD tapware displays and an Artist Edition basin gallery. Visitors can also experience working displays featuring the latest products and technologies.
The immersive display offers consumers and designers the opportunity to experience Kohler products.
Tapping into the growing popularity of collaborative working spaces, the KECBKK includes a co-working space and coffee bar for visitors and designers alike to meet and discuss their kitchen and bathroom projects.
The KEC BKK
Following the Industrial Art Gallery theme and blueprint of all KEC’s, visitors to Bangkok’s KEC are greeted by an art space featuring both local and international artists. Artwork will be rotated to continuously keep visitors intrigued and inspired.
The art installation at the KEC BKK.
SINGAPORE KOHLER EXPERIENCE CENTER
While Kohler products can be found in various showrooms around Singapore, the KEC is the first Kohler-exclusive location in this regional design and architectural hub.
The opening of the KEC SGP featured a light show – both inside and out!
The 790sqm showroom is situated in the heart of Singapore’s downtown district in a traditional conservation space. The ground floor is divided into five distinct zones – Fashion; High Tech; Family; Classic and Black.
Some of the suites at the KEC SGP…
The art installations on opening are ‘Born in Taiwan’ by Taiwanese artist Wu Peishan and ‘time artifacts’ by Singaporean artist Thomas Cheong.
The KEC Singpore art installation was by Taiwanese artist Wu Peishan
KECSGP Guests were treated to an illuminated light show both internally, during the opening ceremony, and externally on the building front – a unique occasion in Singapore!
Its been a busy few months for Kohler Co. with the commencement of our global Kohler Experience Centre (known as KEC) rollout in strategic locations around the world.
The first KEC to launch – and the perfect location for any flagship store – was in New York in June. Occupying a 10,000 foot space, the New York KEC is divided into a series of stunning kitchen and bathroom vignettes.
Not to be outdone, Europe launched it’s own flagship KEC in London in the design hub of Clerkenwell with it’s own collection of sumptuous suites and experiential displays.
Closer to home, the latest KEC to open its doors was KEC New Delhi – a hub which is now becoming one of Kohler’s fastest growing markets – according to David Kohler, President and CEO who also attended the opening.
Kohler CEO and President David Kohler at Delhi KEC opening
The New Delhi 10,000 sq ft retail concept space was designed by local firm Studio Lotus and is spread over 2 floors and 4 distinct zones – Café, Inspiration Zone, Warehouse and Lab.
As its name suggests, the Cafe – sporting a Kohler kitchen of course – offers the perfect meeting place for consultants, architects, designer and retail customers meeting to discuss their need for each individual project.
The Warehouse is an area that showcases the product range with a modular space for customers to select products for
their projects while highlighting the strength of the KOHLER portfolio.
Artist Edition basins adorn the walls and countertops
The Lab is an area that highlights Kohler’s journey of product innovation and performance stories. This space
features interactive, live product displays offering an immersive experience to KEC visitors.
A vast array of showering options zone in the Lab.
The Inspiration Zone features the work of seven key Indian architecture firms. Each suite or space represents their
creative interpretation of what a bathroom can look like – ranging from Zen bathrooms featuring Japanese minimalism to
bathrooms blending old world elegance with new age technology in a monochromatic palette of black and white.
An bathroom suite designed by featured architects in the Inspiration Zone
Some bathroom inspiration for visitors in the Inspiration Zone”Our KOHLER Experience Centers signify a paradigm shift in our retail experience globally. With the launch of the
KOHLER Experience Centre in New Delhi we are elevating our retail experience allowing end consumers, architects and
designers to have an interactive and immersive experience with KOHLER’s global range of products,” said David Kohler,
President and Chief Executive Officer of KOHLER Co.
A Purist and Derring Wading Pool Basin feature in just one of the many suite vignettes on display
The Experience Centre houses fully-functioning displays of KOHLER’s global product lines, including basins, tapware,
showers, baths and toilets. The KEC is the first of its kind for both the bathroom industry and for the KOHLER brand in India. This experiential space will enable architects, design professionals and consumers to trial and specify KOHLER products all under one roof.
And of course, each KEC features it’s own unique art exhibition. KEC Delhi features the work of visionary designers Sahil and Sarthak who created the art installation “Kalpataru – The Wishing Tree” signifying customs associated with the Hindu Festival of Lights. The sculpture was unveiled during the KEC Delhi opening.
Art installation by designers Sahil and Sarthak named “Kalpataru – The Wishing Tree”
To read more about the KEC New York opening – click here.
To read more about the KEC London opening – click here.