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American Standard Expands U.S. Design Team

August 21, 2014

As part of its ongoing effort to expand and enhance the role of design across its key business processes, American Standard recently welcomed three additions to the company’s design team. Emilie Williams, Greg Reinecker and Gabriela Ravassa will report to the new vice president of design, Jean-Jacques L’Hénaff.

Emilie Williams, as associate design director for faucets, will lead all design projects for that category. Williams formerly served as senior designer at Ignite USA, where she developed housewares products for the Contigo and AVEX brands. Greg Reinecker, as lead designer, will oversee industrial design projects from concept through implementation. Reinecker has worked with two design consultancies, including Teams Design and Axis Design. Gabriela Ravassa, working as an industrial designer, will pursue projects across all categories, with a focus on trade faucet lines for American Standard and DXV.

In reinvigorating the design function at American Standard, L’Hénaff said he and his team will take a more “user-centric approach to the design process.” “It is all about the user’s experience. We focus not only on the product’s look, feel and function, but also on the overall experience we want the user to have when interacting with them.”

The keys to this approach are two-fold. The first is a commitment to validating new design concepts by submitting them to first-hand consumer testing early in the development process.

“The idea is to test our prototypes early, learn early and repeat that cycle again and again until we obtain the right experience,” said L’Hénaff.

The second key is closer communication among team members, including their colleagues in China. “One designer may focus on faucets, another on bathing and another on chinaware, but we cannot work in silos without regard for each other’s challenges and perspectives,” said L’Hénaff. “Each American Standard or DXV product is a brand ambassador, so all of us are involved in building the brand, and each is on board with what’s happening with our product line as a whole. We have been given this unique opportunity to build on 15 decades of design tradition and reinterpret it for 2015 and beyond. We are intent on making the most of it.”
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