Frederick Trzcinski, VP-Marketing and Innovation at Ideal Standard, discusses how the company is the undisputed leader in innovation, the launch of the Design and Specification Center, and their recent participation in the Salone del Mobile.

Could you please explain your role at Ideal Standard and how your professional experience has added value to the brand?

I am extremely proud to work in a company that has had huge strides over the last 100 years by providing innovative bathroom solutions across the globe, with its optimal mix of design and functional excellence. As VP of Marketing and Innovation for the MENA region, I am constantly thriving to bring innovative and customer-focused approaches to business opportunities. Managing the marketing functions at Ideal Standard MENA including, product marketing, business planning, brand, advertising, events, communications, and research, I oversee the strategies that drive revenue, growth, and share across the business in the Middle East and Africa.

What excites you the most in the industry today and why?

The challenges and opportunities of course. We live in a region booming with potential and yet with so many challenges. We have been and continue to be involved in extraordinary projects in various markets like the Burj Al Arab Hotel in the UAE and Ajyal Aramco Community in Saudi Arabia. These types of opportunities energise us to grow and excel by providing a seamless synergy of functional and aesthetically beautiful solutions to our customers and partners.

Also, we are part of the solutions for water scarcity in the Middle East and North Africa. We continue to expand our water-saving products portfolio to help reduce the impact of water consumption on the environment and the cost of our customers’ water bills each month.

Share some exciting details about Ideal Standard’s new Dubai Design and Specification Center (showroom) and what it will offer its clients.

We are very proud of our recently opened Design and Specification Center, located in a prime location in City Walk, Dubai. The new center is designed by world-renowned Italian designer Roberto Palomba and is a creative and inspiring showroom aimed at enabling interior designers, architects, and customers to find the right combinations of products to design their dream bathrooms.

The center, which spreads over 1,000 square meters, is a one-stop destination for all bathroom solutions and showcases our latest designs and innovations. It is strategically designed using the concept of inspiration areas, illustrating the various aspects of the bathroom products, such as ease of installation and maintenance, water-saving aspects, and installation options.

In addition, it is also our training and specification center in the region, with a mandate to host, train and inspire interior designers, consultants and contractors, by presenting and providing complete bathroom solutions for all types of projects and buildings.

What are the exciting features of the Atelier collection, and what are the latest offerings from this line?

Our latest contribution to the culture of design is our award-winning Atelier Collections. Designed by Roberto Palomba, these collections designate a new era of design that is deeply rooted in our rich heritage.

The collections are aimed at fostering the process of creation, and every collection brings together innovation and beauty to enable the realisation of timeless projects.

Recently, we have added three new beautifully crafted ranges: Calla, Joy Neo, and Solo. The new collections represent a true fusion of design across the ages, each range inspired by classic bathroom pieces, combined with contemporary elements – delivering a new eclecticism in bathroom design.

These collections embody Ideal Standard’s Singular™ philosophy, to provide inspiring, holistic bathroom solutions from a complete range of product categories, which can be easily tailored to achieve custom designs and styles.

What are you exhibiting at the Salone del Mobile, and what are your expectations from this event? How important is visitor and client feedback for your company’s R&D for future developments?

Ideal Standard is previewing its innovative Solos concept at Salone del Mobile 2022. Part of the premium Atelier Collections, Solos is the perfect embodiment of the company’s new Singular™ approach which aims at providing considered, inspirational cross-category solutions that can be easily tailored for a personalized result.

The new collection represents absolute purity in design and is made possible by combining pioneering technologies and state-of-the-art materials, with the company’s years of experience in ceramics and brassware manufacturing.

In addition to Solo, we will highlight our latest new ranges Calla and Joy Neo among other collections. As we expect to receive a huge number of our existing and potential clients, we are going to focus on our design heritage that has influenced the latest additions to our Atelier Collections, which combine classic features with modern technology and innovative design to create inspiring bathroom solutions.

We also consider this event as an ideal platform to listen to our clients, discover their needs, and explore their expectations, as important elements that support our R&D efforts for future developments. Our team will be very keen to meet consultants and interior designers to find the right combination of products for them to create and design their perfect solutions.

Let’s talk about the singular concept in terms of design and performance. How will it benefit the end-user?

It is a new approach to specification bringing together the company’s deep product knowledge, sector expertise and design services to enable customers to easily choose from thousands of products to create the right solution for their space.

Ideal Standard Singular™ is a simple, flexible process that means customers only need a single supplier and one dedicated point of contact but will still have access to unlimited inspirational bathroom solutions from a complete range of product categories, including brassware, ceramics, furniture, bathing, showering and accessories.

Singular™ was specifically developed to streamline bathroom design and simplify the selection process, while still inspiring creativity. It enables customers – from architects and designers to retailers, tradespeople and end-users – to create tailored, holistic bathroom designs whether it is for hotels, offices, public spaces, healthcare facilities or homes.

Why is sustainability such an important focus for your company?

With concerns around climate change growing, sustainability has become a key part of the agenda for both consumers and manufacturers, and bathrooms are no exception. Homeowners now expect sustainability to feature high on the list of priorities for designers and manufacturers, with water-saving, in particular, a key part of this.

We see ourselves as a sustainable entity in everything we do, from the selection of materials and manufacturing methods to the final product. To achieve this lofty goal, we continue to invest in the latest technologies in order to develop innovative products that guarantee high performance to meet all customers’ needs and be environmentally friendly at the same time.

Could you give an example of how Ideal Standard products save water?

At Ideal Standard, we have removable flow regulators pre-fitted as standard into all our basin mixers. These ensure a maximum water delivery of 5 litres per minute in high-pressure central heating installations, such as those using combi boilers. Using Pressure Compensating Aerator (PCA) technology, which mixes air into the water stream, users can benefit from a softer and what appears to be a more voluminous flow, which is using less water.

Our shower handsets and shower heads are similarly equipped with removable regulators helping to produce water flows that feel higher than they actually are. The result is that consumers can save water without feeling any difference while they shower.

Many of our toilets are designed with our patented AquaBlade® technology. This unique system uses the same amount of water as a traditional toilet but is far more efficient, hygienic and easier to clean. Toilets which use this innovative technology also come with dual flush capabilities, to ensure superior flushing performance even at a low-water volume.

Solos is the perfect embodiment of the company’s new Singular™ approach which aims at providing considered, inspirational cross category solutions that can be easily tailored for a personalised result.

How important is it to educate customers about new technology and innovations, and what are you doing about it?

Our clients are the focus and purpose of our strategic communications. As we develop technologies that are directed at them, we are keen to keep them informed through our channels, in line with government regulations and national goals related to rationalizing water consumption and obtaining a high rating in this field.

Ideal Standard recorded successful participation in Expo 2020 Dubai with the Belgian pavilion under the title “Harmonious Diversity”. We believe that this step will contribute to advancing innovation and design to more advanced stages to keep pace with the requirements of future markets. This cooperation will also create synergies between art and technology, and the introduction of modern and advanced technological expertise.

What are the most significant challenges you face in the industry in this region?

We consider challenges as opportunities for growth. With this mentality, one of the opportunities that is dear to our heart is to be environmentally friendly in everything we do. As such, we always seek to use environmentally-friendly equipment and consume less water in our manufacturing processes. And we are vigorously growing our water-saving products portfolio, supplying removable flow regulators pre-fitted as standard into all our basin mixers, and designing our toilets with our patented AquaBlade® technology.

In addition to that, we embarked on a new era of design in 2018 with an exclusive long-term partnership with renowned design studio Palomba Serafini Associati.

The ground-breaking design has always been part of Ideal Standard’s DNA, by working with Master designers like Gio Ponti or Achille Castiglioni, Paolo Tilche, etc, influencing society as a whole and redefining the role of the bathroom within it. The company draw on its strong design heritage, taking inspiration from previous iconic products to create new, contemporary collections that will drive the brand’s overall design philosophy and shape the bathrooms of the future, marking the beginning of a new era of Design.

Now, Ludovica and Roberto Palomba – masters of international design with over 25 years experience delivering innovative bathroom design concepts, are expanding our portfolio to meet all styles of designs from traditional to contemporary and modern.

Joy Neo represents an evolution of classicism, combining features from the more contemporary and cylindrical Joy collection with classic, square design elements, and either cross or leaver-handles.

Who are your most important clients, and where do you want to be more visible in the Middle East?

Ideal Standard has strong relationships with various segments of its clients, be it individuals, interior designers, architects, distributors, and even real estate developers. This relationship requires us to listen to them constantly, whether through direct contacts and correspondence, international exhibitions, or by holding joint seminars. We believe that these channels contributed to the consolidation of working bonds with our partners, and helped to develop our products constantly.