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Wine Rack System

ASSIGNMENT: Modular wine rack

CHALLENGE: To create system that allows infinite expansion possibilities satisfying the average wine consumer to the serious collector.

SOLUTION: Bees and wine don't have much in common other than the occasional "hint of honey" comment in reference to a wine's characteristics, and of course there would not be any wine if it were not for bees. But the connection I am getting to is that this projects is a storage system and bees have evolved the most efficient storage system known.

The honey metaphor also influenced what the wine rack is made of and how we designed each hexagonal unit. A translucent plastic material was selected for its light refraction qualities and for the way it allowed us to create a form that flows smoothly from front to back with a cradle for the bottle in between. A clip holds the the units together and makes possible configurations from three to ...

Client

OXO

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White Box

Architecture for business should embody the values and objectives of a companies brand, and stand as a physical manifestation of the brands core values. In collaboration with design agency TODA, we undertook the interpretation of Room Studio's values into its physical space. Modern, flexible, unique, high quality, hospitable, sustainable, are words ROOM uses to describe its self.

With this in mind we developed a distinctive white box, full of natural light with every convenience provided to help ROOM's customers do their best work.

Client

Photo Studio

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Topographic Chair

ASSIGNMENT: Furniture, Lounge Chair

CHALLENGE: A form based lounge chair constructed entirely of plywood

SOLUTION: With the Topo Chair Project the challenge was to create a furniture concept whereby a three-dimensional form could be created from a rigid two-dimensional material, 7 mm thick plywood. The result was a ‘topographically’ inspired chair that comfortably conforms to the contours of the body. A system was developed whereby the structure is entirely self supporting with no hidden attachments other than a small amount of glue. Designed in 2000 and launched at the 2002 Salone Internazionale del Mobile with furniture manufacturer Frighetto.

AWARDS: Topo is currently part of the permanent design collections at SFMoMA, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich.

Client

MARKNADEN

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Brand Communication in 3D

Fristam, a German based manufacturer specializing in industrial pump systems, is driven by high quality, precision engineering. In an effort to realign their visual language with their company goals, Fristam engaged TODA to redesign their brand communication standards. Implementation of these new standards involved renovation of one of the key connection points with clients, trade shows. Collaborating with TODA we interpreted these new communication standards in three dimensions to create an immersive branded environment. Implemented in a modular format, the trade show display can be deployed in various spacial arrangements providing an economical means of managing Fristam's yearly show circuit.

Client

Fristam

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Interlocking Modular Bins

ASSIGNMENT: To develop a flexible, modular storage system for drawer organisation in all areas of home and office.

CHALLENGE: To design a system that will accommodate and organise a wide variety of objects that are stored in drawers of any size.

SOLUTION: There is no shortage of various products that claim to help organise the contents of your drawers. But we found them all to be hard to use and not very ... well ... organised. Many products were on the right track by providing a range of sizes to accommodate various storage needs but where they all fell short was in the assembly. Once placed in the drawer all the products we tested would flop around with the opening and closing of the drawer creating, over time, a general disarray. We determined that the key to this project was in the "connection," and set about creating a jig-saw type system that could be assembled in any and in any configuration. We wanted to eliminate all limits so that the size and configuration of your system is only limited by your own drawer size. Total freedom.

Client

OXO

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1Oth Anniversery Uplift

ASSIGNMENT: Design an anniversary edition of our popular Uplift water kettle to celebrate 10 years on the market

CHALLENGE: To update and bring even more innovation to one of our most popular products

SOLUTION: So, we already did this once, and after an exhaustive process back in 1999 we launched the Uplift kettle with OXO to much acclaim. Now it's 10 years later and our challenge now is not to make water kettles in general work better, it's to improve upon our own work and make our water kettle better. Part of our process for any product is to keep improving them over time in to make our products work better for our customers. However, this was the first time the word "anniversary" has been attached to a project, which is gratifying since this indicates real success for this product having achieved a consistent market demand that has kept it on sale for over 10 years now. Focusing on environmental concerns that have steadily risen over the past few years, we improved the Uplift by removing all plastic and replacing the heat touch points with cork, a natural material with better heat dissipation properties than any manufactured material. The result works better than the original, and as with all our work, it looks as good as it works.

Client

OXO

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Introduction

We believe great design has five characteristics; innovative, functional, borne of collaboration, loved by those that come in contact with it, and provides great benefits, whether financial, social, and/or personal. In consumer product design we have found that this is a winning combination to maximize the benefit to both a products end users and the company that is selling it.

Client

DNA

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Two-Tier Turntable

ASSIGNMENT: Kitchen turntable

CHALLENGE: To make functional improvements to this common kitchen organisation device

SOLUTION: When a product is already so basic it is quite a challenge to find meaningful ways to improve it. This was certainly the case with this assignment from OXO. Since our work is founded on innovative product solutions we are often asked if there is anything we think we could not bring innovation to. The answer is an emphatic no, and this is the product we refer to as an example of how we make important improvements to even the most simple products.

In this case we observed in our user research that this product was often used in tight an crowded situations and as objects became clustered around the turntable, friction would build up affecting the performance of the product. We reacted to this information and created a design built on a base slightly wider than the rotating surface. this kept other objects from touching the spinning disk and ensured a smooth and consistent performance no matter what the environment.

When we added a second level to increase the storage capacity of the first turntable we again reacted to the many unpredictable situations the product might be placed, and a wide array of products that may be stored within it. Our unique split level adjustable solution makes any user situation the most efficient it can possibly be.

Client

OXO

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Immersive Branding

Qmed is an innovator in the medical beauty industry and a leader in the lip enhancement market. Qmed meets customers at a series of industry shows across Europe each year with the main events taking place in Paris and Monaco. Collaborating with Qmed's design agency TODAY Creative in Stockholm Sweden, we interpreted TODAY Creative's brand principles and design standards into three dimensional form creating an immersive branded environment. Qmed estimated a doubling in customer traffic as a result of their new environment.

Client

QMed

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Suction Bath Products

ASSIGNMENT: Secure and easily installable and reinstallable suction products for the shower/bath

CHALLENGE: In a market dominated by the PowerLock suction mechanism based on a cam lock mechanism, our goal was to design a product that would have better and more secure attachment and a better and more functional use.

SOLUTION: A problem was identified with the competitions suction mechanism: that it was awkward to reinstall after the suction failed, which inevitably happens. We therefore focused our attention on creating a mechanism that could easily be “recharged” by giving it a quick push. This way suction could be maintained perpetually with no awkward reinstall ever required. We combined the suction mechanism with a smart combination of transparent plastic and chrome plated wire for a reasonable manufacturing cost but with an aesthetic of much more expensive bath accessories.

Client

OXO

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Stripes Vase

ASSIGNMENT: Crystal vases for the US wedding market

CHALLENGE: Swedish crystal company Orrefors Identified a retail opportunity in the US market for products connected to the wedding gift market. We were engaged to determine a product concept to meet the needs of this market.

SOLUTION: In association with our sister agency TODA, we worked to develop a product concept that would tie into an advertising campaign that drove sales of Orrefors product in the wedding gift market. Our idea centred around the creation of multiple and duo vase concepts. These all reflected the dual nature of a wedding, and through the print advertising campaign, identified the dual vase designs with the marrying couple. In this particular version, the concept of stripes was used to make the connection.

Client

Orrefors

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Single Hand Contact Water Kettle

ASSIGNMENT: Hot water kettle

CHALLENGE: OXO is one of the best kitchen and household tool manufactures in the US and when we set about designing a water kettle, we targeted OXO as our preferred manufacturer for the product. So we had to create a product that OXO would love to sell to its customers.

SOLUTION: The Uplift represents a complete rethinking of the water kettle. Starting from square one, everything that had been done in the past was put aside and a kettle designed based purely on how it ?should? work. Heat was the central obstacle to overcome and we accomplished this by limiting all hand contact to one place where we could protect the user from burning. The handle became this point of contact. This meant the handle must connect to and operate all necessary functions. The result is a kettle that is safe, smart, and easy to use.

AWARDS: The Uplift water kettle is part of the permanent design collection at the Brooklyn Museum of Art and was the recipient of awards from the following institutions; ID Magazine, Red Dot, The American Society on Aging, and the Chicago Athenaeum Good Design.

Client

OXO

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Innovation

Businesses rise and fall based on many factors but customers’ perceptions of products and services are chief among them. In an increasingly competitive economic environment, it is vital to find meaningful points of differentiation for products and services that will resonate with customers. Investing in innovation to provide customers with the best possible products and services is a way to make this differentiation. Pursuing this approach has many benefits, and in a broad sense, tends to lift customer’s perceptions of a brand. This further strengthens a company’s success.

In a recent Design Council study of UK businesses where innovation has a central role, 84% say that their competitiveness has increased. And when looking at companies that compete on innovation as opposed to price alone, research has shown that 45% of firms not investing in innovation compete mainly on price as compared to only 21% of firms that do.(1)

Many companies choose to compete on price as a way of distinguishing products and services but this leads to a cycle of decreasing prices and lower profits. Combined with increasing resource costs, this is not a good strategy for growth. Innovation provides the best return on investment for sustained results over the long haul.

(1) Design Council (2005) “National Survey of Firms.” London: Design Council

Client

DNA

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No.10 LetterBox

ASSIGNMENT: Home Letter Box

CHALLENGE: To create a functional surface mounted metal letter box for home use

SOLUTION: This concept for a mailbox brings a little much-needed irony to the daily trip to pick up the mail. We responded to a self-imposed design brief for a simple and interesting mailbox with what now seems like the most obvious of solutions. The No.10 envelope is the most ubiquitous of all forms of mail delivery containers and it perfectly lends itself in both form and use to a container for the mail as well. The duality in the relationship between the box and what goes in the box makes for an interesting visual play.

Client

MARKNADEN

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Loft on a 50 cm Grid

ASSIGNMENT: Cameron Loft. Architecture. Private Residence.

CHALLENGE: Designing a place for someone to live in is a lot like designing the clothes they ware. The architecture has to fit them well and they have to feel good in it, it has to suite their activities and not ware out, it needs to have enough places to hold the things they need to use, and it should become more comfortable the longer they live in it. Along with the experience of the occupants, all these practical elements congeal into a notion of "home," which the space will eventually come to represent. Our job was to provide the practical elements that set the stage for our clients daily lives.

SOLUTION: This small Manhattan loft is designed for a photographer and a designer. One is a collector and the other a minimalist. They often work at home and the space is quite small, a little over 100 sq meters. They were fortunate to have been able to purchase their neighbors studio apartment shortly after purchasing theirs so the combined space was just enough for a bedroom and a large common area that functions as both living, entertaining, and working space.

A large communal table at one end of the room functions for working and entertaining. At the other end of the room a living area combines the functions of library, lounge, and home theater. All of the necessities such as the kitchen, bedroom, bathrooms, storage and library are integrated into the perimeter of the room and to tie all these functions together a 50 cm grid was established providing the basis for the design and the unifying element common to all areas in the space. A minimum of furnishing was used to open up the space and this was accomplished by integrating most of the necessities directly into the architecture. The net effect is that this relatively small space seems spacious and both occupants report being quite thrilled every day as they live and work in their small Manhattan loft.

Client

Cameron Residence

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Function

We are rigorous in ensuring that all of our work is firmly grounded in function. We believe that a product’s first job is to meet specific user needs in the simplest way possible. The definition of these needs can be broad, ranging from the purely mechanical to less tangible psychological and aesthetic needs. In most cases it is not a single need but a variety of mechanical, psychological and aesthetic issues that all need to be distilled into a harmonious and balanced solution. This approach to function is always at the core of our work and the starting point of our process.

Client

DNA

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Bean Wire Furniture

ASSIGNMENT: Furniture, Chairs and Stools

CHALLENGE: To design a family of high-end seating products using simple materials that would be comfortable in a variety of interior settings.

SOLUTION: Frighetto, an Italian home-furnishing company owned by the Estel Group commissioned us to design furniture for debut at the 2007 Salone de Mobile in Milan. We created a line called Bean. It is based on bean shaped wire structures that are partially skinned, describing the form without entirely showing it.

Client

Frighetto

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Collaboration

We have learnt in our work over the past 22 years that our best results come from a strong collaboration with our clients. As we move forward with your projects, knowledge about your business is critical in how we approach our work together, and the more you are able to become part of our team, the better the results will be.

Collaboration also means that we stay connected with you long after our initial services are complete. Products often require tuning during the production process and beyond in to maximise their effectiveness and to improve sales. Our ultimate interest is in positive results. To this end we are your partners to make sure that the goals set at the beginning of a project continue to be measured against customer comments and sales data, and that adjustments will be made accordingly.

Client

DNA

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Paper Chain Side Table

ASSIGNMENT: Side Table

CHALLENGE: To develop a winning competition entry for Surface Magazine's TAG awards

SOLUTION: In 2002 we noticed a call for entries from Surface Magazine, the winners to be judged and exhibited at the upcoming Salone Internazionale del Mobile. This seemed like a good reason to turn some sketchbook ideas into reality. We had come up with an interesting table concept inspired by a common childhood pastime, the paper chain. The concept was quickly adapted to fabrication in metal and then implemented in white anodised aluminium. We won the competition and with nine other winners were fortunate to be honoured in Milan.

AWARDS: 2002 Surface Magazine's TAG Award, recognising the most innovative furniture designs of the year.

Client

MARKNADEN

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Magnetic Clips

ASSIGNMENT: Magnetic Clips in Stainless Steel

CHALLENGE: Creating small inexpensive clips to coordinate with an increasing array of stainless steel kitchen accessories.

SOLUTION: After a sketching a variety of clip design formats and estimating their associated production costs, the leaf spring emerged as the best option based on function, price, and a review of the production resources. Leaf clips are those with two halves joined by a hinge with a spring in-between. We formed two symmetrical sides out of stamped stainless steel and introduced, into the area users would touch, a pad of a soft rubber material. on the other end where the clip would need to grip items we also added strips of soft rubber strips to enable a secure grip. each of these ends were formed to maximize the function of the clip, good finger grip on one end and secure grip for objects on the other. in between was formed the simplest transition possible to tie the ends together.

Client

OXO

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Love

Certainly a lofty ideal but products that customers say they love are the ones that they want to buy. And for good reason, these are the also the products that are the highest quality, the most innovative, and simply work the best in meeting their needs. And as the sentiments of customers goes, so goes those of distributors and retailers. Positive response from customers is a clear indication of profits so providing customers with the best products is also the best strategy to achieve the highest and longest lasting returns. the two go hand in hand, a veritable love fest. We are just happy to be in the middle creating all these good feelings.

Client

DNA

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Plywood Contour Bowl

ASSIGNMENT: Fruit Bowl

CHALLENGE: To design a fruit bowl out of 7 mm sheet plywood

SOLUTION: When challenged to create a fruit bowl concept from thin plywood sheets we drew on our architectural model making experience. We often construct models of the ground plane where a building project is situated. By tracing the survey data and cutting each individual contour line out of cardboard we then stack them all together to create a representation of the earths contours. So we performed the same operation with the contour bowl by cutting a series of plywood sheets in slightly different configurations so that when stacked together, they form the shape of a bowl.

Client

MARKNADEN

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Profit

The convenient correlation that exists between customer satisfaction and profit makes our job clear because our mission is to, 1) make innovative, high quality products for customers, and 2) generate high profits for our clients. Fortunately great products drive high profits which results in a natural balance between the two. We keep our eye on the profit part of the formula, but we achieve them by making the best possible products.

So we know that great products come into being through careful research, smart planning, and efficient manufacturing, but another important factor that can dramaticly increase profits is a products life span. Products that can remain on the market for a few extra years, or become “classics” and remain permanently on the market, will obviously have a greatly improved profit potential.

After a project is on the market our work is still not finished and profit has an important role to play in our ongoing process. Sales figures are a handy metric which allow us to evaluate the effectiveness of our work and to make any adjustments necessary. In the final analysis profit is the proof that customers love our work and that means our clients are happy too.

Client

DNA

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Water Candle

ASSIGNMENT: Candles for the water

CHALLENGE: To create a candle light source for use in water and compatible with bath use.

SOLUTION: When we first sat down with the clients for this project they said, "We want you to design candles for the bath." We took them quite literally and produced a candle that goes in the bath and at the same time expanded the brief to include other bodies of water such as pools and ponds. The end result was the CandleBuoy. Powered by rechargeable batteries, the CandleBuoy's LED light source is programmed to simulate candlelight. Completely sealed and waterproof, it's perfect for illuminating the bath, or any other body of water.

Client

MARKNADEN

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MARKNADEN
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