Exclusive Interview: Carina Buhlert for Grohe

During Sleep + Eat we gratefully accepted the invitation to speak with GROHE‘s Senior Design Manager for Brand Environments and Experiences Carina Buhlert.

CB_color-web-smlGROHE returned as Founder Sponsor of Sleep + Eat for the 13th consecutive year and we took the opportunity to meet with Carina in GROHE’s Sleep + Eat VIP lounge (which Carina designed). 

GROHE is a leading global brand for complete bathroom solutions and kitchen fittings, the brand pursues brand values of technology, quality, design and sustainability, seeking to offer the “Pure joy of water”.  Innovation, design and development are closely aligned with one another and are enshrined in their German site as an integrated process. 

 

Read our interview to learn about a holistic approach to bathroom and kitchen design, the importance of prioritising sustainability and the plastic free water solution.

Please could you begin by telling us a little bit about yourself? 

My name is Carina Buhlert. I’m 32 years-old, and I’m a senior design manager for brand environments and experiences at GROHE.

I started my career at IKEA as an interior designer and merchandiser, and then studied interior design in Barcelona and integrated design in Cologne. My master’s degree is in Exhibition Design from Institute in Düsseldorf. My whole experience has been focused on working with unique environments, exhibitions, interiors and retail spaces.

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Why is Sleep + Eat an important event for GROHE to support?

The hospitality sector is a very important aspect of people’s lives. We have very interesting new developments, for example Airbnb which is disrupting the whole industry. GROHE, as a bathroom manufacturer, and also a kitchen manufacturer, provides very high quality products to exactly this industry.

We’re also looking to new markets, for example, providing our water system to events like these, to show that with a normal faucet you can actually be much more sustainable as a hospitality brand, or as a hotel, because you remove plastics.  It’s also about the beverage experience and that you can create your own beverage at any time.

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Who are GROHE’s consumers, and what do they demand? 

Our consumer has changed in recent years and is now demanding more from our brand than just a product.  GROHE has always provided very high quality product with a very sophisticated design and a clear design strategy, now customers are also demanding experiences and emotional connections with the product themselves.  This is why not only do our products have to be much more than just a faucet, or a shower, it’s more about thinking holistically and creating water, or beverage systems, smart home products and emotional spaces. We need much more immersive experiences for the consumer, because she is longing for something that gives her a meaningful relationship with the brand.

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What concepts are you currently exploring in the development of your new designs?

For our contemporary consumer we have to think about how we fit their need for trends, including health and customisation. We’re expanding our color range, we are also providing our consumer with a full bathroom solution, so she can come to GROHE and create her bathroom with us, from one holistic company.

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Why is innovation in water so important, and how is GROHE tackling this?

Water is of course a very scarce resource, and we cannot spend water like it’s endless. GROHE has a responsibility to think sustainably and sustainability is one of the brand pillars at the core of our company.  We must not only create quality design and technology, but actually be sustainable.

We want to get our customer to rethink her behaviour, and with our assistance, to save a little bit of water.  We care about every drop of water, and we really have to make them see that with our products it is possible to have a wonderful experience and still be able to save a lot of water.  We want to get rid of all the plastic bottles that we normally have, because with our beverage systems, we have everything that you need to have a beverage experience without any plastic.

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What’s next for GROHE?

GROHE is always developing and it’s been developing a lot in the last years, to create emotional experiences for the consumer, not only in products, but in product experiences.

We want to prove to the customer that we deliver full bathroom solutions, that we inspire her, and that we really care about water experiences and water technology enjoyment.  In general, the company has to be flexible to really react to the consumers needs and the customer really needs transparency in all her products and all her services and that’s why of course she’s demanding.  I think this company has a possibility of doing great things, especially with our innovative, interdisciplinary and international, award winning design studio.

I think a holistic approach is the best way to go, to approach the needs of the future, the customer.

Product Focus

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GROHE Blue Home –the private water source for ultimate taste and enjoyment

Saving time and storage space – no need to carry heavy bottle packs from the supermarket, orworry about bottle deposits and recycling.

Sustainable lifestyle, great taste.

Installed in any kitchen in next to no time.

Whenever we look for a radical change in our lives, the kitchen is as good a place to start as any. So how about this: no more driving to the supermarket on Saturdays to load up the car with heavy packs of bottled water. Instead, imagine savouring glass after glass of delicious filtered water straight from a stylish kitchen tap always cooled to the right temperature, and even available in a choice of strong, medium or no carbonation. This kitchen revolution can start right away –with GROHE Blue Home.

GROHE-Red-1-webThe perfect family hot water tap! GROHE Red is the child proof ‘kettle’ for outstanding safety and convenience.

GROHE Red is the perfect choice for kettle hot water on tap! With robust child safety features built in as standard, this stylish piece of kitchen kit offers the ultimate in convenience, whether you want hot water for brewing coffee and tea or hot water for speeding up the cooking process! You don’t have to wait for a new kitchen either. It is simple to install into an existing kitchen, requiring just some space beneath a standard sink, power and water.

The GROHE Red water system quickly delivers filtered water at a temperature of up to 99°C so you never need to wait for the kettle to boil again! It also saves energy as you only ever heat what you use. On top of this it is easy to operate and very safe making it the perfect choice for a family.

Contact GROHE

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About Alys Bryan

Alys' experience as a furniture designer, along with her in-depth marketing knowledge, makes her uniquely placed to work with the BCFA as the Editor of Design Insider and run her marketing business, Method Communications.
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