After Singapore and London, we are ready to hop over to the next continent for the upcoming KOHLER Design Forum Toronto on 12 October 2018. The presentation series continues to explore the topic of ‘All things connected’ with a roundup of expert speakers who discuss and explore smart technologies and how they are shaping the world. The Globe and Mail Centre close to downtown Toronto, Canada, is the perfect venue for the third KOHLER Design Forum in 2018 with its beautiful backdrop of the Toronto skyline and Lake Ontario. More interesting than this unique location for the KOHLER Design Forum Toronto, though, are the world-class speakers who will take the audience on a journey into the world of the Internet of Things, smart cities, homes, and offices.
Marianne McKenna, a partner at KPMB Architects, is an invested officer of the Order of Canada. She has diverse experience in a range of subject areas, including higher education, workplace interiors, hospitality, and master-planning. She has also been a Norman R Foster visiting professor at the Yale School of Architecture and has an honorary doctorate of laws from Laurentian University.
Marianne will talk about the smart designs of the showcase Thornwood House that integrates control systems for temperature, light, sound, media, security, and more. The settings are adjusted for each user in the home. The building also incorporates sustainable design initiatives.
Prof. Dr. Lili Liu, chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy Faculty of Rehabilitation Medicine at the University of Alberta, is an academic co-lead of the Smart Condo. This is a simulated one-bedroom home that serves as a teaching and research environment for technology that supports aging. Lili works with interdisciplinary teams that include students, seniors, and experts in computing science, engineering, industrial design, architecture, and health, to gain a comprehensive understanding of the adoption of innovation technology.
Together with the guests, she will examine what research says about technology readiness, privacy, and factors that influence user adoption in the age of “all things connected”. Smart homes and smart cities are concepts being realized by designers, who collaborate with health care professionals, to facilitate aging in place and to promote healthy community living.
Andrew Peek, the managing partner of City & Stay Hotel Group, is an entrepreneur and angel investor. He has sold two prior ventures (Atatomic, Jet Cooper) and held pivotal roles at two of Canada’s most notable start-ups (FreshBooks, Shopify). He is currently an adviser to a series of start-ups and is applying his technology background to the hospitality arena as managing partner at City & Stay Hotel Group, which owns and operates The Annex hotel in Toronto.
Andrew’s presentation will focus on lean methodologies and observing experiences that bring hospitality guests comfort and excitement. The lean methodology is intended to uncover the minimum desirable product – that which delights the guest – and seeks to remove everything else standing in the way. Applying this thinking beyond a hotel’s walls and to the surrounding, design experiences intensify and become more authentic.
Richard Kong, our vice-president of Industrial Design, leads the industrial-design, human-factors and design-research functions for Kohler Kitchen & Bath Americas. He has 26 years’ experience as a design leader and consultant for many globally renowned brands. Richard has a degree in economics, another in transportation design and is an adjunct professor of transportation design at ArtCenter College of Design in California.
Richard will walk the audience through Kohler’s perspective on connectivity and artificial intelligence in the bathroom and share snapshots into the bathrooms of the future transform from utility rooms to safer, healthier, and more delightful ‘living rooms’. The pre-evening KOHLER Design Forum Toronto and panel discussion are moderated by Tomos Lewis, the bureau chief of Monocle’s Toronto office. Monocle as our media partner provides another pivot on the global view of connectivity. Guests will experience an exceptional forum, get a chance to ask burning questions after the panel discussion, meet the Kohler Canada team, and network with speakers, hosts, and peers at the Globe and Mail Centre.