Since 2014, design and development manager Kenneth Waaben has set the course for Unidrain’s elegant designs. Most recently, he has headed the development of the stylish Reframe Collection accessory line that brings functionality and consistency into the bathroom.
Kenneth Waaben is a graduate of the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts. For him, design is an iterative process that is based on a specific problem.
“In my view, good design is durable design that makes a difference, both aesthetically and functionally. Unidrain’s products must stand out and solve problems in a more elegant and intelligent way than other products in the market,” says Kenneth Waaben.
“As designers, our mission is to improve what already exists. Unfortunately, we can see how many new products are designed with no real focus on improving anything. This is neither an interesting nor sustainable approach to development. You have to do everything you can to make a difference.”
The devil is in the detail
When Kenneth Waaben starts up the design process, he generates ideas on the basis of ongoing tests and product models.
“It can be a challenge to connect the aesthetic with the functional. This requires repeated tests and adjustments. It’s important to be aware of even the smallest details, since often these make all the difference,” he says.
Two of the designs that have been under Kenneth Waaben’s design microscope are the Reframe toilet brush and shower wiper. In this case, he has given new life to two everyday designs.
“The toilet brush is designed with a splash collar that eliminates bacteria between the inner and outer containers. There is also a small, integrated handle, so that you can easily empty the container without coming into contact with bacteria. The actual brush head is designed to collect as little water and paper as possible, to reduce unwanted dripping,” he explains and continues:
“The shower wiper is integrated with the soap shelf, and is held in place by hidden magnets. This avoids having the wiper standing on the floor or hanging on the mixer tap.”
Products have to be durable
Kenneth Waaben makes a virtue of designing durable products. These products are also often the most popular.
“As a designer, it’s important not to be too fascinated by what’s popular right now, since you risk designing a product that quickly becomes irrelevant. It’s far more interesting to take a long-term approach. Many of the design products that are now celebrated around the world were often created many years ago, and not on the basis of contemporary fads and trends,” the innovative designer concludes.