Our Blog


We took our annual pilgrimage to Ambiente, Frankfurt, this year to see what’s hot in the world of housewares and interiors. Here is our take on some of the highlights and trends that we saw this year.

Sustainable Timber

There is an undercurrent of change at Ambiente this year, with everything eco bubbling to the surface. Many brands are revisiting bamboo as an alternative to less sustainable timbers in housewares – mixed with mass produced plastics it’s delivering the semiotic code and appears to be a solid sustainable option.

Waste Not

A number of brands are exploring alternatives to reduction in food waste. For example, JosephJoseph launched its intelligent waste slogan last year at the launch of its totem bins. This year, a few other brands are pushing water management, recycling and composting with a design-thinking twist.

Brand Re-Direction

Chef’n hinted at a shift away from kitchen tools towards aspirational countertop and were showing a lovely citrus press and companion coffee system – tapping into the massive US cold brew coffee appetite and pairing with French press and drip filter/pour-over.

On the Go

Lunch bags are also set to expand with many brands doing great job to make this area more appealing…

P.E.T Hate

Water bottles have become the Ambiente must-have over the last five years – with every brand looking to leverage their own special twists… Without being cynical there are now so many brands producing PET replacement that we are starting to wonder when someone will disrupt the market and do something meaningful with a plastic free solution?

If you’d like to be kept up to date on design trends and events sign up here for our monthly trends newsletter ‘Insights’.

Meet Tony

Tony joins Rodd as a First Class Honours Graduate of Loughborough University’s famous industrial design course. As a young designer he is the perfect blend of pure industrial know-how and has a healthy fascination for making the everyday better for people.

We are pleased to see that he is already demonstrating that he is a hybrid with both physical and digital design skills. Moving from his native Derbyshire to live by the sea for the first time in Bournemouth, he is already looking forward to his first Summer ‘Down South’!

We look forward to getting him immersed in a wide range of client projects very soon.

Clerkenwell Design Week 2017

This week Rodd visited the 2017 Clerkenwell Design week. A great occasion to get an overview of current industry trends. Here are three motifs we picked that inspired us:

Speckle We saw a great deal of variation of speckle finishes. Combinations of materials, such as marble and concrete, as well as recycled plastics, which were often used to add additional dimensions to simple geometric shapes across luxury furniture and vases (see Conpot, Elise Som). Speckles were also used as a pattern on various wooden furniture, from to dining tables to kitchen drawer chests (MannMade).

Raw Ceramics Hand and Eye Studio’s creations are influenced by an interesting contrast of shape and materials. Industrial looking extruded lamps are complemented by the use of warm raw terracotta and beautiful handcrafted details. A great example of modern ceramic pieces, that work both for home and office environments.

Embroidered patterns Design is all about subtlety, but our attention was caught by big and bright patterns.

Playing with colours, and adding additional layers of texture on sofas and rugs, these embroidered patterns make a bold statement. Quite refreshing to see in a world of delicate furniture.

If you’d like to be kept up to date on design trends and events sign up here for our monthly trends newsletter ‘Insights’.

Insight 28 – How Millennials and Gen Z are rewriting luxury.

Recently we have been gathering our thoughts about the impact of Millennials and  Gen Z on the idea of ‘luxury’.

With young consumers attributing high value to brands offering pragmatism, shared ownership, and inclusivity, ‘traditional’ luxury brands can no longer rely on sky-high pricing and exclusivity alone.

Here are five ways we think this generation is reshaping the luxury experience.

Millennials and Gen Z are widely publicised as being ethically aware, therefore brands with tangible, positive impact on their wellbeing and on the world will be their go-to-choice.
So whether it is visibly ensuring your brand’s manufacturing integrity, transparent pricing or efforts to reduce environmental impact, these will all influence these consumers.
Brands like US ethical fashion label Everlane, or the Zero Waste restaurant Tiny Leaf in London are already taking a step in this direction to create the next generation of premium brand experience.

Millennials expect their favoured brand to be as reactive as their friends, and interact with them in the same way: share what you’re doing in real time and respond within seconds.
So building your brand on speed of response (along with integrity and unique value proposition) is a great way to build a connection.
Successful examples of this approach include the lifestyle and fashion brand Obsessee, massively present on social networks, but without any website, and the premium ‘text-to-buy’ beverage brand Dirty Lemon.

Experience is essential brand trait for both Millennials and Gen Z, and what matters most is what they receive (and can share) from both an educational and emotional perspective.
As digital natives, these consumers have effectively re-defined travel marketing, hotels are now competing to create the best Instagram spots, for people to instantly share their experience with the world. Airbnb Trip capitalises on the ‘sharing economy’ and combines house rentals and city discovery, to create bespoke travels based on learning from the locals.

Shared ownership
Never before has the expression, ‘your wardrobe says a lot about you’ been more true. By being less attached to the idea of ownership, Gen Z makes owning luxury fashion goods take a different shape. “Don’t buy couture, share it”: with websites like Couture Collective providing ‘a new wardrobe every fall – without the guilt’, luxury goods are becoming more accessible and increasingly ethical. Ever fancied travelling a private jet? Well now you can with JetSmarter the worlds first on-demand private jet sharing economy.

With Gen Z, luxury goods could become everyday objects: investing in fewer but better things, and spending money on things that will stay with them for a long time.
The brand Permanent Collection, creates clothes and jewels designed based on both historical and contemporary references and pledges to stay in fashion for decades, the store Manufaktum applies the same principle for home living.

So clearly brands that want to attract, and win the loyalty of Generation Z need to take a close look at themselves. Is a re-positioning exercise enough, or does your brand need a radical about face? If you would like to discuss this, or other challenges your brand might be facing, or how a deeper understanding of consumer culture could aid your growth then please get in touch via hello@rodd.uk.com.

This extract is part of our ongoing trend research, to join our mailing list and receive your copy of our monthly trends e-shot Insight sign-up here


This month’s tech roundup we bring you – Medtech that can help control Parkinson’s disease, wall climbing robots that help kids to learn to code, and brain-implants that will improve your memory. All this and the chance to revisit our recent insights piece about the future of interface.
To talk to us about how we can help you to transform tech-push into consumer-pull, and help you innovate through the eyes of your consumer, drop us a line here.
If you like this, follow Rodd on LinkedIn & Twitter. Read it here.

Insight 27 – Wood, glorious wood

The latest issue of our monthly trends piece Insight has just launched.

This month we look at ways in which designers are using wood and the tricks that they may play in turning a traditional material into a modern piece of work. 

Visit the Rodd Pinterest board CMF Naturals for more examples or to read Insight 27 click here.
If you would like to get your copy of Insight direct to your inbox please sign up here .

Meet Jaewan

Please meet our new senior designer, Jaewan who has joined us from Hewlett-Packard. His appointment is the culmination of a long search to help Ben and Mark drive the Rodd creative and strategic offer in 2017.

Jaewan’s design philosophy is a great match for ours and his attention to detail, meticulous minimalism and his natural eye for form made him standout form a really strong field of candidates. 

Jaewan brings a proven track record with both in-house and consultancy experience. He joins us after time at HaA Design in Korea during which time he worked on a variety of projects for iRiver, LG and Coway – before spending three years at HP, Singapore as a design lead.  

We are confident that you will quickly warm to Jaewan’s particular approach to user centred design, his ability to cut to the heart of a design problem and his quietly beautiful design language.


Welcome to our Rodd blog. This is where you will find all the latest design project releases, news from the industry, our trend and show reports as well as the inside track on life in and around the Rodd studio.

Rodd Design is a privately owned industrial design and innovation studio formed in 2000 by Tim Rodd and Ben Davies, focused on delivering the highest quality creative work and commercially effective product design.

For press relations please contact us via hello@rodd.uk.com 

Share +

Blog Archives