Clever Extra – Designing for a Water Conscious World


On this Clever Extra, we deep dive into design for a water conscious world. Amy is joined by experts Jean-Jacques L’Henaff, Leader, Lixil Global Design, Americas, and Alison Lyons, Lead Researcher, Lixil Global Design. In the industries that give shape to the built world, like design and architecture, there’s a real opportunity and responsibility to address our global water concerns with deep care and consideration. In this episode, we explore the world of plumbing and fixtures to understand how we may deploy design as a meaningful tool in the stewardship of the Earth’s most precious resource. This episode was recorded as part of ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan’s CLOSEUP series.

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Clever is hosted & produced by Amy Devers, with editing by Rich Stroffolino, production assistance from Ilana Nevins and Anouchka Stephan, and music by El Ten Eleven.

Amy Devers: Hi everyone, I’m Amy Devers and for this special presentation: Designing for a Water Conscious World we are talking about Water, the precious resource that we all know and love is something that not too long ago many of us enjoyed the luxury of thinking of as free flowing and endless. However, now we’re all aware that there’s so much more at stake. In the industries that give shape to the built world, like design and architecture, there’s a real opportunity and responsibility to address our global water concerns with deep care and consideration. This undoubtedly means a sincere commitment to understanding water concerns from multiple perspectives and a sincere commitment of resources to designing products, systems, and corporate practices that seek to solve problems, repair harm, and elevate the ethical standards of the industry as a whole, as a designer and a consumer who enjoys the luxuries of hot showers and filtered drinking water delivered by beautiful faucets, I also have daily bouts of water guilt, so I wanted to dive deep into the world of plumbing and fixtures to understand how we may deploy design as a meaningful tool in the stewardship of the Earth’s most precious resource. I’m here with a few experts who can help break down the issues for us and help us to understand what may be some promising ways forward.

Jean-Jacques L’Henaff: So I’m Jean-Jacques L’Henaff, leader for Lixil Global Design Americas, and in that role, I actually oversee the design function within our company here in North America.

Alison Lyons: I’m Alison Lyons, lead researcher for Lixil Global Design.

Amy Devers: So before we dive into the deep end, I’d love it if you could give me an overview of Lixil. I’d love to know the mission, the purpose, the science, the brands, the products that drive your business. So I can also understand how you’re interfacing with the global water concerns.

JJL: Of course. Yeah. I think that there is no better person to do that than, our CEO, Trey, Trey Northrup and as, so I’ll let him, uh, actually give you a quick description or overview of our company.

Trey Northrop: Hi Amy. I’m Trey Northrop, leader of Lixil Americas. Lixil is a maker of water and housing products and is home to the trusted names in the America’s market, such as American Standard GROHE, DXV and INAX. We are a global enterprise with presence in 150 countries worldwide. I’m excited to be part of the discussion today. It’s an interesting time. We live in industries like ours are in interacting with global citizens who prioritize resource efficiency and sustainable lifestyle in making that purchase decision. They want a simplistic and sustainable solution that will improve their lives as well as preserve the environment. It’s time for businesses like ours to make that change and incorporate sustainability at the core of our strategy. At Lixil, we are designing and developing beautiful high performing products and innovative solutions that reduce energy consumption and waste production. We use human-centric sustainable design at the center of all of our solutions, and we are combining meaningful design, accessibility to all and a responsible business growth to create value for people and the planet.

JJL: And to follow up on what Trey was saying, in order to actually understand our consumers, we have set up a different location around the world to put our design studios. We have about 130 designers and that give us access to regional markets and understanding better what our users are looking for in each of these markets. So we’re located in Singapore, Tokyo Düsseldorf, London, New York. And so all these different studios, uh, sees them almost as antennas to the market to pick up all the signals that our consumers are sending us.

AD: Oh, that’s really interesting. And so you’re tailoring your approach still through people, but people have different ways that they engage with water and culturally and in different locales.

JJL: Exactly. Everything related to water is, is extremely cultural. And that’s one part of, uh, our jobs that is so interesting is to understand how culture change and, and, and affect basically is a way that people perceive and use water around the world.

AD: You’re the guy to ask, then you can help me understand these water problems with a little more clarity instead of just a fog of existential dread. From your perspective,what are the main problems that you’re experiencing or that we’re engaging with that you’re then tackling in your approach?

JJL: We see  three main problems in our environment. The problem with water scarcity is there is less and less water to be used. Uh, you see, for example, in the US we have been going through droughts in many different states, especially in in the Southwest. But really across all states, even in the northeast, even in, in New England, this past summer we had a drought situation. We have a water tables that is that is going down that sometimes is disappearing. So we don’t have enough water for the needs that, uh, that we have today. Second issue is really the water quality and due to a number of different factors and, but especially, and quite often, due to failing infrastructure that has not been cared for for so long, we have water, especially in urban areas that is not really proper, that is not adequate for con human consumption. and we see that very nearby. I mean, in Newark, York, New Jersey, just a few miles away from here, we have these issues and those are coming from Providence so you are also very sensitive to that. There have been issues with infrastructure under replacement of lead pipes that is causing a lot of problems. So that actually this is not a problem that is limited to Flint, Michigan. It’s actually, in a lot of of communities around the US and. And the third point is, is much less known. It’s access to proper sanitation. And access to proper sanitation is something that we tend to think of as a distant problem, maybe in developing nations in economies, but it’s actually even in the United States. We have a number of areas where people don’t have access to proper sanitation due to a number of, uh, of reason, like lack of investment in local geography and geologies that make septic system and so forth, much more difficult to operate and maintain. So these are the three main areas, water scarcity, water quality, and sanitation that we are, we’re seeing as in need of being addressed.

AD: Yes. That is a lot to think about. I mean, sanitation’s so important to health and, and quality of life and wellbeing. So how are you responding? You have a very important position here.

JJL: So, so we are responding in different ways. So we have, um, I mean, first we have to tend to own backyard. And I think the first way we can, uh, help as a situation is by looking at all manufacturing and, and have a lesser impact on the environment. Some of our products, um, especially, uh, everything made with ceramic are using a lot of water in the manufacturing process. So just reducing the mass of the, of, of the amount of materials that we use reduces the amount of waters that we use and energy that we use to manufacture them. Uh, looking of course, this is not water, but we are looking at using renewable energies for factories. Like we have a factory, for example, in Monterey, Mexico, which that is using 90, over 90% of its energy comes from renewables. So we’re trying to really, um, from a manufacturing standpoint, um, be as light touch on the environment as we can. This also, um, applies to the size of our packaging, the size of the product, so that we can reduce transportation. Emission and in the process as well.

AD: So that’s the manufacturing side? That’s the manufacturing side, that’s how you’re trying to be part of the solution, not the problem in terms of the generation of your products?

JJL: And, and we have the objective of being, um, net zero for our manufacturing across, across the globe, uh, by 2050.

AD: And from the product standpoint, how are you responding?

JJL: So from a product standpoint, there’s a couple of different approach that we are taking. One of them is really, all our products today are, are water sense, uh, compliant. So we are reducing the amount of waters that is being used in our product. When you think about showers and faucets and, and toilets, we’re basically optimizing so use of water so that the, the user experience is still very positive. But we’re not using as much water as we used to in the past.

AD: Can we back up for a second? Can you tell me what WaterSense compliant means?

JJL: So Water Sense is a label that was established by the EPA and basically set some standard in term of force water usage.

AD: Okay. And you’re saying all your products are water sense compliant?

JJL: Everything that we are putting out on the market today. I’ll add another thing. And what of flagship brand Americans started out in the US as a tradition of really combining performance, which is the use of less water with a real deep concern about the user experience. And that’s some things that, it sounds self-evident, but it’s not. And very often after the EPA put some requirement on the use of watering toilets, for example, about 25 years ago uh, so what the user experience was really not positive, were clogging all the time and so forth.

AD: The low flow toilet?

JJL: Yes, exactly. We have a tradition, uh, at American startup of really making sure, yes, we can use less water, but the user experience will not degrade. and beyond optimizing the use of water through our products, we also look at the quality of water. Cause we spoke about how it’s deteriorating in our communities in the United States these days. And, um, so we have, uh, different products that, um, incorporate filtration technologies, new filtration technologies that really allow you to have access really good quality water on the tap in your home at a reasonable price. So still on the optimization, topic, uh, we’re also developing products that are connected. So in the situation of a whole home or an entire building for commercial system, we can optimize the use of water. We can most importantly reduce leaks. Leaks actually account for 10 to 12% of water consumption in a home. And so by having all these systems that monitors, the use of water, we can optimize that use and reduce and reduce it quite effectively.

AD: Okay. So I just wanna make sure I’m clear. In your own backyard, you’re handling your manufacturing, your product development, your distribution and sales in a way that is trying to be less of a problem and more of a solution. And then from the product standpoint, you are making sure you’re compliant, but you’re going beyond that in terms of designing and developing systems that optimize by monitoring and, and you’re also filtering. That’s a lot and I love that you’re dealing with all that, but what does it look like?

AL: Installing a water monitoring system really does have a profound impact when it comes to water conservation. We have one great example, which is residential, and that’s our GROHE Sense Guard product. And with that, you can actually monitor your water consumption right on your. So when it comes to something like that, you know, you might be living in a community where water isn’t so scarce or top of mind, and yet there it is right on your phone, helping you understand your usage, allowing you to be more responsible. When it comes to commercial spaces, we also have a very, comprehensive suite of products, and that is our American standard detect link. Um, and how that works is it’s also, uh, about, you know, monitoring water consumption, but it’s actually monitoring and preventing clogs and leaks, which is critically important when it comes to a commercial building. It also means that for the average user, you can walk in and enjoy a nicer bathroom that hasn’t experienced a recent leak, or there isn’t a clog. You know, yet another example would be that we do want the user to be able to save water and, and feel like they’re making an impact so with GROHE, we’re working on something that is a concept called Endless Shower. And it’s about the idea that you could actually take your shower water, you could clean it, reheat it, and reuse it. And that would mean that you were able to save a substantial amount of water. It’s actually gonna be saving or using rather a quarter of the amount of water that you normally would and a third of the amount of energy. And to give you a little bit more of I guess, context for that, what it means is a couple would be able to save about 9,000 gallons of water. So it really does make quite an impact.

AD: That sounds like I have to have a big tank under my shower. What’s the practicality of that circular, endless shower system? Because it sounds like something I’d really get into this idea of saving 9,000 gallons of water, but is it only new construction?

JJL: It can be retrofitted, but it is actually a constant loop. It’s up in real time. I would like to add one thing about that. A lot of what we do, I spoke about user experience earlier. If you look at, at limiting the use of water in the shower, for example, just by limiting the flow, which is what some regulations are trying to do. I may have no problem. But you have longer hairs than I have.

AD: It’s gotta get the shampoo out.

JJL: So, as a result, you end up not saving water and have a poor user experience. Our design process and our approach that is very user-centric really focuses on preserving that user experience and achieving the savings that we need to. so that, that was the baseline for Its, uh, for this, these systems that we are developing with our or sister brand.

AD: All right. I got one more practical question. You said it’s 10 to 12% of water that gets wasted through leaks? Are we able to detect those simply by monitoring the usage and we can say, Hey, like, no faucets are on, but I’m still losing water, therefore there must be a leak somewhere, or is this something that’s wired into the system?

JJL: We have basically a series of sensors that that monitor the water consumption in, in an environment, a home or commercial building and algorithm that actually can pinpoint which products actually is leaking based on, on, on the water main, basically what consumption is. It’s a learning system and, it monitors point of views, and it can, it can detect if there is a change, and if suddenly you have a, you have a, you have a leak somewhere.

AL: Yeah. And to go back for one moment on water filtration, I wanted to make sure we talked a little bit about our two faucets. So we have on the American Standard side Saybrook Faucet, that’s a filter faucet. And on the GROHE side we have GROHE Blue. So they’re both offering great quality water, uh, with really easy to use interface. Grower Blue is also not only filtered, but it could be chilled or sparkling. So kind of making sure we capture all of those needs of our consumer.

JJL: And maybe just to add on this, um, what that’s where, uh, you can see the, the power of having a global organization. One of the areas we are where we really excel with ceramic obviously, and we have R&D labs in Japan that really are working on, on, on fascinating things that have to do with ceramic. We actually took their knowledge and use it in the filtration, in the filters that we developed to be able to do, to have the filters that last. That is much smaller, therefore easier to change. I’m going back to the experience by making it simpler, and lasting longer, we actually, uh, make a product that that is better for people to use and gives them, gives them that access in a, in a much easier way.

AD: So when looking at all of these big issues, how does it get filtered down not to use make a water pun, how does it get filtered down through the company and turned into a tangible plan of action?

JJL: Well, couple of example. Internally, we, we always promote design thinking and innovation. And so a couple years ago we actually ended up funding an internal startup, uh, it’s called Hydrific. It’s launching actually just right now. And what it does is that it takes the best technologies to optimize the use of water into, uh, in a home and them, uh, to allow you to as user to. Use of water in, in your, in your home. So Hydrific is launching a whole collection of products and, and applications that will, that will help you, uh, in, in these directions. It’s interesting that a large corporation like us actually decided to to fund a small team, just to accelerate innovation. And, uh, and you’re gonna see the impact that it will have in the industry in the next couple of years, I think.

Ad: So it’s a bit of a test kitchen.

JJL: It’s actually a test house. Cause we’re building two houses, one in Germany, one in California. So we’re gonna actually be able to not only roll out all these products, but continuously, test them and improve them. Now from a design point of view, we have a really meaningful, research process that starts every projects that we do, uh, really revolves around the user and the. And, um, so that’s internal, but we also go outside and, we have a partner, a stylist, uh, that really help us understand deeply and realistically what the issues are and how we can connect, uh, with our consumers and solve these issues for them.

AD: And what’s an example? How would you work with stylists? What kind of information do they provide for you?

JJL: So I’ll, I mean, we have, uh, we have actually joining us, uh, Emily, who can explain that a little bit better.

Emily Gordon-Smith: Hi Amy. Nice to meet you. AsJean Jacques said, we’ve been partnering with LIXIL Global Design for almost 10 years. My name’s Emily Gordon-Smith, and I’m the content director and sustainability lead at Stylus. and we believe that the work LIXIL is doing with sustainable water programs is really, really important. So we’re thrilled to be part of such meaningful work. In fact, uh, the importance of sustainability and eco-friendly environments means that we really think that there’s going to be a huge focus on creating and maintaining a light impact home in the future. Uh, we know that eco friendliness remains a really top priority for both brands and consumers, and especially during these times of rising household bills and the climate crisis. Uh, eco-aligned consumers are really increasingly ensuring that their homes are low impact, sustainable, and even self-sufficient. Water demand, will soar in developing regions over the next few decades, but meanwhile, almost half the global population lives in areas that are potentially water scarce for at least one month of the year, according to the UN. So companies are becoming ever more clever in their designs to help homeowners conserve water. For example, a new shower head was created, which makes saving water much more intuitive. Users simply, uh, tilt the shower head upwards to briefly stop the water flow while they can apply soap, wash their hair, and then it tilts down to rinse. Another example is cosmetics brand, L’Oreal and Gjosa, which is a Swiss startup, and they’re working in partnership to develop a salon shower head that dispenses a shampoo and rinses hair using much less energy and water. And this especially formulated shampoo is easier to rinse while the shower head uses a patented, water saving design. Lixil Japan has, uh, launched Revia to use recycled plastic and wood to create a multitude of products. And now we’re actually seeing other brands responding to the desire for more eco-friendly home products by, again, repurposing waste as a resource, and in this case, tackling plastic waste has never been more appealing. Uh, the distinct flecked or swirled character of upcycle plastic products shows how, um, various brands are making a commitment to reducing post-consumer waste in innovative and long-lasting solutions. Similarly, uh, Lixil’s German brand GROHE has partnered with Mater to use its plastic waste from bathroom materials in new furniture, such as this shell chair and a table. And keeping with materiality, earlier this year, Ikea announced a new iteration of its very famous Billy Bookcase. Uh, the previously used veneer is now replaced with a high quality paper foil, and the plastic edge bands are now also substituted with paper. So this means that the majority of materials used to produce the bookshelf will come from new renewable resources. And now shifting gears we’ll end on the idea of looking at bathrooms in the context of personal health trends, as well as bigger public health issues. With our house now being in the spotlight more than ever there is a major focus on monitoring the health conditions of our bodies. And this type of monitoring will be instrumental in identifying public health issues. Here is a smart toilet developed in the Netherlands by the Institute for Water Education that collects data from human waste. And the idea here is that it really gets ahead of emerging health and sanitation problems. And there’s actually huge commercial opportunity in off-grid toilets and new sanitation technologies. This market will be worth as much as 6 billion annually by 2030. That’s according to Boston Consulting Group. And in this last example, I want to highlight the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which is making sanitation a major priority. They’ve invested around 200 million so far in research into off-grid solutions. According to their research, 80% of infectious diseases stem from poor sanitation, and sadly, girls who lack bathroom facilities are at the highest risk of dropping out of school. In response, innovations like LIXIL’s SATO toilets that provide innovative and affordable hygiene solutions that really leapfrog over traditional sewer systems we believe innovations like this will make a massive impact on all kinds of communities in the future.

AD: So I’m understanding the problems and the mission, but can we get granular with all of this, like how is it all achieved?

AL: Absolutely, our goal is to design inviting products that really answer the needs of our consumers. To be able to do that, though, we first have to talk with them. And so we use ethnographic research to do that. And what that is, is in-home research where we go and we talk with them, interview them, more or less, but also observe and the observation is really critical. Uh, we term this process, it’s our proprietary process called Pre-search, which is taking that ethnographic research and actually doing a task analysis of that to really be able to pinpoint where the exact pain points are, where are the frustrations, so that we can then brainstorm and really try to uncover an area that could be an opportunity for us. So when it comes to that pre-search process, it’s the ethnographic, the task analysis well as the stylus insights. So really those three points really coming together to form the foundation, for what we do, in the design of our products across all of our brands, whether it’s American Standard, GROHE, or INAX.

AD: Can you give me an example of an insight that you gleaned from task analysis?

AL: I’d be happy to. And it, you know, it’s always so interesting because it pops up when you’re completely not expecting it. One example would be to see someone that’s perhaps draping, a washcloth over their kitchen faucet, you know, and for them that makes sense. And as a designer, you look at that and think like, that’s really an eyesore to see that thing draped over the top of their spout. But why are they doing that? You know, to try to understand, is it that they wanted close at hand or you know, what is driving them? Another example would be we did research in people’s kitchens during covid and we couldn’t do it in person. So it was actually virtual. They were wearing cameras, there were countertop cameras to kind of capture everything. And we noticed this one guy, as he was working with chicken, he had a whole process. His left hand would be the hand to touch the chicken and the right hand would be remaining clean. But of course it was this cognitive, load on his brain to try to remember all that as he was preparing his food. So it’s those things that then allow us to try to create a solution.

AD: So take the left hand handles the chicken, the washcloth gets draped over the faucet, how does that filter through the design process? How do you take all of this research and turn it into something that makes people’s quality of life better?

AL: It is a process. We start with that task analysis and then from there we try to really separate out what we could perhaps solve for, with, with technology or another workaround solution. And it becomes a robust design process. There’s prototyping, um, all sorts of things that are the next step, from our pre-search process. But you can see with the pre-search, it really sets up the project so that you’re not blue sky brainstorming. It sort of gives you some constraints and it’s all based on actual human interaction, even if it happens to be virtual in the case of Covid.

AD: That’s really interesting.

AL: It keeps us busy. Because each person is quite different too, so that’s what’s helpful. Ethnographic research is qualitative, so you’re maybe only gonna be talking to  eight to 10 people, but it’s directional. So you hear something that is a problem and maybe it’s six out of 10 people experience that, and then we can later do further research. To I guess formalize it.

AD: Okay. And so that’s your department and you sort of spearhead all of this research and make sure that it gets called and collated into something that sort of guides a, a kind of direction. Where does it go from there?

JJL: Well, there, there is, um, another lens that we apply to all of that, which is a brand lens. Each of our brands stand For different values and for example, for American Stand auto products are inviting, they’re dependable and they’re pioneering. So we apply that brand, brand, brand lens on top of it to really start sorting out the solutions, start sorting out some of the answers that we have to these needs, and offer products that aligned with what is expected from our consumers, but we solve these problems.

AL: It’s also about making sure the product is culturally rooted in that region so that it speaks to those particular users.

JJL: By doing all of that, we create products that are, um, that resonates with specific audience for specific brands, but we also create differentiation between our brands, we create a little bit more space because now they’re better defined and what an American standard product means is different than what a GROHE product means, for example. And that will allow us to actually keep our portfolio very competitive and very alive.

AD: Okay. So all of this research, uh, sounds like it’s very helpful in terms of really understanding the user, the consumer, their needs and concerns and their tasks. You bring that into the design process and you attempt to design products that will solve problems for these consumers, how do you verify that the products are actually solving the problems you intend them to, or even meeting your sustainability goals, having that kind of impact that’s desired?

JJL: Us putting out in the market solutions to, to some, to certain issues just like that is, is, is a very risky proposition because it’s not gonna necessarily be adopted by our consumers. So what this research allow us to do is to really understand deeply how they think, what they see, what are their behavior, so that we can align a solution with them and they, and so these solutions can actually in turn be adopted very easily and I’ve said that that effects that we are trying to, uh, to achieve, which is conserving water, delivering quality water and so forth. So consumers expect much more from brands today than, than they ever did before. They wanna be able to trust us and I think it’s important, um, in order, in order to be trusted, to understand our audience and, and takes that understanding and bake that into our design so that it actually can be accepted if we don’t deeply understand our audience, we are never gonna be able to create solutions that will satisfy their need and will help them enjoy their bathroom, their kitchen more.

AD: That is so true. Understanding each other is the foundation of a strong relationship.

JJL: Exactly. Exactly.

AD: So you’re doing a lot of really incredible research and development here as, as an educator, I’m always really interested in how you’re sharing your knowledge. How are you cross pollinating and building community outside of just your own bubble of water issues and, and how are you coalescing around the greater community to kind of tackle these together?

JJL: We started collaboration a long time ago with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation had created a toilet for communities in developing nations. I mean, sanitation is, access to proper sanitation is key because you won’t have any economic growth if you don’t have that. It’s one of these pillars that enable a lot of things. So what, uh, Lixil has done is that we actually created, uh, divisions that focuses only on that. And as a a SATO division, uh, we have touched a life of over 35 million people already. And our goal is by 2025 to reach that, to move that number up to a hundred million people and basically providing, uh, safe and proper sanitation, uh, in their communities.

AD: What’s the product? What did you develop for this?

JJL: It’s a very simple, it, it’s a toilet costs less than $2 and it basically utilizes local manufacturing facilities. So it’s so, so also not something that we are exporting there. It’s something that is made in the communities and, um, it’s extremely simple and it allows, uh, communities to create these public latrines that, uh, are safe and that eliminate, a lot of the, the diseases associated. Uh, lack of access to, to sanitation. I mean, you have to understand that. Today in the world you have about 700 children that die every day for lack of access to proper sanitation. So that makes a huge difference when you can offer solution that is affordable, that is sustainable, that is, that can last a long time, uh, to these communities. So that, that’s just one project. But we have a, another one also that is starting now, which is, uh, there is a, a coalition of corporation around the world, um, uh, that include PepsiCo, Microsoft, uh, Logitech and McKinsey and, and so forth that, uh, we joined this year. And the idea is that we’re looking at the UN sustainable development goals that were returned in 2015 that addressed basically, what are the action items that we have to tackle to actually ensure, uh, prosperity and peace in the world in the future? It’s called Design for Good. That group of companies is committed to actually pull together resources to solve some of the problems, to, to address some of these sustainable development goals. And of course, one of the key ones, which is the one we’re addressing this year is access to sanitation. We have committed, um, we have actually 20 designers part-time, um, for the year, uh, to focus on these issues in collaboration with all these corporations so that we can actually create, uh, solutions that will be put for public use for where, where IP is gonna be accessible and can be used in different areas and different communities to solve these problems.

AD Wow. Well, thank you so much for, for detailing out for me how you’re committed to our water issues, our global water concerns, but also for explaining to me how that all works at it’s such a large organization with so many brands. It’s really helpful for me to demystify the whole process and it’s hopeful, honestly. I started this really concerned, we started off talking about sanitation issues and water scarcity and climate change, and I’m leaving this whole talk with a, a really uplifted feeling, thinking, some relief that thinkers like you are taking these problems seriously and doing something about it.

JJL: Well, like we say with problems, it’s also an opportunity and I think that’s what is really fascinating is that this is such a core issue so it deserve all the attention and the energy we can devote to it. And that’s what we, we, we are doing here.

AD: Well, thank you so much.

AL: Thank you.

JJL: Thank you, Amy. That was really your pleasure.

AD: Hey, thanks so much for listening. This special presentation is brought to you by LIXIL and was recorded as part of ICFF + WantedDesign Manhattan’s CLOSEUP series. For a transcript of this episode, and more about LIXIL – including images and links – head to You can listen to Clever on any of the podcast apps –  please do hit the Follow or subscribe button in your app of choice so our new episodes will turn up in your feed. We love to hear from you on LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter – you can find us @cleverpodcast and you can find me @amydevers. Please stay tuned for upcoming announcements and bonus content. You can subscribe to our newsletter at to make sure you don’t miss anything. Clever is hosted & produced by me, Amy Devers with editing by Rich Stroffolino, production assistance from Ilana Nevins and Anouchka Stephan and music by El Ten Eleven. Clever is a proud member of the Surround podcast network. Visit to discover more of the Architecture and Design industry’s premier shows.

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Amy Devers

Amy Devers is a designer, fabricator, educator, and media personality on a mission to reveal the humanity behind the design that shapes our world.

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