Last Thursday and Friday I was in New York City courtesy of Brizo Faucet to take part in a product seminar, design competition, and to watch the a fashion show for next great American designer; Jason Wu. Outside of my senior year in High School, this is the only time I have been in New York. Brizo Faucet invited 18 individuals (including myself) up to take part in what turned out to be 2 extremely busy and very fun days. There were a handful of people that I have emailed or twittered with that came along and it was fun to connect with them.
I arrived in the city 1:30 pm Eastern time and Brizo had arranged to have a limo pick me up. Shortly after I arrived, I received a phone call on my cell phone that went like this:
Limo Guy: Hi, dis is limozeeen servess, I heer to peek yous up.
Me: Okay – great. Where are you?
Limo Guy: I is heer.
Me: Heer? Where is heer? Where are you at?
Limo Guy: I is at de airpoort.
Me: Yes, of course. Where at the airport are you?
Limo Guy: Dis is limozeeen sevess, I heer to peek yous up.
Obviously the limo guy and me worked things out. Shortly after I got to the hotel, I met Jody Brown (@INFILLnc) down in the hotel lobby before the entire group got together. He is a nice guy and he and I did some damage to ourselves little later when we went out exploring later Thursday night. However, the first thing we did as a group was to get together and meet our hosts, Brizo. We got to take a look at their product lines as well as get a sneak peek at some of the items that are currently working their way through design on their way to production. It takes approximately 24 months from initial design concept to being available to the public. Because of this length of time, Brizo, along with Judd Lord, Director of Industrial Design, and his crack team of designers spend a lot of time paying attention to trending and pattern language. They put on an impressive multi-media show and they showed us some pretty interesting, top secret items. It was all very hush hush, and we had to fill out no disclosure forms.
After getting some entertaining education and getting the opportunity to tell them what we thought about their current and future product line, we broke for dinner at a local restaurant just around the corner. Brizo had rented out the entire restaurant and we had the place to ourselves. Although it was not planned (or even intentional), among the people sitting at my table were Andrew Van Leeuwen and Kevin Eckert (the guys from Buildllc), and Jody Brown. We had a fun and spirited conversation that I can’t possibly reprint here. Andrew and Kevin have spent a lot of time in New York so they took it upon themselves to make sure I saw some of the sights. They took us all down to the Meat Packing District and a couple of cab rides and 4 or 5 stops later, it’s 3:30am and I … we … all have an 7:00am curtain call to get up and get to the design competition in the morning.
I got down to the the meeting room right on time (because I’m professional that way) and Brizo explained the design competition to us. We all had to use one of the suite of faucets that we had seen and reviewed the previous day, work with Kraftmaid cabinetry (represented there by Mark Johnson from Masco) and use SketchUp v8 to present our ideas and designs. Eventually we broke up into 4 teams of 4 and we got to work. (Yes, I know the math doesn’t work. For some reason, some people didn’t get out of bed this morning … you know who you are). Brizo announced that there would be prizes awarded to the winning team but they didn’t tell us what the prize would actually be. Despite not knowing what we were working for, everyone really dug in and spent about 3.5 hours putting together a unified design – we were a competitive group and we wanted to win despite liking the other people who were with us.
Once we were finished with our design project, we headed out to the Jason Wu Fashion Show. All I can say is it was a day unlike any I have ever experienced in my life … let’s just say that it involved a lot of money, naked women, two fist-fights and … wait a minute, I’m getting ahead of myself. I am going to cover that in tomorrow’s post: New York City | Part II.
ps – okay, so most of that last part isn’t true but it could have been.It’s still worth tuning in for the final chapter.