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KI bolsters product co-creation capability with expanded design team

October 5, 2018

KI’s well-established reputation for customer-driven product design and co-creation has played a critical role in its recent major project wins across the EMEA region. This capability has recently been bolstered with the recruitment of Alexander Gifford and Grace Souky to KI’s London-based design team. Working alongside architects, designers and specifiers, the newly expanded team will further support companies execute their workplace strategies with unique furniture solutions.

Jonathan Hindle, Group Managing Director, KI EMEA comments: "The shared wealth of knowledge within our team here in Central London gives our customers a really valuable and accessible resource. Coupled with our uniquely seamless modelling and planning tools, they will help guide the whole spectrum of the co-creation process from the ground up."

KI’s product development strategy has long been driven by close partnerships with customers such as Lloyds Banking Group, Unilever, PwC, Microsoft and Paramount Pictures. Alex and Grace bring additional expertise in design and engineering which will complement the ongoing investments in UK-based tooling, supply chains, distribution and customer services as part of KI’s long-term growth strategy. Customers will now have access to enhanced capabilities for new product development and project-specific product co-creation within a streamlined, localised design and manufacturing process. By locating all stages of this process in the UK, KI can better deliver execute prototyping, shorten lead times, and offer superior ongoing customer support.

Alex Gifford, KI’s new Design Director, comments: "KI’s manufacturing model draws on a wide range of the UK and European specialist producers. The company leverages this diverse pool of skills to be an agile, and cost-effective partner when creating new products for clients. Our integrated product and interior design process all take place in an easily-accessible and well-equipped location in the heart of London. I’m really excited to lead this growing team and support our customers to bring their projects to life. As we continue this exciting journey, we invite you to come and meet the team and see the results!"

The collective experience held within KI’s expanded in-house design team adds value to the shaping of workplace planning for stakeholders including facilities management, IT, human resources and senior management. Whether an organisation requires modifications to existing KI products, or an entirely new solution created from the ground up, the team will be able to support the journey from user evaluation to conceptual design, engineering, space planning, costing and quotation – a genuine product co-creation process with the end-user at its core.

Meet the KI EMEA design team

Alex Gifford – Design Director
Alex has worked in the workplace furniture industry for 20 years with several international brands. Graduating from Birmingham University and the Royal College of Art with degrees in Manufacturing Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering respectively, Alex has worked across product design, branding and marketing. He leads KI’s capabilities around client-driven product development and co-creation, design and brand strategy.

Grace Souky – Designer
Grace has over 10 years of experience working for product design studios as well as established furniture brands. She holds a master’s degree in Industrial Design from Pratt Institute in New York and a degree in Architecture from Universidad Simón Bolívar in her native Venezuela. Her designs have been featured in exhibitions throughout Latin America, the United States, and Europe and featured in publications such as Wallpaper* and Architectural Digest.

Lee Andrews – Design Manager
Lee has a degree in Product Design and has worked in the contract furnishing industry for over 15 years. He manages KI’s design and space planning team and is responsible for all design, 3D visualisation, technical illustrations, photography, and CAD planning. He also specialises in client-specific tailoring and customisation of product.

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