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Entering Kohler's World of Experiential Luxury

Sunday, September 29, 2019

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Last Tuesday night, all roads led to 114 Constant Spring Road, the home of Kohler and Tile City. The event, the fifth on the Design Week JA 2019 roster, was hosted by Kohler, who are the presenting sponsors of Design Week.

Tile City founder Jaleel Handal and his sons, Victor and Jaleel Jr, and Kohler executives Jose Araujo and Roberto Riolobos, who flew in especially for the event, welcomed close to 100 guests to the Kohler showroom. Guests were not just there to marvel at the designs of the company, which will celebrate its centennial next year, but also to personally experience the brand's perspective of the year — experiential luxury.

Interior designers Vanessa Paisley-Clare and Joelle Smith gave presentations on quality design and the intersection of the fields of design and technology. Delivering the keynote address was Jose Araujo, associate channel marketing manager for Kohler Latin America. Araujo's visually stimulating presentation on Kohler's perspective of the year allowed those who've had a long relationship with Kohler, as well as new clients, to see how timeless design is a feeling.

“Experiential luxury creates a rich and dynamic environment by indulging the senses on multiple levels, beckoning us toward an immersive experience, beautiful details and delightful sensations through the harmonious union of technology, colour, pattern and material. At its core, it is the combination of the right experience and the right expression. And only Kohler allows you to achieve one without sacrificing the other,” said Araujo.

From voice-controlled technology to hands-free toilets, Kohler has it all. However, the highlight of the evening was the announcement of a collaboration between Tile City and the HEART Trust/NTA. The focus areas of the partnership include: the revision of content and delivery of the Plumbing National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQ-J) curriculum; the development of a national registry of certified plumbers accessible to construction companies and other consumers; the upgrading of the HEART College of Construction Services (HCCS) plumbing lab; the build-out of a Kohler-branded lab at HEART; and the engagement of the wider construction sector to develop a skill enhancement strategy for implementation by HEART. Both HEART Trust/NTA Chairman Edward Gabbidon and Managing Director Dr Janet Dyer are optimistic about the fruits that this partnership will bear for the organisation and its students.

This collaboration will result in an increase in the quality of work being done by persons employed within the construction sector. The enhanced skill sets of Jamaican construction workers will also increase the likelihood of employment of these workers in overseas construction companies and ultimately meet the high demand for suitably qualified personnel abroad.

Time at the three-hour event seemed to fly; every touchpoint was both remarkable and memorable. From entry to the Café Dolce-catered hors d'oeuvres to the signature Kohler bathtub used as an oversized ice bucket housing drinks, guests enjoyed it all. If only there were a term to encapsulate the flawless end-to-end Kohler experience Design Week guests experienced! Oh, how about experiential luxury?

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