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Shareen Joel On The Future Of Residential Design

“It’s all about trust,” says Shareen Joel. Discover Joel’s unique insight into the evolving taxonomy of residential design and the future of the kitchen.

Shareen Joel On The Future Of Residential Design

Shareen Joel Design is a multidisciplinary studio of interior design, interior architecture and industrial design. Since 2003, the studio has truly pushed the envelope of creative practice across many sectors – including residential. Here we catch up with Shareen Joel, the force behind her eponymous studio, to learn the latest insights transforming design in the home.


As a designer, what have you discovered about Zip Water’s range that keeps you turning back to the brand time and again?

For me, designing a residential kitchen is all about clutter management. Achieving a clean, simple benchtop that’s ready at a moment’s notice for some impromptu cooking is no easy feat. Zip Water creates products with this squarely in mind – minimising clutter and freeing up bench space by combining several functions in one simple appliance. Plus, the brand offers the convenience of instant hot, cold and sparkling water, so everyone’s happy!


Over the years, you have worked on quite a number of residential projects. Have you noticed shifting design ideas and approaches in this time?

SJ: Definitely – and very much so in the kitchen space. For instance, in terms of master planning kitchen layouts, I prefer not having an island bench that separates guests from the kitchen space. For me, I love bringing the dining table into the middle of the kitchen so that family and friends are a part of the entertaining experience. It’s all about making sure that the heart of your home has a real warmth, and Zip’s range ensures that your guests will always feel a part of the family as they help themselves to coffee, tea or even sparkling water.


You’ve worked alongside Zip Water for several years now. I’m interested, what appeals to you most about the brand?

It’s all about trust. I trust Zip, and as such, I feel very loyal to the brand! Its products stand for quality, innovation and convenience. But beyond that, Zip offers an experience, too. Maintenance and service of its products are proactive and reliable. So it’s a pleasure to work alongside a brand with such strong values.


There seems to be more attention and love given to the smaller scale design elements in our homes like hardware and even tapware too. What is it like to have this sudden explosion of variety at hand through the design process?

I am both an industrial designer and interior architect so I have always been conscious of the smaller design elements and details. I personally have a strong design ethos and language, and have always appreciated the finer details that are on offer. Sometimes I think some brands go too far and offer too many choices for the specifier and consumer to navigate. But in Zip Water’s case, the team has really refined the core function and form of its portfolio, addressing not just the key needs of users, but also offering a generous number of choices in size, colour, product and finish.


What are you expecting to see more of in the near future of residential, and specifically design in the kitchen?

We’ll absolutely see continuing interest in slimline and discrete interfaces that are also very user-friendly for all ages. But in a more general sense, as our home floorplates keep decreasing, so too will our kitchen spaces. This means that all elements of the smaller kitchen – appliances, fittings and fixtures – will not only need to be smaller, but also become multipurpose. I think that the future of this is all about making design work harder.


You also use Zip Water’s products in your own home, am I correct?

Yes I do! I can’t tell you how my Zip HydroTap just makes everything easier. Aside from having boiling, chilled or sparkling water at hand, now when I cook, the whole process has become easier and quicker because I used to spend so much of my life waiting for pots to boil on the stove. Zip have changed all that for me, and I never expected that!


This article originally appeared in Boilingpoint Magazine #24 by Zip Water.

To find out why winning homes specify Zip, download your copy of Boilingpoint #24 here, or read more below.

Photography by Sharyn Cairns 

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