A Design for the New Normal

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The COVID-19 health crisis is changing how we design the home of the future.

As we look around our homes today, we can see they are placed under many electricity demands. The lights are on, the washer or dryer will be whirring away, and in the background the Air Conditioning or central heating will be eating up the monthly bill.

woman working in home office design

These demands have come back into focus for everyone, not least for home builders since the COVID-19 health crisis prompted a new design philosophy to include both living and working from home. Home builders have also had to address 3.6bn euros worth in property damage caused by electrical faults that could have been prevented by more adaptive interiors for this new normal.

The new electricity demand, with more time spent working from home, follows a surge in our electricity bills by 70% over the last few years with the trend towards connected devices. What is needed now, to address this new demand, is a more adaptive design for electrical products that furnish the home as we balance the needs of work, exercise, school, and much more, under one roof. We need homes to become more livable, simple and sustainable.

Schneider Electric Design Labs

Schneider has been designing products for decades to make our buildings fit for the future. Innovation and responsibility are at the heart of Schneider Electric’s strategy, which takes inspiration from the philosophy of Nobel Prize winning designer Simon Herbert who said: “design must change existing situations and transform them into preferable situations”. Learn more about Schneider Electric Design Labs.

One such example of these design values is Unica System+, a comprehensive range that not only includes switches and sockets but also floor boxes, modular desk units, poles, posts and cable management accessories enhancing any work experience from floor to ceiling.

woman plugging device into power strip

Unica System+

Builders are turning to Unica System+ devices that allow homeowners to create their own tailored devices that are available in different sizes with functional modules that can be used individually or combined for any available space, ready to complement any demand of modern work spaces.

Unica System+ devices are ergonomic and minimalistic, with clever details that add character and extra convenience. An array of colors and finishes along with well-known Kvadrat fabrics provide a broad choice of options to compliment any interior style.

It is these qualities that also made Unica System+ S modular units the winner of iF DESIGN AWARD 2020 in the Office and Industry category, with recent praise from the Red Dot Jury, who said: “The design of the Unica switch and socket collection appeals with its versatility that ensures it meets different design requirements.”

About the authors:

Guillaume ReinerEurope design labs director, Guillaume Reiner graduated from ENSCI-Les Ateliers Paris. He began his career with several design agency teams, then held various design positions with SEB company. He joined Schneider Electric in 2011 to build the SE brand design across all the company activities to manage a strong identity and user experience to all SE products. Guillaume is responsible for articulating and creating the design DNA, and art direction with the SE design team. They have won lot of  International design awards since 2011 (more than 40). In this role, he works to ensure the company’s innovations meet the trends in the market.

Wiser program commercial deployment Director, Guillaume Serra graduated from ESIGELEC – Rouen. He started in R&D before moving to sales and offer marketing. He joined Schneider Electric in 2012 to design our Smart Home offer. Along this journey he has moved to Canada and worked with multi-cultural teams to build a global platform adaptable for local needs. Guillaume is now in charge of the international deployment of the Wiser program. In this role he is contributing to the digital transformation of our residential business.

Please see some of our award winning designs below:

award winning design


award winning design


award winning design


award winning design


award winning design


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