Network gives design a lift /Global/perla-bovin-524px.jpg Good design evokes emotions and strengthens the bond between a brand and its customers. It can also differentiate ASSA ABLOY Group products from those of competitors. Many companies are focusing more on product design, and ASSA ABLOY is no exception. Awareness of the importance of integrating industrial design in products is growing, says Perla Bovin, aesthetic design manager at ASSA ABLOY Scandinavia. “As our customers’ demands increase, every detail that can lead them to a better choice when making a buying decision is important,” she says. Perla, who started working as a design manager in 2007, coordinates industrial design work in Sweden, Norway and Denmark. She works closely in cross-functional project teams with internal and external stakeholders, including product and project managers, engineers, customers, installers and others who are involved with the Scandinavian companies’ products. “Their input is vital for me and my peers to be able to add value to our designs,” Perla says. “Giving a product the proper aesthetic is just a part of my work,” she says. “Our products must be designed in a smart way in order to be manufactured and assembled. They must be easy to install and not just fulfill a useful function. Products must also send a positive message about the brand.” All these factors affect the final design and must be taken into consideration at the start, when the industrial designer draws the first lines, Perla says. While visiting her family in São Paulo some years ago, Perla met an industrial designer at Yale La Fonte Sistemas de Seguranca and discovered similarities in the way they worked, despite living in different worlds. This planted the idea for an ASSA ABLOY industrial design network as a way to connect with other designers in the Group. Today the network is a reality and includes industrial designers from Australia, Finland, Chile, Brazil and the United States, who discuss design management and methods of measuring design or simply exchange ideas and learn from one another. Perla hopes that more designers will find their way to the network.