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Methven celebrates 120 years of design excellence!

August 2006

Methven celebrates 120 years of design excellence!

This year marks the 120th anniversary of iconic New Zealand bathroomware company Methven.

First opened in 1886 by Scottish born George Methven, the original workshop was built in the town of Caversham, Dunedin. The business began as a brass and iron foundry then in 1906 moved to manufacturing taps and copper laundry vessels. During the post war building boom of the 1940’s to 1960’s Methven’s business focus turned to the manufacture of tapware and valving products for New Zealand homes.

Today Methven is New Zealand’s longest established and leading supplier of bathroomware to home renovators, plumbers and the building industry. Known for their leading edge designs and quality manufacturing, Methven produce a wide range of taps, showerware and domestic water control valves. On top of their strong national market position, Methven is now recognised as a global brand that exports their quality products around the world.

“The turn of the 21st century has brought with it exciting times for Methven,” says Rick Fala, Methven C.E.O.

“Our vision to become the world leader in the design and supply of the ultimate showering experience is taking shape. Methven products are now sold globally in Australia, Italy and the United States, with further plans for expansion into Dubai and the UK. Our forward thinking team of design enthusiasts have been integral to developing an international presence and competitive edge,” he says.

The 24 strong team that power Methven design are the company’s key to delivering world class products time after time. Methven Head of Design, Kent Sneddon is committed to developing leading market products.

“Our focus is to consistently develop leading edge design technology through innovation and a deeper understanding of our audiences and their modern day lifestyle needs. The bathroom environment is constantly changing and is now recognised as a haven of luxury and a place for pampering and relaxation. Interpreting this growth in our environment has created a paradigm shift of what is expected from Methven design,” he says.

While Methven’s focus has traditionally been on kitchen and bathroom tapware, the attention has now shifted to the focal point of every bathroom, the shower. Methven has evolved shower technology to encompass a multi sensory showering experience targeted at their key consumer audience - women!

In September 2004 Methven launched Satinjet to female consumers throughout New Zealand. The Satinjet launch was hugely successful and the brand is now known as their home-grown success story and international flagship product.

“Today as designers we have the ability to manipulate water to suit our needs. The advanced Satinjet twin-jet technology which creates an all new showering experience is a perfect example. Satinjet has provided a platform from which Methven design has been able to gain exposure and recognition as world leaders in bathroomware design,” says Kent Sneddon.

The force behind Satinjet, the Methven design team has been further recognised for their innovative design technologies with a host of awards. Most notably a GOOD Design Award (Chicago Athenaeum), DesignEx Award (Australia) and a Savewater! Award® (Australia).

As part of Methven’s commitment to being a design led company, a key industry initiative is supporting next generation Kiwi designers. In 2005 Methven took part in the Design Led Futures programme which saw graduates from Victoria University School of Design spending 16 weeks working as interns at Methven, developing a futuristic outdoor shower project – “Pipette”.

“Supporting the Victoria University graduates to develop Pipette was a real success. The project created widespread interest from the design industry and media and two of the interns have stayed on in junior Methven design roles,” says Kent Sneddon.

To celebrate Methven’s 120th Anniversary and further demonstrate their commitment to inspiring up and coming New Zealand designers, Methven have earmarked a design scholarship fund for 2007.

“As innovators of design we feel a commitment to supporting New Zealand design students to excel and reach their career aspirations. We are currently working on the launch of a Methven design scholarship programme for 2007 which we hope to announce later this year,” says Rick Fala.

To publicly celebrate their 120th Anniversary Methven will be running a 7 week promotion giving away 5 prizes of Methven products to the value of $2500 each. Entry can be made online or in store at participating retailers from August 11th through to the end of September.

For more information on Methven go to


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